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First debate of 2012 : Does London need a financial transaction tax?

Dear Reforms,

It's now five days till the debate on the financial transactions tax, and with over 40 people signed up to the event, I expect a very heated discussion.

I can also confirm that Simon Chouffot, a spokesperson for the Robin Hood Tax campaign, will be joining us at the debate to argue "the case for" the financial transaction tax. Simon will be battling with Rafael Molina, a partner at advisory firm Newstate Partners, who will be representing the "case against" the tax.

To get a taste of Simon's views on the issue, you can read a recent article of his on the New Statesmen, and follow him on twitter at @schouffot.

The central bank in the Netherlands has also expressed its opinion on the matter. You can view this article by googling the headline (this trick applies to most news sites with a pay wall)

Look forward to seeing you all on Monday.

Debate will begin at 7pm sharp.

Best regards,






Dear Reformers, 

A date has finally been set. The first LEDS event for 2012 will be held at the Shooting Star in Liverpool Street on February 13.

The debate will focus on the much discussed financial transaction tax, aka Tobin tax. Joining us at the event will be Rafael Molina a partner at public advisory firm New State Partners who will explain the economics behind the tax.

In the meantime, there is a good article on the BBC which discusses some of the basic arguments for and against a Tobin Tax.

Look forward to seeing you soon.




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  • Daniel M.

    The vote went in favour. But - interesting points:
    Everybody seemed to agree that the tax would be aimed at raising money, not reducing volatility.
    There seemed to be general agreement that it wouldn't do much to reduce volatility.
    There was disagreement about what the money should be spent on.
    Those against the tax were generally in favour or more effective measures or regulation to reduce volatility and instability caused by trading.

    February 16, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great speakers and collaborative approach.

    February 14, 2012

  • Mike

    A most lively and well-attended debate which revealed how many plus and minus points there are about this topic. Opinion divided fairly evenly.

    One thing which drew my attention was the suggestion that money raised would be spent on 'good causes' - what those were I did not hear. If listed I suspect there would be a big division of opinion.

    The central issue for me is do we need more taxes?

    February 14, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I think the show of hands at the end indicating how many people changed their minds (none) was indicative of the nature of the discussions. Some specific pro/anti "talking points" to frame and expand the topic might provide for more focused group discussions.

    February 14, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Governments have assumed a much more active part in controlling money, and this has been as much as cause as a consequence of instability. It is only natural, therefore, that some people feel it would be better if governments were deprived of their control over monetary policy. Why, it is sometimes asked, should we not rely on the spontaneous forces of the market to supply whatever is needed for a satisfactory medium of exchange as we do in other respects.

    The Constitution of Liberty, Hayek

    January 26, 2012

  • Yusuf Y.

    MR. LACKER. Very respectfully, Mr. Chairman, I?d like to vote against the foreign currency operation authorization. Those of you who were here when my predecessor registered a
    similar dissent three years ago, and three years before that, should be familiar with the reasoning.
    For those of you who were not here then, the case is very simple. Sterilized intervention can?t
    possibly be more than fleetingly effective unless it serves as a signal regarding future monetary
    policy operations.

    January 21, 2012

  • Yusuf Y.

    In the minutes from 2006, Lacker votes against authorised foreign currency interventions and gets laughed at by the FOMC.

    CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN. Yes. President Lacker has expressed his intention to uphold
    the Richmond tradition of voting against both the foreign currency authorization and the directive.
    [Laughter] But he remains in favor of the procedural instructions. So lacking Lacker, are there any
    objections? [Laughter] Would you like time to?

    January 21, 2012

  • Yusuf Y.

    The FOMC were just as clueless as the banks about the excesses in the housing bubble. It is certainly interesting to read the transcripts. Particular, the opposition to sterilised dollar interventions. Note that in the recent Fed minutes president of the Richmond Federal Reserve voted against the decision by global central bank to reduce the cost of dollar liquidity below the discount rate, the rate that the Fed charges banks for overnight funds.

    January 21, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was Central Banker's manipulation of interest rates that caused the Financial Crisis by providing too much cheap debt, and resultant malinvestment. Why would people think that these clowns know better now? From the FOMC in 2006 - Bernake: "we are unlikely to see growth being derailed by the housing market", Giethner: "We don't see troubling signs yet of collateral damage, and we are not expecting much"

    January 21, 2012

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