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The Struggle Over the Financial Transactions Tax – A Politico-economic Farce

  • Stephan Schulmeister


The struggle over the FTT has developed in three phases. In the first phase (2009 to 2011) the supporters of the tax went on the offensive, supported by the "shock effects" of the financial crisis. This phase ended with the (preliminary) "victory" in the form of the FTT proposal of the European Commission in September 2011. The second phase was shaped by the search for ways how to implement the FTT within the EU. It ended with the publication of a modified FTT proposal by the Commission in February 2013 as basis for the implementation in 11 member countries. The last phase has been marked by a strong counter-offensive of the financial lobby which succeeded in playing off FTT supporting countries against each other, in particular Germany and France. This phase ended with a defeat of the FTT supporters. Not even in a group of EU countries will a general FTT be implemented in the foreseeable future. The struggle over the FTT was mainly carried out in two "battlefields", the intellectual disputes between economists at universities, research institutes and international organisations, and the political controversies between NGOs, political parties, governments and pressure groups, in particular the finance industry.

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Paper provided by WIFO in its series WIFO Working Papers with number 474.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 25 Jun 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wfo:wpaper:y:2014:i:474
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  1. Stephan Schulmeister, 2005. "Components of the Profitability of Technical Currency Trading," WIFO Working Papers 263, WIFO.
  2. Gary Gorton & Andrew Metrick, 2010. "Securitized Banking and the Run on Repo," NBER Chapters, in: Market Institutions and Financial Market Risk National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stephan Schulmeister, 2007. "Aggregate Trading Behavior of Technical Models and the Yen/Dollar Exchange Rate," WIFO Working Papers 294, WIFO.
  4. European Commission, 2010. "Innovative Financing at a Global Level," Taxation Papers 23, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
  5. Schulmeister, Stephan, 2006. "The interaction between technical currency trading and exchange rate fluctuations," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 212-233, September.
  6. Peter Hördahl & Michael R King, 2008. "Developments in repo markets during the financial turmoil," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
  7. Stephan Schulmeister, 2008. "Profitability of Technical Currency Speculation. The Case of Yen-Dollar Trading 1976-2007," WIFO Working Papers 325, WIFO.
  8. Robert Pollin & Dean Baker & Marc Schaberg, 2003. "Securities Transaction Taxes for U.S. Financial Markets," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 527-558, Fall.
  9. European Commission, 2010. "Financial Sector Taxation," Taxation Papers 25, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
  10. Stephan Schulmeister, 2010. "Boom-Bust Cycles and Trading Practices in Asset Markets, the Real Economy and the Effects of a Financial Transactions Tax," WIFO Working Papers 364, WIFO.
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