What could possibly be a more coherent, convincing and above all evidence-based argument than this?
SIR – You were wrong to attack the financial-transactions tax (FTT) that is being implemented by 11 European Union states (“Bin it”, February 23rd). You dragged up the bad experience of Sweden, which ditched its own FTT in 1991. But even the IMF has accepted that the Swedes had simply failed to design their tax well enough. As Algirdas Semeta, the EU commissioner on tax, recently said, Sweden invented a bicycle with square wheels.
We are campaigning to get the financial industry to pay for some of the damage it has caused. There are sensible arguments to have over the impact of an FTT on volatility, liquidity and the cost of capital. But the real issues at the heart of the matter are whether democracies control the capital markets or not, and whether finance serves the real economy or vice versa. The people are on our side. There comes a time when even The Economist should stop defending the indefensible.
Basically it amounts to “shut up, witches, or we burn you”.
Mind you, that’s not as Orwellian as “Exorbitance cannot be allowed in a free and socially minded society…” (my bold). Guess who.