Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tete a Tett

Gilian Tett is saying some extraordinarily crazy shit that you normally would only be able to read in the dustiest fringes of the blogosphere and never expect to see on the front page of the FT.

However, the unpleasant truth is that there is never going to be any complete intellectual system to explain how financial systems should work. After all, as I wrote last week, ideologies are always rooted in shifting power structures and struggles. And just as the old intellectual model proved imperfect, any new "theory" that might yet replace it – with or without a Tobin tax – will have limitations too. What is needed now, in other words, is not so much a new creed or magic wand policies, but policy makers, politicians, investors and bankers who are willing to engage their brains, and keep remaking policy, as the world evolves.

Think Pig

All of this is apropos of one very simple proposal, the so-called Tobin Tax, which would levy a tiny transaction fee on every trade.  The fact that we're not hearing a word about this in the US is incredibly telling.  There's not going to be any reform -- Obama is Hoover, not FDR.

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