Brown: Global bank tax gains momentum

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the Financial Times Wednesday that the world’s leading economies may soon agree on a deal to implement a globally-coordinated tax on the international banking sector.

“I’m interested in the way support is building for international action,” Brown told the Financial Times. “People are now prepared to consider the best mechanism by which a levy could be raised.”

Brown said he believed the International Monetary Fund would endorse a plan before its April meeting in Washington, D.C.; and he hoped a deal would be finalized at the G-20 Summit.

The Group of Seven industrialized nations met in Canada last week to examine England’s plan.  Brown’s original suggestion was for governments to take a cut of individual bank transactions, but The Financial Times reported that the Obama Administration immediatly shot that idea down.

Brown said support for some sort of global tax gained new momentum after Obama proposed a fee to be levied against major U.S. banks to reimburse taxpayers for the bailout.  But exactly how such a tax would work is still unclear.

The IMF will finish a report in April that outlines possible options for how the world’s leading economies could coordinate a global tax on banks.


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