Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
The International Monetary Fund has done what it was bid by the G20 and come up with proposals for getting banks to pay for the government help they receive when they get in trouble. You can read the actual wording here, but it comes down to this:
1) A "Financial Stability Contribution" which would be pooled into a fund that would use it to help weak banks, or just go into general government revenues.
2) A "Financial Activities Tax" -- perhaps intentionally known as FAT -- to be levied on combined bank profits and remuneration (for which read "bonuses") and paid to governments.
The first is a kind of insurance policy. The second, however, looks decidedly like what might be called a Greed Tax -- government action on the kind of wealth that has infuriated taxpayers across the world.
George Alogoskoufis is a hardly a household name outside Greece and EU financial circles. But the newly sacked Greek finance minister could yet become a poster child for politicans struggling to fight off economic decline and banking industry collapse. His demise was in large part due to a public perception that he was helping out the banks but ignoring rising joblessness.
Greece, of course, is a special case at the moment, still recovering from riots over the police shooting of a teenager. But finance ministers, central bankers and other responsibles are probably not immune from Alogoskoufis Syndrome. Balancing the need to bail out the finance industry with rising economic misery among everyday people is not easy. Fat cats are not exactly in favour at the moment.