Summary of Financial Transaction Taxes in Theory and Practice

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Financial Transaction Taxes in Theory and Practice summary


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One idea to curb the excesses of the American financial sector centers on instituting a financial transactions tax. While this sort of tax, imposed on the purchase and sale of financial securities, sounds simple in theory, it could be quite complex in practice. The authors, policy experts from the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, explore the issues and find that a US financial transaction tax may be a mixed blessing. Though their report reaches no definitive conclusion, it examines a number of issues and provides comprehensive food for thought. getAbstract suggests this cogent analysis to policy makers, financial services professionals and investors.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What a financial transactions tax (FTT) accomplishes,
  • What issues are involved in implementing an FTT, and
  • What pros and cons an FTT delivers.

About the Authors

Leonard E. Burman, Sarah Gault, Jim Nunns and Steve Rosenthal work at the Urban Institute. William G. Gale and Bryan Kim work at the Brookings Institution.



A financial transactions tax (FTT) could raise about $50 billion in annual revenue in the United States. The FTT’s backers include Joseph Stiglitz, Bill Gates and George Soros. Taxing financial dealings isn’t a new idea: The United Kingdom’s stamp duty has been around since 1694, and the United States...

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