March 26, 2010

The Robin Hood Tax

I’ve just been reading Bows against the Barons, by Geoffrey Trease, which has a pre-socialist Robin Hood leads the Merry Men and the townsfolk of Nottingham into a revolt against the lords of Britain.

Now, I’ve finally gotten around to looking up this Robin Hood tax idea that is gaining traction in the UK. Basically, the idea is to have a minute tax (around 0.001% tax) on transactions that don’t include members of the public (bonds, derivatives, currency speculation, etc). Apparently it’s got the potential to raise over £100 billion.

Check out this amazing video with Bill Nighy as a squirming banker.


  1. Tweets that mention The Robin Hood Tax | -- - March 28, 2010 at 1:11 pm -

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alexander White. Alexander White said: The Robin Hood Tax Video – Bill Nighy as a squirming banker: […]

  2. Anne Treasure - March 29, 2010 at 8:46 pm -

    Nighy is a god. Shame about hideous music at 3.26. RT @alexanderwhite The Robin Hood Tax ( comes to Australia…

  3. Dean Lombard - March 29, 2010 at 9:24 pm -

    RT @annetreasure: Nighy is a god. Shame about hideous music at 3.26. RT @alexanderwhite The Robin Hood Tax ( comes to Australia…

  4. Robin Hood - March 29, 2010 at 2:08 pm -

    The Robin Hood Tax is coming to Australia. The campaign is launching today. Check it out

  5. Jacky - March 31, 2010 at 4:08 am -

    "A Tobin tax says to National Australia Bank, who borrow money overseas in US dollars, bring it to Australia and lend it to Australian households to build and buy houses. If you want to hedge your foreign exchange risk, which they simply have to do, if you want to change your hedging position, you have to pay for that. So it actually has the potential to do a lot of damage. People think that most of what's going on in these transactions is really to do with wild speculation. But that's just not right."

    – Dr Sam Wylie, Senior Fellow, Melbourne Business School

    • alexjpwhite - March 31, 2010 at 4:26 am -

      Potential to do a lot of damage how? Banks already pay taxes, charges and tariffs on heaps of things. If it's a minor charge, and every other major bank in the world pays the same charge, then there's no change to competition.

    • alexjpwhite - March 31, 2010 at 4:42 am -

      Very little social returns come from short-term trading. It results in extreme volatility and excessive trading. So anything that discourages short-termism is to be encouraged.

      Does anybody seriously believe that anything happens because of the sort of micro-second trading we're now seeing? It's a function of speed. No investments are being made as a result of it, no jobs are being created. Finance has a vital socially important role to fulfil, which is to raise capital, to run payment systems, to oil the wheels of everything society does. But the bankers fail to perform that socially useful function — and because of that, the world's economy has suffered.

      Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz who came out in support of the Robin Hood Tax in the UK.

  6. Just ME in T - April 11, 2010 at 10:22 am -

    Is this really asking you to be part of the World's Greatest Bank Job (ha ha ha ha) or a conniving way to encourage you to be a part of the Worlds Biggest Con Job?
    I just have to wonder how many folk actually have heard about the 'Robin Hood Tax' ? – (RHT) and more importantly have taken the time to find out what it is? where it comes from? what is actually involved? Let me tell you right now it involves BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, and of course, should it come to pass, just who will administer it?

  7. The Weary Cell - October 18, 2010 at 6:28 am -

    RT @alexanderwhite: The Robin Hood Tax #ozleft #auspol #ausvotes #robinhoodtax

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