euronews U talk : France's financial transaction tax, a good idea?
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Published on Apr 19, 2012
http://www.euronews.com/ In this edition of U-talk, Michael, from Brussels, asks:
"With the tax on financial transactions, what will guarantee that some financial activities will not move outside the EU?"
The reponse from Marc Touati, an economist with Assya Compagnie Financière:
"I think we must be clear that, if France is the only country to apply the financial transaction tax, Paris as a market, as we know it, will be finished.
"That's to say that, very clearly, we already have extremely strong fiscal pressure, very strong regulatory pressure on the Paris financial market, so, at this moment, more and more financial activities will leave France.
"Even if this tax is marginal, it would create what I'd call a psychological effect on investments - and we are seeing that already today.
"Even without this tax - a lot of French banks have started moving their market activities elsewhere, exactly because there was too much fiscal pressure, too much regulatory pressure. At the same time, as we have, I'd say, extremely weak growth, our companies don't necessarily resort to the markets.
"So, what's the danger in this? It's that, of course, more and more activities will relocate outside France, or outside the eurozone, and, when that happens, we're going to have a problem financing the economy.
"Because we often forget what finances the economy. Of course it's the banks. But who finances the banks? It's often the markets. Therefore, if we effectively reduce the financial markets to the portion represented in France, then there will be problems for companies to get financing, and, therefore, problems to get investment funding, with a knock on effect on employment, and then on consumption. And so this will worsen the recession that is in the process of settling in France, and in the whole eurozone."
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