Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Occupied With Wall Street: Congress Considers Tax on Stock Transactions

Well, the question of Occupy Wall Street having an impact may be answered. Although it may not have precisely come from the Human Microphone, the protests as Zuccotti Park and Occupy Everywhere may have broken through to the mainstream: Lawmakers are discussing legislation to introduce a tax on financial market transactions, similar to what has been introduced in Europe. This idea was discussed in an article on OWS by Matt Taibbi. "The lawmakers have the backing of union groups and associations that fought for tighter regulations in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The AFL-CIO and National Nurses United, a professional association and union for nurses, have scheduled a rally in front of the Treasury Department on Nov. 3 in support of the fee. Americans for Financial Reform, an umbrella group of unions, civil rights lawyers and consumer advocates, is circulating petitions in support of the measure. Obama administration officials support efforts to assess fees on financial firms that pose a risk to the larger economy; however, they oppose levying fees on ordinary investors."

Off course Wall Street declares that this will result in the ruination of the stock market. Why is it that anything that smacks of regulation is the death knell for the economy at large to the bankers and brokers. But when toxic derivative take the market down, the Wall Street world plays "inside baseball."

As Will Emerson, Paul Bettany's character observes in Margin Call: "Jesus, Seth. Listen, if you really wanna do this with your life you have to believe you're necessary and you are. People wanna live like this in their cars and big fuckin' houses they can't even pay for, then you're necessary. The only reason that they all get to continue living like kings is cause we got our fingers on the scales in their favor. I take my hand off and then the whole world gets really fuckin' fair really fuckin' quickly and nobody actually wants that. They say they do but they don't. They want what we have to give them but they also wanna, you know, play innocent and pretend they have know idea where it came from. Well, thats more hypocrisy than I'm willing to swallow, so fuck em. Fuck normal people. You know, the funny thing is, tomorrow if all of this goes tits up they're gonna crucify us for being too reckless but if we're wrong, and everything gets back on track? Well then, the same people are gonna laugh till they piss their pants cause we're gonna all look like the biggest pussies God ever let through the door." The film has no heroes or villains per se, only a strong dose of reality for everyone.

Bloomberg News on the financial transaction tax here

Matt Taibbi's post here

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