Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bank Tax Tops G20 Meeting Agenda

Finance ministers, representing 20 of the largest economies in the world, are meeting this weekend. They reportedly plan to discuss an international tax on banks, although it is unsure how many countries support the proposal. However, the group is not expected to reach a final agreement.

The IMF and World Bank are also holding their spring meetings in Washington this weekend. Ahead of those talks, smaller gatherings of central bankers and finance ministers will take place. Officials of the Group of Seven wealthiest nations will gather Thursday night, but the group has ceded policy supremacy to the larger G20, which will kick off their meeting Friday.

A U.S. Treasury official said he detected growing international support for a bank levy, but that the details needed to be worked out. The official said that not all countries would have to follow the exact same approach.

President Barack Obama has proposed a bank tax in his budget, aimed at recouping U.S. government spending on the $700 billion bank bailout.

The U.K. has also proposed a bank tax to protect taxpayers from future bailouts.

Not all G20 nations are supportive of the idea.

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