The blunder that is France's Tobin Tax

I'm in City AM this morning writing about the new French Tobin Tax, something we're particularly interested in here at the ASI:

WHEN Napoleon Bonaparte’s regime executed an aristocrat on trumped-up charges of treason, stirring up bloody memories of the Revolution, his chief of police is said to have remarked that it was “worse than a crime; it was a blunder”.

The same could be said of this week’s introduction of a Tobin Tax in France. The measure imposes a 0.2 per cent tax on purchases of shares in any publicly traded company with a market cap above €1bn (£789m), on “naked” short sales of sovereign credit default swaps, and on some high-frequency trading.

This is a form of the EU-wide Tobin Tax on all securities exchanges proposed by Nicholas Sarkozy last year. Though less disastrous than that would have been, the unintended consequences of this tax may leave President Francois Hollande wishing he had let these proposals die along with the Sarkozy government.

Read the whole thing.