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Grafica e comunicazione

A pleasure worth sharing

1) "What happens in the world is mainly due to speculation in financial institutions, institutions that have not yet been challenged and continue to be protected with the money of taxpayers from the new capitalism of the State".
2) "The so-called 'derivatives' benefit from maximum freedom and lack of regulation. These are products whose value is 'derived' from an underlying asset, which can be anything. They are real wagers, made explosive due to the digital revolution, which made it possible to quickly create a huge amount of money, which only depends on technology."
3) "The States have made finance a part of government, with discriminatory policies protecting only the great speculative finance and credit markets, in violation of any legal guarantee and protection of debtors, forced to become poor to generate income for the creditor banks. If you want to save European democracy, the protection of borrowers must be guaranteed. Unfortunately, even democracies are in danger. "

These three phrases do not come from a Communist newspaper; they were published in first couple pages of an issue of Sole24Ore from last May. The author, Guido Rossi, received a Master of Laws from Harvard University and has taught Commercial Law at the University of Trieste, Ca 'Foscari of Venice, University of Pavia and University of Milan). He is currently Professor Emeritus of Business Law at Bocconi and ethical guarantor of Consob. Each Sunday he publishes an editorial in the Sole24Ore, the only article in the newspaper that I read consistently (I actually purchase the paper to read the excellent cultural insert, Domenica del Sole - a sort of secular gospel, which I will describe in another snapshot).

In Domenica del Sole, published towards the end of the same month, I came across an article by Roberto Casati entitled: "How to eliminate taxes." Casati began by revealing how in this derivative economy we are all part of a supreme market judge of all things in the world, thus delegating to economists a huge role in public debate. A huge role, but without any real responsibility. He asks, quite rightly: have they paid for their tremendous theoretical, practical and future mistakes that cause the crisis? No, and as a matter of fact, Mr. Rossi’s words demonstrate the contrary: those who have suffered and continue to suffer is the productive part of the world (those who need credit to grow), not one tied to the finance (who bestows the credit and produces speculation). But then, Casati asks himself, without taking responsibility (and apparently without knowledge of the facts) on what basis does this apply to everyone?

This is why he decided to probe a proposed tax, accrued not an economist, but by a professor of computational neuroscience, Simon Thorpe. A concrete, simple, well-argued and documented proposal. In some ways shocking. It is meant to replace all taxes in the world (from VAT to income and assets taxes) with a tax of one per thousand of all financial transactions. According to the math, the result would be the same since it has been recently calculated that the overall tax revenue is one-thousandth of the world's total volume of financial transactions.

And not only: the tax, more than bearable, of one per hundred on transactions would create a huge fiscal surplus from which we could draw funds for large infrastructure, environmental and social projects.

Casati concludes by saying that of course there are many technical and diplomatic problems to overcome in order to implement this tax, not the least of which the skepticism of the traders, who would see a penny of their lower income, poor things. But why deprive yourself of the pleasure to finally deal with these issues in an intelligent way, at least in theory? Why deprive yourself of the pleasure of imagining a better world, one that is more just?

It is a pleasure that I granted myself, and I wanted to share.


14/06/2012 Filippo Maglione