Britain has shown the way and France is joining in with a little bit of punishment for the bankers of the world. The decision to levy a punitive tax on those outrageous bonuses paid to financial manipulators is a decision to make ordinary people feel much better.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants other countries to join in. Will Australia have the courage to do so?
And before worrying that some of the best and the brightest might leave the banking industry if their salaries are clipped, I agree withPaul Krugman that that would probably be a good thing. As former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker noted recently, it is hard to think of anything in the recent past that financial market innovations have provided of any benefit to the economy. He told theWall Street Journal’s Future of Finance Initiative that the banking industry reached a peak when it invented the ATM.