Bankers' bonuses have hit 80 billion pounds since the 2008 financial crisis. Yep, I said billion there.
How can we realistically tackle this gross inequality? Wellllllll the Robin Hood Tax sounds like a good start. Backed by a number of top-dog financiers, Bill Gates, and even the Vatican, it is a "tiny tax on share, bond, and derivative transactions carried out by banks and hedge funds known as a financial transaction tax." And a lot of countries in Europe are talking about it. Yay for smart ideas that address the serious imbalance of wealth!
Watch Bill Nighy and these "Walking Dead," "Harry Potter," and other film stars act as country leaders and take a look at what the world might be like in 2024 with this tax adopted by a bunch of countries ... except my country, England.
Will we change that? And hey, America, could this happen in your country?
James Easton: Ten years ago in 2014, eleven European countries launched the financial transaction tax. A tiny tax on the financial sector designed to benefit the poor and the planet. The mark it’s anniversary we are very thrilled to have Francoise [Dupuis] from France.
Francoise Dupuis: Bonsoir.
James Easton: Miguel Suarez joins us from Madrid.
Miguel Suarez: Hello.
Gisella Heineman from Germany.
Very good to be here.
And John Bostock from the United Kingdom
So, ten years since what some people refer to as the miracle or the Robin Hood tax started. What’s your memory of its introduction.
Well, it was 2014, still very much in the aftermath of a financial crisis, but we knew it was the right thing to do.
A fantastic day. One of those moments, you know, you are on the right side of history.
Well, as you know we didn’t do it in the U.K. So, no, I don’t remember the particular afternoon.
Right. And it’s been a great success.
Yes. We look back on it as a profoundly important moment. It’s been good for business and it’s brought billions for jobs in Europe.
And, John, is that how you see it?
Well, we didn’t do it. So did we? I obviously don’t see it at all.
Just tell me some of the effects that it’s had.
It took four hours.
How long have we got?
Well, in Spain, it helped reverse the devastating cuts to our public services and we hear the same from Italy.
For me, the greatest thing has been the ability to find serious money to fight extreme poverty.
At last there was money to address the issue, not only of global poverty, but climate change.
And what about you, John?
No we haven’t seen any benefits in terms of money to fight extreme poverty.
What about climate change?
Oh, leave me alone.
So, just one last comment.
Financial transaction tax, triumph or disaster? Francoise.
Yeah, it’s been a long hard fight to get a great tax that really works for the people and the planet.
Triumph. Of course. Yes.
I beg your pardon? Sorry, I still didn’t catch that.
All right. Triumph, triumph, triumph. Satisfied? You can’t get everything right.
Wish you could travel back in time?
Yes. But who invented football? Wish you could travel back in time and invent it for yourselves. I’ll get you do. And where do the Beatles come from? Wish you could travel back in time and get four frogs to write “She Loves You.” I bet you do, but you can’t, can you? You can’t, can you? You can’t, can you? You can’t, can you?
That’s all the time we have time for. Thanks to everyone and, of course, thanks to all the countries who did the financial transaction tax.
Oh, why don’t you shut up you smartass, stripey-tied, music-type person.