U.S. Financial Professionals Call for Transaction Tax

Anticipating harsh blowback from the letter, one signatory, Wallace Turbeville, a former vice president at Goldman Sachs, pointed out that “equity and bond funds charge for managing portfolios amounts at 100 to 150 basis points. This [tax] is not the kind of additional cost that’s going to materially affect any firm’s behaviour in terms of where they locate their business.”

Turbeville, speaking Thursday at the letter’s unveiling, said financial transactions in the United States amount to about 150 trillion dollars per year, a dangerous proportion of which are high-frequency trades, which he described as “not designed to help businesses and governments raise money from pension funds, endowments or other sources of capital that could fund new useful, productive projects”.

“These transactions are designed merely to generate profits from the process of the capital market,” Turbeville added.