Sunday, September 20, 2009

Big Week Ahead For The International Community

This week is going to be like the Superbowl for folks interested in International Affairs with heads of state from nations around the world addressing the UN General Assembly in New York AND also a meeting of the G20 nations (the world's top industrial and developing countries) taking place in Pittsburgh. So expect to hear a lot of stories in the coming week about the environment, the question of what to do about Iran, and on the global economy.

On that last point, France's President Nicolas Sarkozy is planning to urge his fellow G20 heads of state to adopt the 'Tobin Tax' (named for the American economist who came up with the idea in the 1970s). Basically the Tobin Tax is a tax on financial transactions - Sarkozy says it will reduce the number of speculative, high-risk, short-term deals made by financial traders and instead will encourage longer-term, strategic investment.

His fellow heads of state have already said the Tobin Tax idea is a non-starter, though most agree that something needs to be done to better regulate the global financial system and that a global approach is needed, otherwise financial traders will just move from places that are tightly-regulated to places that are not.

It should be an interesting week.
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