Obama Calls for Bank Tax as Next Step in Reform


obama2Obama wants to slap a 0.15 percent tax on the liabilities of the biggest U.S. financial institutions to recoup the costs to taxpayers of the financial bailout. “We need to impose a fee on the banks that were the biggest beneficiaries of taxpayer assistance at the height of our financial crisis — so we can recover every dime of taxpayer money,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address.Obama, who is in Canada to attend gatherings with leaders of the world’s biggest economies, also used the address to welcome a deal by congressional negotiators on a historic rewriting of U.S. financial regulations.

Obama hopes to tout the changes as a model for other countries at the Group of 20 summit on Saturday and Sunday.

“I hope we can build on the progress we made at last year’s G20 summits by coordinating our global financial reform efforts to make sure a crisis like the one from which we are still recovering never happens again,” he said.

The financial regulation package would set up a new financial consumer watchdog, create a protocol for dismantling troubled financial firms and mandate higher bank capital standards, with the aim of avoiding a repeat of the 2007-2009 financial meltdown.

The bill, marking the biggest changes to the financial regulatory structure since the 1930s, still needs final approval from both chambers of Congress.

Obama, who hopes to sign the legislation by July 4, urged Congress to push the bill “over the finish line.”

With congressional elections looming in November, Obama hopes the financial reform and the bank tax idea will resonate with U.S. voters furious over Wall Street risk-taking that led to the financial meltdown and the worst recession in decades.

Some lawmakers have indicated they are receptive to the bank tax proposal but others have questioned whether it is fair to impose the tax on banks that have already repaid money from the Troubled Asset Relief Fund to make up for losses by American International Group Inc and General Motors.

Financial companies with more than $50 billion in assets and hedge funds with more than $10 billion in assets will be hit with the new levy upon enactment and lasting until 2020.

{Reuters/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. The tax may be on the banks, but as they pass it on as fees on to the customers, it’s us that will be paying. I guess it’s only fair – taxpayers paying back taxpayer money.

  2. Is it clear to everyone yet that the Obama adminstration is really al about reparations for percieved wrongs that hard working people “did” to minorities (read “blacks)?

  3. Great idea, in theory, and bad at the same time. I can see what will happen already. This tax would mean nothing to the banks. They will merely pass on this extra cost to us, the people, who were already robbed in the first place. This is supposed to be an effort to re-coop what was already taken from us? Without extreme policy on how banks can charge us before this gets enacted, when it gets enacted (not if), this will be the great train robbery part 2. Tax the banks to re-coop money taken from the people. The banks pass on the cost to us. Then, the government says, “Look! We got your money back!” Nope, they just took from us again. As has been the case with most people in this country, most will fall for this and not realize they just got taken again, and praise Obama for his efforts.