Latest Issue

Why Turner is right

A leading economist explains why a Tobin tax is a good way to bring the market to heel

By John Eatwell   November 2009

In his interview in September’s Prospect, Adair Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority, argued that many financial activities were “socially useless” and raised the possibility of a Tobin or transactions tax to restrain the explosive growth in financial transactions seen in recent years. Although criticised in many quarters, Turner’s proposals should be taken seriously.

The object of economic activity is to produce goods and services. Financial transactions are the means by which that production is funded. But in recent years transactions have grown much more rapidly than production and trade. This raises two big questions. First, why have they…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect