Getting governments to make firm commitments for the long-term funding of public goods is difficult. The solution may be a financial transaction tax, the funds of which would be managed by a supranational ‘tax agency’.▶
Paul Bernd Spahn is emeritus professor of public finance at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He was the founding executive director of the House of Finance at Goethe University and served, following his retirement in 2005, as macro-fiscal advisor to the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Over the years, Spahn has worked as a consultant and advisor for major organizations, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations, the European Commission and the Council of Europe. Spahn is the author of a 2002 report, On the feasibility of a tax on foreign exchange transactions, presented to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The report proposes a two-tiered model of the currency transaction tax proposed by James Tobin in 1972.