Pre Funding Future Bank Crises

Eurointelligence today carries an interesting news report

Sweden proposes stability tax

The Swedish finance minister Anders Borgh has written to his EU colleagues in favour a stability tax levied on banks who proceeds could be used for future bail-outs. Sweden has already imposed a tax of 0.0036% of bank liabilities. FT Deutschland points out that this is not a Tobin tax on bank transactions. Sweden has introduced this tax this year, and expects the revenue from this tax to grow to 2.5% of GDP in fifteen years.

Such a ‘rainy day’ fund would have been helpful during the current crisis (although there is a classic moral hazard counter-argument).  Indeed, I had previously suggested the establishment of such a fund as part of Ireland’s preparations for EMU membership, given the fiscal costs that accrue in the event of banking crisis. My contribution can be downloaded here.  The difference is that the Swedish fund is financed by a tax on the banking sector, whereas I had in mind a fund to be accumulated from general tax revenues.