Goldman Sachs had a good quarter, and the Wall Street Journal editorial page responds by proposing to impose a special "FDIC-style bailout tax" on the company. Either that or "simply to restrict the proprietary trading." It's not clear that restricting the proprietary trading would be so simple, because the Journal does not spell out what the restrictions would be, and the editorial suggests the restrictions were too heavy-handed for even the Obama administration, if not for those ardent regulators over at the Journal editorial page. Imposing a new tax on Goldman after it paid back with interest the money it got directly from Treasury seems to violate the notion that the rule of law be announced and predictable and non-retroactive in the way Richard Epstein describes in this talk. If accepting bailout money would subject recipients to a new tax, both practical concerns and more lofty fairness issues dictate that they should have been told about the tax before they accepted the bailout money, not afterward when someone at the Journal all of a sudden decides that they are making too much money. The Journal claims that "ideally" it "would shed" implicit guarantees to Goldman Sachs and other financial firms altogether. But when it came down to it back in the Bush administration, the Journal editorial page supported the TARP at a time when others opposed it.
A Goldman Tax?
by Editor | Related Topics: Goldman Sachs, Taxes receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free futureofcapitalism.com mailing list