"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Monday, December 22, 2008

German SPD candidate in Hesse elections proposes tax on 2% of rich people's assets to raise €50 billion

During World War II there was a special super tax levied on incomes above a certain level in the UK as a Perpetual War Loan which was irredeenmable but paid 3.5% - although many people were encouraged to believe it would be redeemed in "1956 or later". They trade today @ £88.17 for £100 face value and provide a running yield of 3.97%.

In Germany , Torsten Schäfer-Gümbel, 30, is a Social Democrat candidate in the forthcoming election for the governor of the western German state of Hesse on January 18th.

To raise money ( €50 billion he says), and his profile, he suggests that the rich people, should be forced to invest 2% of their wealth in government bonds paying a maximum interest of 2.5 %. Which although a tax on assets not income resembles the war time tax in the UK.

"A compulsory state bond would be a rapidly effective instrument to mobilize additional funds to overcome the economic crisis," he told Bild newspaper today. "That would be very fair because only the very wealthy would be drawn on."

The projected proceeds of €50 billion would fund energy-saving buses and trains for public transport, new research projects and energy savings technologies.

Schäfer-Gümbel was unexpectedly chosen to fight for the seat on 8th November against the current conservative Hesse governor Roland Koch from power in the wake of an inconclusive state election last January. He was favoured by the Party after the prior candidate Andrea Ypsilanti stepped aside following failure to make an alliance with the Left Party against Koch.

His idea has met with little enthusiasm either with the rich or in Berlin. Government spokesman Thomas Steg rejected the idea , "Not every noise made in the Hesse campaign brings results in Berlin."

Thorsten Schaefer- Gümbel supports Lothar Bisky, now co-chairmen of the Left Party who was the chairman of the PDS in East Germany (and has been accused of being a Stasi informant). Bisky wa born in Rummeslberg which is now Miastko, Poland. He is also with Sahra Wagenknecht, MEP , born in Jena, E. Germany, a member of the National Committee of the Left Party and who is currently the chief spokesperson for the Communist Platform , an orthodox Marxist group (her doctoral thesis was on young Karl Marx's interpretation of Hegel) inside the party. She is also an alternate on the European Parliament's delegation for relations with Mercosur the South American regional Trade Association.

They are all associated with the campaign Hands off Venezuela (Venezuela Avanza ) of the Trotskyist International Marxist tendency and outspoken supporters of President Hugo Chávez.

Sahra is well known for having said that," ...the Berlin Wall was a "necessary evil" and that "there is really just as little democracy in capitalism as [there was] in the DDR.

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