Speculation tax on financial transactions

WHEN: Monday, January 25, 2:00 p.m. EST

WHERE: Cannon House Office Building, Room 121 (Independence Ave. & First St., S.E.) Washington, DC

WHO: Robert Weissman (president of Public Citizen – moderator);

Dean Baker (co-director of the Center for Economic Policy Research, analyst and commentator);

Robert Pollin (professor and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts);

Dr. Jim Angel (professor at McDonough Business School, Georgetown University, specialist in the structure and regulation of financial markets worldwide;

George Sauter (managing director and chief investment officer, Vanguard Group, Inc.)

Congressional interest in a speculation tax is growing, as anger builds against Wall Street and the need for new sources of revenue increases.

Opponents say a speculation tax will interfere with the functioning of capital markets and hurt regular people.

Proponents say it could raise funds from the rich while deterring the harmful churning of stocks and financial instruments. They contend that a speculation tax of 0.25 percent imposed on the sale or purchase of every share of stock would represent a very minor cost for average investors but has the potential to yield as much as $150 billion a year.

What to do with Fannie and Freddie Roundtable Discussion

What to do with Fannie and Freddie Roundtable Discussion

9:00: Coffee & Bagels

9:25: Welcome by Ralph Nader

9:40: Sarah Rosen Wartell, Executive Vice President, Center at American Progress

10:10: William Shear, Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment, Government Accountability Office: “Analysis of Options for Revising the Enterprises’ Structures”

10:40: Peter Wallison, Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute: “Only Privatization Makes Sense”

11:10: Thomas H. Stanton, Fellow, Center for the Study of American Government, Johns Hopkins University: “Using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to Support the Mortgage Market”

11:40: Alan Boyce, CEO, Absalon: “Comparing and Contrasting GSEs with the Danish Model”

12:10: Ed Mierzwinski Consumer Program Director, USPIRG, John Taylor, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Lisa Rice,VP National Fair Housing Alliance — Open Discussion

12:40: Closing Ralph Nader

12:45 Lunch


William B. Shear is Director of Financial Markets and Community Investment at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Bill has
directed substantial bodies of work addressing the Small Business
Administration (SBA), the Federal Housing Administration(FHA),regulation
of the housing GSEs, and community and economic development programs. Bill received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1981. Bill also formerly served on an adjunct basis as a lecturer in City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania.

Peter J. Wallison is an AEI resident fellow and the codirector of AEI’s program on financial market deregulation. As the general counsel of the Treasury Department from 1981 to 1985, Wallison helped develop the Reagan administration’s proposals for deregulating the financial
services industry. His many books include among others Serving Two
Masters Yet out of Control: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (editor; AEI
Press, 2002); Nationalizing Mortgage Risk: The Growth of Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac (with Bert Ely; AEI Press, 2000); and Privatizing Fannie
Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks: Why and How (with
Thomas H. Stanton and Bert Ely; AEI Press, 2004).

Thomas H. Stanton is a Fellow of the Center for the Study of American Government at Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the board of directors of the National Academy of Public Administration and a former member of the federal Senior Executive Service. His publications include two books on government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and two edited books on federal organization and management. Concerns expressed in A State of Risk: Will Government Sponsored Enterprises be the Next Financial Crisis? (HarperCollins, 1991) helped lead to enactment of
several pieces of legislation and the creation of a new federal financial regulator. Mr. Stanton’s B.A. degree is from the University of California at Davis, M.A. from Yale University, and J.D. from the Harvard Law School.

Alan Boyce is the CEO of Absalon, a joint venture between George Soros and the Danish financial system that is assisting in the organization of a standardized mortgage-backed securities market for Mexico. Previously, Mr. Boyce was the senior managing director for investment strategy at Countrywide Financial Corp, where he was responsible for secondary markets, the hedging of mortgage servicing rights, and the balance sheet for Countrywide Bank and Balboa Insurance. He was the director of special situations at Soros Fund Management form 1999-2007. He served for fourteen years as the managing director in charge of fixed income arbitrage with Bankers Trust. Prior to that, he worked for the Federal Reserve Board in Washington,DC.

Ed Mierzwinski has been a consumer advocate in the Washington, D.C.-based federal lobbying office of the federation of State Public Interest Research Groups (U.S. PIRG) since 1989. State PIRGs are non-profit, non-partisan consumer, environmental and good government watchdog groups with over 500,000 members around the United States.  He often testifies before both Congress and state legislatures and has authored or co-authored numerous major reports on a wide range of consumer issues including cable television rates, telecommunications reform, banking, financial services and identity theft and product safety issues including toy and playground safety. He often speaks before conferences and associations, especially against the growing threat of federal preemption of stronger state consumer and health and safety laws. He comments on these and a variety of other important consumer issues in his blog: www.uspirg.org/html/consumer.