I'm Just Eating Rice In An Equity Traders' Paradise

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Traders in Thailand may be about to receive some much needed tax relief. Speaking to a conference of economics reporters in Bangkok, Thai finance minister Suapong Subwonglee (I'm sorry, that's what names are like here) said the government is considering waiving capital gains taxes for bond traders. this tax exemption is already enjoyed by equity traders, and the differential tax treatment creates exactly the kind of market distortions you would expect. The sting of capital gains taxes for debt trading is being felt even more now that we've got a global credit crunch under way.
The proposed reform has its critics, of course. Some worry the move might encourage irresponsible debt trading, perhaps triggering the kind of losses seen in US and European investment banks. Thai banks have largely avoided these losses, save for some CDO missteps.
What's more, this is Thailand and that means there are religious implications to the timing of everything. Some have said the timing of this tax change is particularly inauspicious. Astrologers have been cited in the major daily papers, and there is talk of the "dark god" Rahu.
Most of this kind of economics--if that's what it is--is beyond me. But then again, in the US Democrats seem to spend more time talking about trade policies in churches than Thai politicians do in temples. Does Jesus care more about economics than Buddha?

--John Carney, DealBreaker's editor in chief, is enjoying his vacation in Thailand despite the evidence to the contrary provided by all these posts.

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