The French will simply not be outdone on matters of making Europe the most inhospitable place on earth to be a banker. Fresh from declaring victory over the wicked Anglo-Saxons and their lasseiz-faire banking cabal, France now says it, too, will impose a huge one-time tax on banking bonuses, just like the British said they'd do last week.
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said that they, too, would take half of what the banks pay their employees this Christmas, thank you. The move is no surprise, given the Wall Street Journal op-ed from a few weeks ago where British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and le Petit Napoleon, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, called a one-off tax on banking bonuses "a priority, due to the fact that bonuses for 2009 have arisen partly because of government support for the banking system."
The French tax will apply to bonuses over €27,500.
Meanwhile, the British have endeavored to ensure that Joseph Goebbels will not have any new material for a sequel to his classic, Die Rothschilds. The U.K. government will extend its banking bonus tax beyond its original April 5 expiration to cover NM Rothschild, which doesn't pay its bonuses until the summer.
France Plans 50% Tax on Bank Bonuses [WSJ]
Government to ensure Rothschild caught by bonus tax [Times]