Bankers are raging about the 90 percent tax that the US congress are about to impose on bonuses of bailed out companies.
They vented their anger in an article in today's FT, complaining that the measure is "anti American and McCarthyite". The intemperate language didn't stop there. "Finance is one of America’s great industries, and they’re destroying it." Another investment banker claimed that the new tax measures would “send [the US] back to the stone age”.
However, my favourite comment came from Vikram Pandit, the chief executive of the world's largest insolvent bank - Citibank.
"The work we have all done to try to stabilise the financial system and to get this economy moving again would be significantly set back if we lose our talented people because Congress imposes a special tax on financial services employees."
Where will these "talented" people go if Congress implements this tax? London? No chance; there is nothing doing here. Paris? Living under French tax law isn't terribly comfortable. Hong Kong? Now there is an irony, bankers choosing to live under the tender wing of communism.