Foolish Revenge or Shrewd Regulation? Financial-Industry Tax Law Reforms Proposed in the Wake of the Financial Crisis

This Comment evaluates four recent proposals to reform tax laws affecting the financial industry. After introducing the proposals, the author provides a theoretical framework for evaluating them and then relies on this framework to explore the benefits and drawbacks of each. Ultimately, the author rejects two proposals that call for imposing financial-transactions taxes and argues that lawmakers should instead focus on plans to either (1) permit cost-of-equity tax deductions or (2) tax the debt held by major financial institutions.