A coalition of charities, aid groups, unions, and movie actors and directors has launched a campaign calling for a global 0.05 percent tax on banks’ speculative financial transactions, with the proceeds going to combat poverty and climate change.

The campaign, based in the United Kingdom, expands on recent proposals for a so-called “Tobin Tax,” named after Nobel-winning economist James Tobin. A tax on financial transactions has recently attracted support in Europe from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. However, in the U.S., Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner rejected such a tax last November, saying, “A day-by-day financial transaction tax is not something we’re prepared to support.”

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