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IMF Denies Making Wealth Tax Proposal

TND Exclusive:  By Eric Dubin |

Bill Murray negotiating with gopher in the movie, "Caddyshack"

Bill Murray negotiating with gopher in the movie, “Caddyshack”

Hey, did the actor Bill Murray body-swap for IMF spokesman, Bill Murray?  The latter issued some mildly amusing statements worthy of his gofer-blasting Hollywood counterpart.

Last month the IMF released its monthly journal, “Fiscal Monitor.” The October issue focused on the subject of taxes and debt burdens worldwide.  You can access the report in all its 107 page glory by clicking here.  The report included analysis of a wealth tax among policy options to reduce public debt burdens.  Apparently, as reportage spread, IMF feathers were ruffled.

“We’re not recommending a wealth tax, it’s an analytical work,” IMF spokesman Bill Murray noted at a news conference.  “That’s a staff analysis suggestion… it’s not a policy statement from the Fund,” he said.

That was eleven days ago.  But the story hasn’t faded.  Apparently feeling the need to drive a steak through the heart of any further wealth tax as policy talk, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Acting Director of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, issued the following statement today:

“An analytical box in the recent edition of the Fiscal Monitor reviews a range of external discussions and experiences regarding a one-off capital levy. It also draws attention to the considerable downside risks of such a tax. It emphatically does not recommend a wealth tax.

“The analytical description of the issue in the Fiscal Monitor should not be misconstrued as an IMF policy proposal, which does not exist.”

This tap dancing caught the eagle-eye of economist Jim Rickards, who tweeted today:

Technically speaking, a “formal” proposal doesn’t exist.  But clearly, the IMF doth protest too much.  If you open October’s “Fiscal Monitor” and scan for the word “wealth,” you will find multiple sections speaking about revenue opportunities for wealth taxes.  It was not a discussion found only in “an analytical box” but rather, far more than just a cursory review of the subject.

Just another day and another institution spinning to cover its ass.  Is it any wonder why trust in social institutions and government has crashed across the board?



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About the Author

- Mr. Dubin is the Managing Editor of He has 25 years of experience as an independent buyside securities and global macro analyst. He has well over a decade of experience as a financial journalist, editor and political analyst. He's primarily an autodidact, but his formal education includes degrees in economics, international relations and MBA. He welcomes feedback on his articles and will make an effort to respond to comments. Email Eric by sending to "Eric" and then He can also be "followed" on Facebook: