The idea of a financial-transactions tax is an old one, but in the wake of the financial crisis it is quickly gaining favor in Europe and the U.S.

European Union leaders are urging the International Monetary Fund to consider a global tax on financial transactions. Though the U.S. Treasury Department opposes the idea, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. Peter Defazio (D-Ore.) support it in a bill they have introduced.

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