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BAD ideas have a habit of never really going away. There were renewed calls at the weekend for a Tobin tax on financial transactions, a deeply flawed concept which remains popular in influential circles. Supporters should acquaint themselves with an excellent study published in the mid-1990s by the Canadian government’s depository services programme, which remains the definitive article on the subject. Its author, Marion Wrobel, shows that the Swedish Tobin tax was an unmitigated disaster.