There must be a way to tax speculators

Even if a "Tobin tax" won't work, a reader says, there is surely some way to tax currency speculators. Other letters topics: voting for non-resident Indians, Arab League observers, Nigeria, and the restaurant scene in Kentucky.

A reader argues that although the "Tobin tax" may not be workable, there should be some way to impose a tax on those who speculate against various currencies on exchange markets. Balazs Mohai/Bloomberg
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I agree with your editorial 'Tobin' tax may help Sarkozy, but not Europe (January 11) that a tax like that would not be effective unless it is universal.

But there must be some way to control the currency speculators who move massive sums on very short notice in an effort to manipulate markets for their own profit. In the process they bring austerity and hardship to whole populations.

There is evidence that the majority of large-scale currency trades are reversed within about a week: in other words these are speculative trades. Surely a tax on those can be devised.

I also find it amusing that George Soros has set himself up as a pundit on these matters: he made his fortune by ruthlessly "betting" against sterling.

Peter Burrell, Dubai

Indian expatriates eager to vote

The government of India's decision to extend voting rights to non-resident Indians is commendable. Indian communities across the globe will applaud this decision with great enthusiasm.

As the right to vote is a long-standing issue for non-resident Indians, the decision is a kind of recognition of overseas Indians' tireless effort and significant contributions to India's economy.

However, it would be ideal if expatriate Indians could vote in their country of residence, rather than having to travel.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman

Monitors in Syria are not helping

I refer to UAE sends 12 more monitors to observe Syrian regime (January 10).

I believe these so-called monitors are doing more harm than good.

Not only are they impotent to stop any killing or anything else, but also they have delayed UN and Nato action. If Libyan freedom fighters had waited for Arab monitors to save them, they would be all dead by now. Thanks to Nato, a human catastrophe was prevented.

So far, the monitors in Syria have been an embarrassment.

Ali Noor, US

Nigeria's efforts need support

Elizabeth Dickinson's opinion article Boko Haram was an avoidable mistake waiting to happen (January 11) argues that it is the Nigerian government, and not extremist groups, that is pushing Nigeria to the brink.

President Goodluck Jonathan has been under great pressure from Nigerians and the international community to improve security and stop gun and bomb attacks by Boko Haram.

Moreover, he is supposed to reduce unemployment, oppression, and marginalisation.

As long as Nigeria's fight against extremist groups is supported and democratic political stability is favoured domestically and internationally, a sustainable environment for trade and investments in the country can be provided.

Gaye Caglayan, Dubai

Bring on the real regional cuisine

I was happy to read your business story Coffee houses grinding their way towards foreign markets (January 9).

As a resident of Lexington, Kentucky, and as a person who loves to dine on the real cuisine of the world, I hope that the "tweaking" of Shakespeare & Co's menu will not be as substantial as some other restaurants I have seen.

I hope to dine there soon after it opens and can't wait to try other restaurants from your region.

Peter Bourne, US

Sports and PE help students

I refer to Schools just teach football. That is not PE (January 11).

Childhood and adolescence are momentous periods in an individual's life. Schools can help by providing enough opportunities for sports, games and physical and health education classes.

This will help students to build stamina and develop thinking skills and cooperation.

It will also stimulate creativity and good hand-eye coordination and help students learn to resolve issues, improve social interaction, and manage their time. All of this helps to build overall personality.

As vice-principal of the Emirates National School in Sharjah, I believe we should create sound awareness through these activities of the importance of holistic health to improve the quality of life of our young generation.

Abraham Mathew, Sharjah

'Flexitarians' are recovering

Thank you for A flexible feast (January 11).

I am an enthusiastic carnivore with a formerly vegan friend who is now a "flexitarian". I teasingly call her a "recovering vegetarian."

Martin Pickard, Abu Dhabi