What are superprofits?
In the Anglo-Saxon world, we speak of “windfall profits”literally “benefits that fell from the sky”. “While a company has done nothing in particular, neither technological innovation nor productivity gain, it manages to take advantage of an abnormal situation, in this case the conflict in Ukraine, coupled with the economic recovery, following the pandemic”, explains Quentin Parrinello, head of tax studies at Oxfam.
This is why we also sometimes speak of “war profiteers” or, more modestly, “extraordinary benefits”, as Pedro Sánchez, the Spanish Prime Minister, or even ” unfair profits “says Emmanuel Macron. Karl Marx, the inventor of the term, evoked a “unusual enrichment, synonymous with overexploitation”.
Which sectors are concerned?
If the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, limits herself to energy, whose operators have seen their prices explode with the scarcity of Russian oil and gas, in other capitals it is estimated that the bank (with the rise in interest rates), maritime transport (container prices have increased tenfold), or cereal producers (following the blocking of wheat exports from Ukraine) could also be targeted by an exceptional tax.
Which companies are making super profits?
The International Energy Agency has estimated the gains estimated by the major energy operators in 2022 at 200 billion.
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