France has had enough of bankers flaunting their wealth. The French government has begun taking steps to tax highly paid traders who helped cause the financial crisis. The country, along with its related exchange traded fund (ETF), is expanding and the government hopes to maintain stable growth through the year.

In an attempt to force banks to take more responsibility, the French government approved a draft bill that will apply a 50% tax on 2,500 traders who earned bonuses of more than $40,000, which will help the government raise $522 million, according to Radio France Internationale. $391 million is being put into the Guarantee Fund for Depositors as a way to strengthen the security of account-holders.

England is also considering a similar measure to tax bankers who received obscenely large bonuses, and there has been pressure on the American government to do the same. [Germany’s recovery in sight.]

Meanwhile, growth is on the mend. The French Central Bank said that the economy expanded 0.5% in the fourth quarter, and French business confidence jumped to its highest level since March 2008, increasing 1.1% in November from October, writes Simon Kennedy for BusinessWeek. Finance Minister Christine Lagarde stated that the government hopes to raise growth projections to a minimum of 1% for 2010. [Reasons France could shine in 2010.]

For more information on France, visit our France category.

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Max Chen contributed to this article.

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