What's a Payment?

A payment occurs whenever money has changed hands, whether you're being paid for a job or receiving a gift. Whenever you sell something the money you receive is a payment. When a private equity fund receives money from an investor, the money received is considered a payment, which is not taxable today. Under a payments tax, the private equity fund would be charged 0.2% when it receives that money. Likewise, whenever a person, pension fund, hedge fund or any entity sells stock or any other financial instrument, it would be charged 0.2% on the money it receives from the sale.

The Federal Reserve tracks the volume of payments in the monetary economy, which it discloses in the Red Book, published by the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland ( The Red Book discloses the volume of payments for most nations in the world. In addition, there are a few other publicly available data bases that disclose payments that are not included in the Red Book. Below is a table of most of the known payments in our economy.

Here's a Breakdown of the Payments in Our Economy

The Federal Reserve tracks the above payments, and the Bank for International Settlements publishes the data in its annual Red Book (click United States, see Tables CTA 1 and CTA 2).