Bank Secrecy: An Idea Whose Time Has Passed

Let’s face reality: The main beneficiaries of bank secrecy are terrorists, tax cheats, drug smugglers and deadbeat parents.

I’m sure there are a few legitimate uses for a secret bank account, but it seems to me those uses are substantially outweighed by illegitimate uses.

To protect the public, government use of bank records should be carefully documented, and eventually revealed to the account-holders.

Given the events of last week, I say we (the U.S.) should lean on bank secrecy havens to let the sun shine in, just a little bit.

I’m going to need a little more than just your assertion to accept this as reality. Could you expound on this point a bit?

The other beneficiaries of bank PRIVACY are all the people who do not get hucksters coming after them to con them out of their money, because hucksters don’t get to know how much money they have.

How much money I have, how I made it, and what I choose to spend it on are my business and nobody else’s. I’d rather have a system that allowed dirty cheats to “hide” a few ill-gotten gains here and there, than have a system that makes my finances a matter of public record.

While I agree that we should be able to keep our affairs private, it sickens me to hear about corrupt officials and politicians siphoning off much needed funds from their countries (especially the developing countries) and hiding them in Swiss bank accounts. Are there any transparency regulations on these?

If 99% of my phone conversations were recorded, it wouldn’t really be a bad thing. It’s the other 1% that makes me feel privacy laws are a very good thing.

Same thing goes for DNA, i.e. 99% of the potential uses of a databank might be good, but the other 1% scares the hell out of me.

I put banks into the same category.

/me feels the individual freedoms just trickling slowly away.

Secrecy has little to do with it. The Channel Islands will aloow you to have an account there and they will not tell anyone but they do keep an eye on you and will not allow anything that looks like money laundering, drug dealing etc. I assume most tax havens are like that.

But many people live under regimes who control their money very tightly and those people want to have some money outside to fall back on if the need arises. Nothing wrong with that.

In any case, sovereign nations are free to do as they like (and the US is free to bomb them out of existance I guess…)