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Conrad Black: Government has no business in the bank accounts of the nation

National Post: 'A byproduct of all the commotion about Ukraine has been embraced by the international fraternity of governments and regulators to wave the incense pot around the endlessly repeated desirability of unlimited “transparency.” Transparency unto itself has no merit whatsoever. It is no one else’s rightful business what individuals or corporations do privately unless they are violating valid statutes or regulations. What we need is a fiscal equivalent of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau’s famous statement that, “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” Nor is there any place for it in the wallets or bank accounts of the nation, apart from what is needed to verify justifiable tax collection. Governments, much less anyone in the world with access to the internet, have no right to know exactly what any Canadian owns. As everyone who occasionally has a banking transaction of $50,000 or more is aware, our banks are required to discover the exact purposes of such transactions under the Know Your Client rules. It has nothing to do with knowing the client and is rather the conscription of banking personnel to be auxiliary tax auditors and no-fault, all-purpose snoops and spies for governments that pretend to be fighting international crime but are in fact just invading our privacy for the fun of it....'

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