Frederick Schauer

The Mixed Blessings of Financial Transparency

Yale Journal of Regulation


Perhaps we should blame it on Brandeis. As is so often the case, the perfect turn of phrase often takes on a life of its own, rendering more difficult the likelihood of careful and balanced analysis of the topic to which the phrase, like a barnacle, has become attached. And thus when Justice Louis Brandeis famously observed in his pre-judicial career that "sunlight is . . . the best of disinfectants," he provided a slogan that has subsequently been deployed by countless advocates in urging what appear to them to be the self-evident virtues of openness and full disclosure, and thus of transparency.


Frederick Schauer, The Mixed Blessings of Financial Transparency, 31 Yale Journal of Regulation, 809–823 (2014).

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