Matt Welch on the Loss of Financial Privacy


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Financial anonymity as we know it was invented in Geneva, Switzerland, in the 16th century, by Protestant Reformation leader John Calvin. In converting his pretty mountain lake town into a refuge for Europeans fleeing marauding Catholic governments, Calvin loosened papal restrictions on lending at interest and embraced individual privacy as a means of self-defense against a predatory state. But now, writes Reason editor in chief Matt Welch, American politicians are systemically destroying the right to confidential banking.