That’s not least because the challenge that the market for secrecy creates is to the credibility of markets as a whole. The simple fact is that secrecy undermines every single component of market theory and practice and the suggestion that they can provide a powerful contribution to human well-being.
Strong words. However, a casual look at the world around us will show that this isn’t true. Those places which have been largely market based for a few decades or centuries are rich as sin these days. Those places which have not been largely market based for a few decades or centuries are still stuck in peasant destitution. Secrecy seems to have very little to do with it.
With secrecy there is an unlevel playing field, which makes fair competition impossible. With secrecy free riding will always happen. With secrecy abuse is inevitable. With secrecy trust will always be eroded. With secrecy cheating will be the norm. With secrecy no market will have the information it needs to allocate resources efficiently to ensure that well-being is maximised. In fact, secrecy is a bigger threat to markets than communism ever was because it has the power to destroy markets from within. To describe secrecy as the cancer of the free market is to understate its significance.
The UK is about to become worse than the Soviet Union because you don’t know how much tax David Cameron’s Dad paid.