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.
The Mixed Blessings of Financial Transparency,
Yale J. on Reg.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjreg/vol31/iss3/8