It had to happen somewhere, and it did. It was in Finland, the country that the French President said recently, in a reference to British food, "After Finland, it is the country with the worst food." But although Mr. Chirac puts Finland in last place on the cuisine plate, it may be leading the way when it comes to telling people what they are worth.

Every November, usually around the first Wednesday of the month, the Finns have a virtual field day because then they can find out exactly what their co-worker makes, what the neighbor earned, or even how much of a business partner's money is being hidden away in a separate bank account.

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