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LQD: Blessed Are the Fundsmakers

by dvx Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 05:40:21 AM EST

I really shouldn't be taking the time to post this, but I can no more resist flaming, irony-replete hypocrisy than I can a bowl of salt peanuts. So I just have to share this:

Religious Intelligence - News - Church of England backs hedge fund managers

The Church Commissioners have come to the aid of hedge fund managers, telling a parliamentary commission that "onerous" regulations proposed by the European Union to govern the financial services industry would harm British charities.

In a submission to the House of Lord's EU Economic and Financial Affairs and International Trade Committee, the Church Commissioners along with five other charities argued that the proposed directive regulating hedge funds would "significantly restrict our ability to generate funds to pursue our charitable missions and thus reduce our impact for public good."

The statement follows last September's charge by the Archbishop of York that hedge funds that bet on the decline of mortgage lender HBOS Plc were ``bank robbers'' and ``asset strippers."

The September submission by the Church Commissioners supports greater transparency and accountability for the financial services industry, but the proposed EU regulations would "limit the scope and potential return of our investment portfolio and hence reduce our charitable spend."

To maximize its financial returns, "we must have freedom to select the best investment managers and funds," they said.

Blessed are the poor, for they... afew


So basically, they're against bank robbery and asset-stripping, but not if it cuts into their revenue.

And we're not talking about any widow's mite here, either:

Church of England Accused of Short Selling Hypocrisy

The Church are known to have invested £13million in hedge funds with Man Group as well as a sizable amount with Auriel Capital, a hedge fund that centres on trading currency to make profit.

I'd like to see them pass that camel through the eye of a needle...

One provision above all seems to arouse their pastoral alarm:

Hedge Fund Regulation Battle Gets Spiritual | FINalternatives

In particular, the Anglican leaders said they were worried about proposals that could restrict it and other European investors to funds domiciled in the EU exclusively and possible leverage limits.

Ah yes: "Accountability is mine, sayeth the Lord." Or "To err is human, to leverage like psycho nutcase, divine."

And isn't this:

the proposed EU regulations would "limit the scope and potential return of our investment portfolio and hence reduce our charitable spend."

Just a version of the plutocrats' special pleading, to wit: financial innovation is "Good for Society"?

And anyway, it's not as if the CofE was a newbie at this game:

Church of England Accused of Short Selling Hypocrisy

Jonathan Bartley, Director of the Ekklesia think tank commented: "The archbishops should be extremely careful when attacking City "bank robbers" for short-selling and speculation.

"By its own admission it has hedged against a fall in the value of sterling and set up a currency hedging programme in 2006, effectively short-selling sterling in the currency markets."

So apparently the good of the Church must come before the good of society as a whole. As the Archbishop of Canterbury might put it, "Let us prey."

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European Tribune - LQD: Blessed Are the Fundsmakers

And isn't this:

the proposed EU regulations would "limit the scope and potential return of our investment portfolio and hence reduce our charitable spend."

Just a version of the plutocrats' special pleading, to wit: financial innovation is "Good for Society"?

Tell me this is a joke...

Where is Jesus when you need him to drive the moneychangers out of the Church of England?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 8th, 2009 at 10:43:27 AM EST
Some of the most insensitive, crass and grasping behaviour has been in the name of maximising income for good causes.

There was an instance not long since when the C of E were busily booting out largely poor tenants from one of the few blocks of affordable housing in Central London so as to maximise candle-holder value.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Oct 8th, 2009 at 11:13:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Opulence in the name of faith doesn't come cheap: incense doesn't grow on trees, you know.

Oh, wait...

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Oct 8th, 2009 at 11:35:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe they should start selling indulgences? I mean, the money would go to a charitable cause...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 8th, 2009 at 05:04:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Starvid:
Maybe they should start selling indulgences?

No, no, no.

That's been reinvented as Islamic Finance.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 10:19:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least one could argue that selling indulgences is a victimless crime.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 01:14:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know about that. You could argue that it's a form of blackmail. If people really seriously believe that they are going to be tortured for a longish time in purgatory if they don't buy them, then you're positively threatening them.

If you rob somebody with a toy gun, it's still robbery.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 06:35:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
Where is Jesus when you need him to drive the moneychangers out of the Church of England?

That's a question that has several centuries under its belt.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 8th, 2009 at 12:21:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there isn't a whip long enough.

salvation for sale, step on up

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Oct 8th, 2009 at 12:43:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The point of the Council of Nicaea was to create the best possible church for the churchmen.  The churchmen never forgot that particular desideratum.  "Blesed are the poor, for they will inherit poisoned dirt with an underwater mortgage.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 01:22:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pour chanter Veni Creator
Il faut avoir chasuble d'or
Pour chanter Veni Creator
Il faut avoir chasuble d'or
Nous en tissons pour vous, Grands de l'Eglise,
Et nous, pauvres canuts, n'avons pas de chemises !

Refrain
C'est nous les canuts,
Nous allons tout nus !

...

Mais notre règne arrivera
Quand votre règne finira.
Mais notre règne arrivera
Quand votre règne finira.
Nous tisserons le linceul du vieux monde,
Car on entend déjà la révolte qui gronde !

Refrain
C'est nous les canuts,
Nous n'irons plus nus !

La chanson des Canuts, Lyon, 1831.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 01:51:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fifteen hundred years of wealth and glory for the chruchmen and still for Les Canuts:

"We weave your vestments of gold, Church Grandees,
while we have no shirts ourselves!"

Christianity in action!  At its finest.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 03:37:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was the Lyon silkworkers' song during the first canuts revolt

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 04:18:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the Council of Nicaea was first and foremost a question of power. Its goal was to impose Constantine's caesaropapism through the unification of the christian church(es) under a centralised hierarchy and dogma. This by force and anathema, thanks to Eusebius of Caesarea. As far as I remember, the bishops from the East Mediterranean (mostly Arians) were delayed by a storm. When they arrived, the decision to excommunicate them had already been made...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 02:15:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Constantine's chief aim, from what I understand, was to get the chruchmen to agree on a common doctrine, but he was less concerned as to what it was.  If Christianity was to be one of the official religions of the Empire, he did not want a lot of doctrinal squabbling.  I believe that the story of his vision of a cross and conversion was apocryphal and a later invention once the church had become The Church.

The rejection of the Arian beliefs and the adoption Nicaean Creed were the primary "accomplishments" of the Council and were related, but Constantine's two immediate successors were Arians and various pagan factions continued for years to seek to increase their influence.  The process of establishing caesaropapism may be considered to have begun at this council, but it was far from complete.  Constantinople would not be founded for another five years and the Byzantine Empire dates from 395, by which time it is safe to say that caesaropapism was well established.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 03:22:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I rather enjoyed Julian, almost as much as Burr, although I can't speak to the accuracy of the facts, embalmed by the fiction.

I can't read Greek.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 09:20:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Julian the Apostate (scroll to the link, "Oration upon the Mother of the Gods")

MUST we then speak of this subject also: and shall we write concerning things that are not to be told, and shall we publish things not to be divulged, and secrets not to be spoken aloud? Who indeed is Attis or Gallos; who the Mother of the Gods; what is the reason of this rule of Chastity; moreover for what cause has such an institution been established among us from remote antiquity; handed down to us indeed from the most ancient of the Phrygians, but accepted in the first place by the Greeks ---- and those not the vulgar herd, but the Athenians ---- taught by the event that they had not done well in ridiculing him that was performing the rites of the Great Mother. For they are said to have insulted and driven off the Gallos, as one who was making innovations in religion: because they did not understand the character of the goddess, or how that she was the very "Deo," "Rhea," and "Demeter" so much honoured amongst them themselves....


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 09:34:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I resorted to synopsis instead of re-reading the relevant parts of Gibbon. Some other of my recollections are based on passages from books I may still have in my library, but the names of which will no longer come to mind and still others are from lectures more than 45 years ago.

I too am a sometime fan of Vidal.  He has a taste for the juicier historical subjects that most of those in his generation shunned. I always thought that Al Gore's relation to Gore Vidal plus his heritage from his father hinted that there might be depths to Al that were not on display.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 11:05:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"depths to Al" LOL. Have you read Inconvenient Truth? lordamercy, hand him his literary jeans.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 06:09:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Al's Nobel was not in literature.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Oct 11th, 2009 at 02:15:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We can say that again. Assualt on Reason. woosh.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Oct 11th, 2009 at 10:18:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I saw the movie. It wasn't bad.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Oct 11th, 2009 at 04:34:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
# Arius and his doctrine, Arianism,
    * Arian controversy, several controversies which divided the early Christian church

# Arians or Areians, ancient tribe, living in Aria (satrapy), now in western Afghanistan
    * Aryan, a term associated with the Proto-Indo-Iranians
    * Aryan race - the racist concept

doh.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 09:38:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Church Commissioners have always been a bunch of oinking pigs with their snouts in the trough of a pile of landed property and wealth.

On the other hand, the Archbishop of Y...

No, forget about it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 8th, 2009 at 12:24:16 PM EST


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