Blessed are the poor in spirit?

October 8, 2009


The casualties from the financial crisis keep rolling in, in the most unlikely of places. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that there are a number of unexpected losers from this financial crisis: the Venezuelan government, who given their anti-American rhetoric had a surprising amount of money invested in the failed investment bank Lehman brothers, and sovereign wealth funds in countries like Singapore, who were initially singled out as posing risks to the countries they were investing in.

Today, however, I read about the most unlikely candidate of all to be suffering big from the collapse of modern capitalism: the Church of England. It turns out that the Church of England’s investments have lost almost £1.5 billion of value since the onset of the financial crisis, mostly because they had their money invested in hedge funds. Seems that the CoE has moved beyond the typical investment portfolio of religious institutions (property, jewel-encrusted chalices and gold relics) to something much more modern.

As today’s FT reports (on the front page, no less, some editor must have found the news as amusingly ironic as I did) that the Church has submitted a letter to the UK Parliament advocating that new EU legislation regulating hedge funds take a light-touch approach. To quote Voltaire: when it’s a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.


3 Responses to “Blessed are the poor in spirit?”

  1. […] collecting oddities and ironies from the financial crisis, and yesterday I came across another great one.  Citibank is […]

  2. Maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised. The C of E has previous as a bubble-head investor – it lost a fortune in the property market in the late 1980s.

  3. LMP said

    I didn’t know that Jonathan, but sounds like the CofE needs some better financial advisors! Maybe Vatican Bank provides wealth management services? ;)

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