Investments “from God” are the most sustainable
Investments “from God” are the most sustainable
You can work in the financial market with “God’s grace.” Religious denominations offer adherents investments that are guaranteed to please God and allow hierarchs to maintain godliness in the eyes of the nourished flock. Religious organizations have long ceased to exist through donations and have become diversified corporations.
Today, all large and even small churches control their own investment funds. They invest funds received from believers in securities and conduct other commercial activities. According to Newsweek magazine, one of the most famous Protestant sects, the Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), only officially owns a financial company with assets of $ 3 billion, and its general condition was estimated by the magazine in June 2011 at $ 30 billion.
At the same time, Mormons belong to the category of the most financially stable sects, in general, Protestant churches are objectively forced to turn into openly financial and service corporations, since the number of parishioners is sharply reduced.
In 2007, in Wittenberg, where Martin Luther once posted his 95 theses against the Catholic Church, a Protestant congress was held to proclaim a renewal course that has already passed the “point of no return”. Representatives of Germany stated that the number of believers in Protestant churches by 2030 could fall from the current 25.6 million to 17 million people. At the same time, the annual income of religious communities will be reduced from 4 billion euros to 2 billion.
These figures only take into account church income from parishioners. As for the total profit of the Evangelical churches of Germany (EKD association), it amounts to about 10 billion euros per year.
Traditionally, the main assets of the church have been real estate and related operations, as well as the agricultural sector. However, with the advent of joint-stock companies, horizons and methods of increasing funds through portfolio investment began to expand. Church businessmen began to put in order the interpretations of the scriptures in order to invest only in charitable projects in charitable ways.
The development of the stock market has led to the emergence of “pious” securities directly related to religion. These are the so-called “church bonds” common in the USA. Most of the church bonds are bought by parishioners, and around this specific product the infrastructure has grown from intermediary companies that organize the issue and find large buyers.
Rates on bonds range from 1.5-6% per annum. Interest goes to special funds, which, in turn, pay investors every six months.
Loud scandals accompany the activities of church financiers. In 1999, for example, the Baptist Foundation of Arizona (BFA), which had been operating since 1948, burst. At the time of the collapse, BFA’s liabilities amounted to $ 530 million, and assets – only $ 70 million.
The last major scandal unfolded around the bank of the Vatican. This mysterious structure, better known as the Institute of Religious Affairs, not only has deposits of 6 billion euros, it also launches money from the mafia, as some European officials and Italian investigators suspect. The appearance of such information is more likely associated with the confrontation over control of flows passing through the Vatican bank, rather than concern for piety and other tinsel for pope adherents.
The Catholic Church is one of the most famous and, perhaps, the most financially strong church corporations. Despite the fact that the attitude to business here is not as loyal as, say, among Protestants, where material success is akin to God’s blessing, the sophisticated Vatican has been engaged in business matters for centuries and, obviously, has completely succeeded in this area. Secret investments and financial transactions are the main sources of income for the throne, and in addition to the blessed banking of the popes, the Vatican officially earns something “for seeds”.
For example, with their numismatics, museums, etc. Last year, only the Paris Louvre, which was visited by 8.5 million people, the London British Museum (5.8 million) and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (5.6 million) exceeded the number of tourists the Vatican museums.
Over the past year, the Vatican received a good income of € 91 million from museum activities, and a year earlier the figure was 82 million euros. At the same time, according to the results of last year, the budget deficit of the Vatican allegedly amounted to about 15 million euros. In all likelihood, church hierarchs deemed it necessary not to stand out against the background of the surrounding crisis in public finances and “realized” the deficit.
“The probability of the Vatican having financial problems, from my point of view, tends to zero, because their political influence is so great that this problem.