Featured Posts

Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

Read more

Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

Read more

Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

Read more

Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

Read more

UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

Read more

Church: Barclays ‘let down society’

Category : World News

The Church of England has criticised the conduct of Barclays in its annual report, after a year dogged by scandal and resignations at the bank.

See the article here: Church: Barclays ‘let down society’

Post to Twitter

VIDEO: Church becomes home to new store

Category : Business, World News

A village shop that is run from the aisles of a working church has opened in Berkshire.

Read the rest here: VIDEO: Church becomes home to new store

Post to Twitter

New Signature Event Celebrates Vanier’s Renaissance

Category : Stocks, World News

Preview of C’est Chill Tuesday, November 27 at 2 PM St. Charles Church, 35 Barrette Street, corner of Beechwood and St-Charles

View original post here: New Signature Event Celebrates Vanier’s Renaissance

Post to Twitter

Simon Hoggart’s week: Parable of the good Samaritan idea

Category : Business

The Church of England’s vote against allowing female bishops is baffling. Anglicans could do with being more like Samaritans

✒I have been meditating on the Church of England’s decision not to allow female bishops, or rather on their decision not to allow female bishops in spite of the fact that a large majority of the General Synod voted in favour. God may move in a mysterious way, but not half as mysterious as man.

Since I am not a believer, it ought to be none of my business. But the church is not just any old sect: it is woven into our communal life, which is why even agnostics and atheists like to get christened in church, marry there, and are often laid to rest there. The Queen is the head of the church, and MPs – voted in by Christians, non-believers, Muslims and people who call themselves Jedi Knights – have the power to overturn the church’s decisions. In this country we believe religion is too important to be left to the religious.

If you want to see steaming resentment, you should ask an old-fashioned C of E vicar about evangelicals. Forget John Major v the Eurosceptics, or Neil Kinnock against Militant. This is real hatred. I recall a vicar saying, with curled lip, that he had been to a happy-clappy service at Holy Trinity, Brompton, in London. “At the end they asked, ‘hands down anyone who’d like coffee after the service’.”

After the news of the bishops emerged, I did what I always do in times of trouble – consult not the Good Book, but a good book. This was Thinker, Failure, Soldier, Jailer, a collection of obituaries from the Daily Telegraph, the paper that first started printing warts and all descriptions of the dead. My eye was caught by Yosef ben Ab-hisda Ha’abta’ai (literally known to his friends as Joe Cohen). He was the 124th high priest of the Samaritans, not the people who talk despairing souls out of suicide, but the original Israelite sect, as in the parable.

They are a very strict group and only a few hundred remain. Samaritan men are allowed to marry ordinary Jewish women, but if a woman were to leave and marry a Jewish man, the punishment would be stoning to death.

But they don’t do that. They just ignore their strictest laws and leave the woman alone. Quite simple. There might be a lesson for the C of E there: it’s only the word of man that is inflexible. The word of God means whatever is convenient at the time.

✒ Intriguing how the language changes, not always for the worst, but usually. Bruce Kirby writes to say that he gets his phone service from TalkTalk. It’s essential because he cannot get a mobile signal at his house. But the TalkTalk service went down at a particularly difficult time last month. His mother had just died and he needed to make many urgent calls.

So he borrowed a neighbour’s phone and called the TalkTalk helpline. They said it would take five days to restore the service. Bruce explained the situation, but far from expressing sympathy, the man at TalkTalk told him there was “no escalatory pathway”. The more Bruce pleaded, the more the bloke on the other end repeated the line about an escalatory pathway. By this time I would have hurled the phone against the wall.

On a tube the other day, the driver, an impatient young woman from her voice, got angry about people trying to get on while that horrible screeching noise – “eek, eek, eek”, like the shower scene in Psycho – was sounding. “The chimes are a signal that the doors are closing!” she barked at us.

The chimes? “Chimes” is a lovely word. The chimes of freedom. “We have heard the chimes at midnight,” said Falstaff. How can it have been usurped by this hideous racket?

And these days everyone – including Ed Miliband in the Commons this week – seems to have adopted the American pronunciation of either and neither. Wrong. As the song has it, “you say ee-ther, I say eye-ther.” But a lost cause, clearly.

✒I’ve had some kind replies to my brief series of very simple recipes. Here’s one I made last weekend. Pheasant is incredibly cheap at the moment, and you should be able to get a brace from a fishmonger or butcher for less than the price of one chicken. Two birds will serve three or four people.

Boil some cheap red wine in a casserole and add a bit of stock. Brown the pheasants and put them in. Brown some onions or shallots, plus some bacon bits if you like. Throw in mushrooms and carrots too, and garlic if you fancy. Put a lid on the casserole, boil up again, then cook on a low heat for an hour or so till the pheasant is nice and tender. Could not be easier, or tastier.

✒ I don’t want to bang on for ever about Peter Morrison, the drunken paedophile whose incompetence brought down Margaret Thatcher, but your stories keep coming. This is from Christopher Gordon, who got it first hand. Morrison, while he was a minister, needed to get a train at St

Post to Twitter

Credit union director disgraced

Category : Business, World News

A credit union in South London may lose £670,000 of its members’ money because a director used the funds to make unlawful loans to a church.

Excerpt from: Credit union director disgraced

Post to Twitter

Occupy protesters chain themselves to St Paul’s pulpit

Category : Business

Cathedral authorities accused of colluding with big banks during evensong protest on eve of anniversary of start of Occupy camp

The traditional solemnity of St Paul’s Sunday evensong was disrupted when four members of the Occupy London movement, which camped outside the cathedral for four months, chained themselves to the base of the pulpit.

While the choir sang, four women dressed in white shouted their own sermon to mark the anniversary of the start of the Occupy camp outside St Paul’s, accusing the cathedral authorities of colluding with banks and failing to help the poor.

Occupy had been invited to read a prayer at the service, but if the gesture was an attempt at reconciliation, it was firmly rejected. After Tanya Paton, of Occupy Faith, had read her prayer, the four women rose from their seats and chained themselves to the pulpit. “In the fight for economic justice Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, but you invited them in and instead evicted us,” shouted activist Alison Playford.

“Your collusion with the City of London Corporation led to our violent eviction on your doorstep. You testified against us which acted to uphold injustice and inequality that is growing by the day. St Paul’s Cathedral you must stand up and be counted at this great trial of history.”

Activists from Christianity Uncut held a simultaneous protest outside, unfurling a large banner which called for St Paul’s to “Throw the money changers out of the temple”.

The female protesters said they did not plan to leave. City of London police arrived at the cathedral, but staff told them they were happy for the protesters to remain.

The Very Reverend David Ison, dean of St Paul’s, spoke immediately after the women to give his sermon, mildly joking that he now had a “captive audience”. He told the protesters that they were welcome in the church and he would be happy to speak to them after the service. “I hope you will listen to what I have to say,” he said, before arguing that “tribalism” was not the way to defeat poverty and inequality.

“We need partners, allies whether they are bankers or campers, conservative or liberal, religious or not. God’s invitation to us is to follow Jesus Christ and to change ourselves and the world to one which is inclusive and generous and calls all of our self interests into question whether it’s the interests of the Church of England or Occupy or the City of London.”

Speaking later, he said: “I’m just sorry they decided to do this, which makes it hard for members of Occupy Faith, who have been working together with us on something which is respectful.”

But members of Christianity Uncut said they had been requesting a meeting with St Paul’s since some protesters were forcibly removed from the cathedral’s steps by police given permission to do so by the cathedral authorities, following an eviction order by the City of London.

“Christians were dragged away from St Paul’s while they were kneeling in prayer,” said 25-year-old Siobhan Grimes, one of the protesters. “We have been trying to have a meeting since then and this is obviously what you have to do to get one.”

Playford said it was time for St Paul’s to get off the fence. “The cathedral makes platitudes to Occupy but they colluded with the City of London and missed a perfect opportunity to enact the teachings of Jesus,” she said. “The poor and needy came to them and they shut the door and got rid of us as soon as possible.”

The protest marked a further deterioration in relations between St Paul’s and the Occupy protesters who camped outside. Monday marks the first anniversary of the occupation – part of a global movement born in the wake of the financial crisis – which involved hundreds of protesters living in the camp while calling for an end to the perceived excesses and injustices of the global financial system.

The women cut themselves free at about 10pm after police entered St Paul’s and warned them they faced arrest, according to an Occupy spokesman.

“They have now left the cathedral,” he said. “Some of the awareness-raising they wanted to do has been done. The dean has also agreed to meet them and talk.”

Raising tensions between the cathedral and protesters resulted in the resignation of the canon chancellor, Giles Fraser, who left his post because he did not want to see “violence in the name of the church”, and a chaplain, Fraser Dyer.

Since being removed by police in February, Occupy have opened short-lived camps in Finsbury Square and Shoreditch, east London, but the movement no longer has a physical base.

“We are calling on people to take the conversation out of St Paul’s and into their homes,” said Occupy campaigner Ronan McNern.

“There is more need for this movement than ever. The welfare state is being dismantled and our call is still for people to stand up and challenge this injustice and inequality. The tents have gone but we are still here.”

Sun Myung Moon, Church Head Who Ran Business Empire, Dies – Businessweek

Category : Stocks

Globe and Mail
Sun Myung Moon, Church Head Who Ran Business Empire, Dies
By Mark Schoifet on September 02, 2012 Sun Myung Moon, the Korean-born founder of the Unification Church and self-proclaimed messiah who built a secretive global business empire that sells cars, guns, newspapers and sushi, has died. He was 92.
The Rev. Sun Myung Moon dies at 92Detroit Free Press
Rev. Moon, religious and political figure, dies in South Korea at 92CNN
Rev. Sun Myung Moon dies at 92San Francisco Chronicle
ABC News
all 1,268 news articles

RNC 2012: Church Member Says Mitt Romney Devotes Life to ‘Quietly Serving Others’ – ABC News

Category : Stocks

RNC 2012: Church Member Says Mitt Romney Devotes Life to 'Quietly Serving Others'
ABC News
Pam Finlayson says the Romneys welcomed her family to their church, new town. For more:

and more

Church of England risks vicars’ pensions in hedge funds

Category : Business

£60m invested in funds run by some of world’s richest people

The Church of England has poured £60m of vicars’ pension investments into hedge funds run by some of the world’s richest people.

One of the funds is run by US billionaire Ray Dalio, while another is managed from a south London mews house by British multimillionaire David Harding. Disclosure that the church is risking vicar’s pensions in hedge funds prompted a call from within the CofE for the church’s pension board to scrutinise hedge fund remuneration policies.

Hedge funds have been blamed by senior members of the church for causing the banking crisis and driving up food prices. They have also attracted opprobrium for paying fund managers hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

In 2008 Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, accused hedge funds of the constant “grabbing of things in the world”. Michael Nazir-Ali, the former bishop of Rochester, has said: “The turmoil in the markets is almost certainly the result of amoral forces. Those with power need to ensure that the poor are not disproportionately affected.”

The shift in attitude and investment strategy away from safer stock market holdings is disclosed in the annual report of the pension board, which manages the pensions of 32,000 clergy and other church staff. It shows that 6% of the £1bn fund was transferred to three hedge funds last year. One of the funds, Bridgewater Associates, is run by Dalio, the world’s 88th richest person with a $10bn (£6.4bn) personal fortune, according to Forbes magazine. Bridgewater’s flagship fund was one of the top-performing hedge funds last year, making annual returns of about 20%, and netting Dalio $4bn, making him the world’s highest paid fund manager.

Another fund, Winton Capital is run by David Winton Harding, the 92nd richest person in Britain with a personal fortune of £800m, according to the Sunday Times rich list. Harding, who founded Winton in 1997 after he left Man Group where he co-founded the AHL computer-driven fund, was paid £60m in 2010. Over the past decade he has made more than £270m in dividends and salaries.

The third fund is Blackrock Asset Management, which made profits of more than $3bn last year and is listed on the New York stock exchange. Hedge fund managers are typically paid 2% of the value of the total assets under management and 20% of profits achieved.

The Reverend William Campbell-Taylor, vicar of St Thomas’ Church in Stamford Hill, London, urged the pension board to investigate hedge fund pay. “Why do hedge fund managers need to be paid a huge bonus, taking a fifth of all profits, simply because they are doing their jobs and investing effectively? You would hope the church’s pension board has the mojo to question this practice.”

Pierre Jameson, the church pension board’s investment officer, said that “clearly there were concerns” about the church’s support of hedge fund bosses pay packets and said the issue had led to intense debate. “It [pay] is a broad concern, [but] we feel that if we want to achieve superior returns we have to pay for it,” Jameson said. “We felt it [excessive pay] was a fact of life.” Jameson said Dalio and Harding’s funds were selected in preference to some isted hedge funds because “these are entrepreneurs who have built them up … and they’ve taken significant risks.”

Jameson said the pension board rejected several hedge funds due to ethical concerns concerning short-selling, market manipulation and commodity speculation, which can force up food prices. He said the three funds selected did not short individual company’s stock and were sensitive to the issues of agricultural commodity speculation.

Managers from all three hedge funds, including Harding, were interviewed by the pension board prior to the investment. The deals were also approved by the church’s ethical investment advisory group.

The £60m investment was split equally between the three funds. Jameson said the church has spent about £500,000 on hedge fund management fees. He pointed out that both Dalio and Harding are big charitable donors.

He said the board was happy with the performance of the investments, which collectively returned 5.9% last year compared to a 2.4% loss for the overall funds.

Jameson said the church would take a “strong interest” if there was any suggestion of wrongdoing at any of the funds or companies it is invested in. The annual report shows that church held 35 meetings with companies, including BP, Glencore and News Corporation, to raise concerns last year. The church raised its concerns surrounding phone hacking at the News of the World at News Corp’s AGM last year. Two years ago the church sold its entire stake in FTSE 100 company Vedanta Resources over concerns of human rights violations at the company’s Indian mines.

However, the annual report shows the pension fund’s top 20 investments include mining companies Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Anglo American and oil companies Royal Dutch Shell, BG Group and Exxon Mobil. The fund also has big investments in Apple and Google. The church’s ethical principles prevent or severely limit its investment in companies that supply or are involved in alcohol, pornography, payday loans, pawnbroking, weapons, tobacco, gambling and human embryonic cloning.

The Church Commissioners, which manage a further £5.5bn of church assets, have also recently invested in hedge funds.

Attacks on Kenyan churches kill 17 – Reuters

Category : Stocks

Attacks on Kenyan churches kill 17
* Two churches struck by simultaneous grenade blasts * Garissa situated near border with Somalia * Kenya hit by series of blasts since troops sent to Somalia (Adds witnesses, wounded airlifted, details) By James Macharia NAIROBI, July 1 (Reuters)
US condemns 'heinous' Kenya church attacksAFP
Gunmen Attack Churches in Northeast KenyaVoice of America
Kenya police: church attacks kill 15, wound 40Bloomington Pantagraph
Toronto Star

Post to Twitter