February 9, 2000
volume 11, no. 28
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Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

Only Money that One Can Afford to Lose May be Invested

    ROME, FEB 8 (ZENIT). Only the money that one can afford to lose should be invested in the stock market. This is the advice that the Pope's banker, Angelo Caloia, President of the Vatican Institute for the Works of Religion, commonly (but mistakenly) known as the Vatican Bank, gave in an interview to the Italian Catholic magazine "Famiglia Cristiana" [Christian Family].

    Sooner or later, warned Caloia, the day will come when stock market abuses will come back to haunt us. He criticizes "hyperliberal economists" that are always promising "fat returns".

    Among the tips he offered to families was a recipe, "eternal and immutable", that "no one should offer more if there is a greater risk at stake; when one wants to make too much, the possibility of loosing that capital also exists".

    Nevertheless, Caloia explains that his statement is not a condemnation of the stock market, and not even a lack of faith in it. "What frightens me is an environment where it is very often forgotten that true progress is born from inquiry, tenacity, entrepreneurial sacrifice, and not from the exchange of collector cards."

    "We must be attentive so as not to run after fashions, the primacy of technology", he warns. "It is necessary to alert people about the dangers of the stock market, where there is an unacceptable separation between a company's market value and its real worth."

    Currently the "Vatican Bank" handles some 40 thousand bank accounts in various world currencies. International experts guide the economic patrimony of dioceses, missions, and religious congregations spread throughout the world. About 70% of the investment is made in Europe and the rest is spread throughout the world.

    Securities are the main investment, although there is also investment in stocks. In any case, medium and long term investments are made in organizations that have a tie to the real economy. Speculation is completely excluded. Recently the Institute has obtained good results by anticipating the growth of interest rates.

    Angelo Caloia says that the Institute's job is to "increase" the resources the Church has in order to better serve "those who suffer the limits in the advance of religion in the world, with simplicity and a with a spirit of service, without bureaucratic sluggishness and without money games." ZE00020805


February 9, 2000
volume 11, no. 28

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