A recap of the hat trick of scoops published by the @FT in the last 2 weeks based on leaked documents showing how hundreds of millions of Vatican charity funds were invested in luxury London property via offshore companies, complex "time bomb" derivatives, and pledged for loans.
These investments were overseen by Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, one of the most powerful and feared men in the Vatican who was stunningly forced to resign by Pope Francis late last month over allegations Becciu described as “embezzlement”. He has denied any wrongdoing.
Firstly, we revealed an additional £100m of investments into ultra-prime London property in Cadogan Square overseen by Cardinal Becciu. These were made through a complicated and anonymous offshore structure of Jersey shell companies. Some of them underwent expensive refurbs.
Secondly, we revealed that the €528m portfolio of Vatican assets derived from donations and overseen by Becciu invested in derivatives that bet on the creditworthiness of Hertz. In 2018 Pope Francis called these derivatives “a ticking time bomb”.
Thirdly we revealed that the Vatican had sold off charity assets it had pledged to Credit Suisse to repay a €242m loan taken out to fund the investments overseen by Cardinal Becciu, some of which prosectors now claim resulted in “huge losses” for the Holy See.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Miles Johnson

Miles Johnson Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @MilesMJohnson

7 Aug
Here is a FT column I wrote about the British investor Nicholas Sleep, who has become something of a cult figure for a younger generation of investors. As a bonus feature here is a thread of excerpts from his letters to clients outlining some important aspects of his thinking.
While he is by no means the only investor to have grasped the potential of Amazon early on, he is notable for being early to reimagine a traditional value investing framework to analyse these companies over 15 years ago. Many are only catching up now.

Here is a part from 2010 on investors tend to under appreciate the favourable compounding of probabilities over longer time horizons, based on the work at the Santa Fe Institute by the mathematician Ole Peters:
Read 9 tweets
9 Jul
1/ This is a story about modern finance. It begins in a hospital infiltrated by organised criminals in southern Italy and ends in the investment portfolios of clients of a private bank in Luxembourg.
2/ It is a story about the rise of the family clans of the ’Ndrangheta from rural also-rans in the world of Italian organised crime to become vastly wealthy, sophisticated and powerful operations that inspire terror in those who cross them.
3/ It is also a story about the brave Italian investigators and prosecutors who risk their lives to fight the menace of organised crime, and have over the last three years uncovered increasing evidence of mafia infiltration of the public health system in parts of Calabria.
Read 10 tweets
4 Jun
The most recurring, unchallenged and wrong assumption in financial commentary is that the performance of the stock market is strongly and predictably correlated with the performance of the wider economy. If you question this people think you are insane, or simply an idiot.
The second is probably that multiples, such as p/e ratios, are meaningful taken on their own, without reference to other important things. It is like guessing the valuation of a building based just on its height. Looking at aggregate index multiples vastly compounds this error.
Most market commentary you will read will embed these two assumptions, mostly without even realising it. Many market commentators/strategists are paid to talk about “the market”, and not think about business models. This is why they get things like Amazon wrong for years.
Read 4 tweets
24 Feb
Everyone is asking: why are the number of coronavirus cases so much higher in Italy than those reported in other European countries? Could this suggest that other European countries have many undiagnosed cases and are ignoring the problem? #Covid19
The Italian government has implied that the large number of cases is because of far more widespread testing in Italy. PM Conte said: “We've already done 4,000 swab checks. We are the first country in Europe that has decided on stricter and more accurate controls”.
Very little seems to be being said about the deep population and economic ties between Italy, especially its industrialised northern regions, and one specific region of China that has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
Read 6 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!