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mr blur

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Chichester
Home country: U.K.
Member since: Tue Sep 2, 2003, 06:34 PM
Number of posts: 5,739

Journal Archives

The fascist origins of much of the Vatican's wealth

How the Vatican built a secret property empire using Mussolini's millions

Papacy used offshore tax havens to create 500m international portfolio, featuring real estate in UK, France and Switzerland

Few passing London tourists would ever guess that the premises of Bulgari, the upmarket jewellers in New Bond Street, had anything to do with the pope. Nor indeed the nearby headquarters of the wealthy investment bank Altium Capital, on the corner of St James's Square and Pall Mall.

But these office blocks in one of London's most expensive districts are part of a surprising secret commercial property empire owned by the Vatican.

Behind a disguised offshore company structure, the church's international portfolio has been built up over the years, using cash originally handed over by Mussolini in return for papal recognition of the Italian fascist regime in 1929.

Since then the international value of Mussolini's nest-egg has mounted until it now exceeds 500m. In 2006, at the height of the recent property bubble, the Vatican spent 15m of those funds to buy 30 St James's Square. Other UK properties are at 168 New Bond Street and in the city of Coventry. It also owns blocks of flats in Paris and Switzerland.



No wonder Ratzo can afford all those shoes.

Olympics - you won't believe how bizarre the opening ceremony is.

I couldn't care less about the games, but this is fucking weird!

No spoilers but trust me, it's a laugh.

Penn Jillette: An Atheist's Guide to the 2012 Election

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I know it's Penn Jillette (although I have seen it said here that he's smarter and more articulate than Dawkins) and it's nearly 20 minutes long, but starting around th1e 6-minute mark he has some interesting things to say about the term "Christian".
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