Response to Archbishops of Canterbury and York on city speculators

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Jonathan Bartley, co-director of the thinktank Ekklesia said: "The Archbishops should be extremely careful when attacking city 'bank robbers' for short-selling and speculation. Amongst the billions of pounds that the Church currently invests in property and shares are hundreds of millions invested in oil and mining companies. The Church has benefitted significantly from the speculation that has underpinned rising oil and commodity prices such as gold and copper. The church has substantial share holdings in banks and a stated aim of making an excess profit of 5% each year over and above the rate of inflation, on its investments. By its own admission it has also hedged against a fall in the value of sterling, and set up a currency hedging programme in 2006, effectively short-selling the currency markets.

"The £5 billion in investments that the Church currently holds however provides a valuable opportunity for the Church to put its money where its mouth is, and use its wealth for good. It has substantial financial leverage which it could utilise through alternative investment strategies."

More:

Church Commissioner's report 2007

Paper by Simon Barrow of Ekklesia 'Is God Bankrupt?' looking at the church's position on wealth creation