It was a shock to most of us when Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement this week. Plenty reckon they saw it coming but it was a shock to most. So why is he, the first pope for 600 years, going to retire? Was it to get his hands on the pension fund, it must be huge after 600 years. Nope, 18 months ago the Vatican consulted the greatest Chancellor of the Exchequer of all time, Gordon Brown, to re-invest the €3.4 billion pension fund that’s made up in gold bars. He advised them to convert their gold into cash, ready for investing and they went for it.
On the Monday, to the surprise of the Holy See, Brown announced to the world that the gold would be going on sale Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday morning the price of gold plummeted to 25% of its value listed on Monday. The sale happened and on Wednesday morning it returned to the Monday price. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s what Brown did with our gold back in the late 90’s.
Brown explained to the Vatican officials that there was nothing unusual about such losses on the gold market and the now €850 million fund should be placed on the stock market. After a private phone call to his pal in Brussels, Peter Mandelson, he then split the fund in two and invested half on a sure bet… Demetri’s Kebab Deli chain in Greece that was about to go global and the other half on a long shot… Kinnock’s Equine Slaughter House in Ghent, Belgium.
After 18 months, up until a month ago, Demetri’s had gone “TitsUp”, a brokers term for bankrupt but Brown couldn’t possibly have forecast the demise of the Greek economy. The Kinnock long shot was a different baby, that part of the fund had increased its valued to €950 million and rising. If only they had sold their stock a month ago. Trading in the shares was suspended on Monday as the horse meat for beef crisis deepens.
So if there’s nothing in the pension pot, why is he retiring? Word on the backstreets of Rome has it that he has been watching the BBC series… the Meaning of Life, presented by Prof. Brian Cox, right. He explains how science can now prove that something, energy, can come from nothing and we have, beyond any shadow of doubt, evolved from dust particles starting about 3.2 billion years ago. This tends to spoil the lovely stories of Adam and Eve and of course Noah but retiring from the top job seems harsh.
Moving on and down…
Talking of old stories, it seems the older the story is the more that people are prepared to believe it. Would you vote for someone who claims to have met and spoke with God? Naw course you wouldn’t.
What if an angel directed him to a buried book made of golden plates with the laws of life etched upon it? I think you would sit up a little and be intrigued enough to ask if the book can be authenticated.
What if the book had been lost? You’ve got to think… Eye-eye here we go!
There are millions of people who believe that this actually happened to one Joseph Smith in the 1820’s. With those rules in the lost book, which I assume he remembered in detail, he founded the Mormons.
Would you vote for someone who believes that all the above really happened?
Mit Romney, a man who believes in all that twaddle was recently within a whisker of becoming the most powerful man on earth and if that doesn’t send a shiver down your spine then your not using your brain like Brian Cox intended you to do.
If you need a God in your head try this bloke. This is one of only 2 good sides of religion, where someone uses faith to inspire themselves. He inspires without selling faith, well at least in this video he does. The other good side to religion is the production of beer by Trappist monks of course…
Bye for now