Pope Centralizes Management of Vatican Funds After Scandals
Pope Francis stripped the Vatican’s equivalent to the prime minister’s office of its powers to directly manage funds, completing an overhaul prompted by a string of financial scandals.
Themove to curb the Secretariat of State, which had been announced earlier this year, came in a Motu Proprio decree signed on Dec. 26. The management of financial investments and real estate holdings owned by the department has been transferred to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, or Apsa — roughly equivalent to a treasury and central bank.
The Secretariat of State’s assets amount to around 350 million euros ($430 million), a senior official told Bloomberg earlier this month. Apsa will also be in charge of the administration of Peter’s Pence, which manages charitable donations to the pope from around the world.
The funds’ opaque management sparked a series of embarrassing scandals for the Vatican, including the questionable investment in 2014 of a former Harrods warehouse in London’s affluent Chelsea neighborhood, slated to become luxury apartments. Francis has dismissed five Vatican employees over the deal, and an investigation has been launched to determine whether the bureaucrats were scammed or if they themselves profited.
Gold gains ₹ 235; silver jumps ₹ 273
Gold prices gained ₹ 235 to ₹ 49,675 per 10 gram.
Gold prices gained ₹ 235 to ₹ 49,675 per 10 gram in the national capital on Thursday, according to HDFC Securities.
In the previous trade, the precious metal had closed at ₹ 49,440 per 10 gram.
Silver also went up by ₹ 273 to ₹ 67,983 per kilogram from ₹ 67,710 per kilogram in the previous trade.
In the international market, both gold and silver were trading flat at USD 1,894 per ounce and USD 26.52 per ounce, respectively.
"Gold prices have kept range-bound trading during the week on lack of important economic data and mixed global cues. Worries over economic recovery on pandemic fears have supported bullion prices to trade firm limiting downside," according to HDFC Securities, Senior Analyst (Commodities), Tapan Patel.
Zambian Inflation Quickens for Fourth Straight Month In December
Zambian inflation quickened for the fourth straight month in December due to food prices.
Consumer prices rose 19.2% from a year earlier, compared with 17.4% in November, Mulenga Musepa, the interim statistician general at the Zambia Statistics Agency, told reporters in Lusaka, the capital. Costs increased 3.2% in the month.
Annual food inflation accelerated to 20.2% in December, a four-year high, from 16.8% a month earlier. That was mainly driven by fish, meat and cooking-oil prices, Musepa said. Price growth has exceeded the central bank’s target band of 6% to 8% for 20 months and is forecast to remain above the range for the next two years, according to the Bank of Zambia.
The kwacha has lost a third of its value against the dollar since the start of 2020, helping to spur inflation.
The southern African nation, the continent’s first pandemic-era sovereign default, has formally requested a financing arrangement with the International Monetary Fund to support its reform efforts, the Washington-based lendersaid earlier this month.
Zambia to date has recorded 20,462 Covid-19 cases and 386 deaths.
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Julia Rothman is an illustrator. Shaina Feinberg is a writer and filmmaker. Both live in Brooklyn.
Chinese watchdog asks internet platforms to check on fintech operations
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s banking and insurance regulator on Thursday said that all internet platforms should investigate and rectify their fintech businesses to ensure they comply with regulatory requirements.
China’s financial regulators has summoned Alibaba’s financial technology affiliate Ant Group for talks recently over outstanding problems.
JCPenney starts search for new CEO
JCPenney exits bankruptcy with sale to biggest landlords
JCPenney set to emerge from bankruptcy after court approval
JCPenney’s new owners reject a $3.2 billion pension plan
JC Penney sees bankruptcy protection exit by Christmas
JCPenney said on Wednesday new owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management have begun a search for a new chief executive officer to replace Jill Soltau.
Soltau, who joined the struggling retailer about two years ago, will leave the company on Dec. 31.
Simon’s chief investment officer, Stanley Shashoua, would be appointed Penney’s interim CEO. The retailer said its new owners would establish a temporary office of the CEO to include key members of Penney’s current leadership team.
Penney said earlier this month its retail and operating assets would exit Chapter 11 as two of its biggest landlords, Simon and Brookfield, had acquired nearly all such assets.
The iconic department store had filed for bankruptcy in May after the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to temporarily close its then nearly 850 stores.
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Trading legend Art Cashin shares his poem to say goodbye to 2020 and welcome the New Year
Art Cashin couldn't lead the New York Stock Exchange in the singing of "Wait til the Sun Shines Nellie" this year, but he penned this poem for UBS and its clients, and is sharing it with us here.
Happy New Year, Art. Look forward to seeing you on the floor in 2021.
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