Vatican balances budget by selling off assets

The Vatican published its annual results Friday, reporting a near-balanced budget but admitting that every year it was selling off assets to cover expenses.

Juan Antonio Guerrero, the Vatican’s de facto economy minister, said the Holy See recorded a deficit in 2021 of 3.3 million euros ($3.4 million), much less than the 33 million projected.

“A deficit of three million euros in a budget of 1.1 billion is not a lot,” he said in an interview with Vatican News.

But he warned of a more structural problem: “The fact is that the Holy See sells assets every year to cover curial services.”

These sales were reducing the patrimony of the Holy See by 20 to 25 million euros every year, he said.

“Each year’s donations, and what the Holy See can generate, cannot fund all the expenses of the entities that have no revenues,” Guerrero said.

He warned that 2022 will be a “particularly difficult year, and so will 2023”.

He added: “We are not looking for surpluses but for sustainability of the Holy See’s service.”

Pope Francis has pressed for more transparency in the running of the Catholic Church, which in recent years has seen a series of corruption scandals.

With this in mind, this year’s accounts include a wider range of assets than previously, although it does not include the Vatican state or what is known commonly as the Vatican Bank. — Agence France-Presse

Armed client holds bank staff hostage to access savings

An armed customer threatening to set himself ablaze held bank workers hostage throughout the day Thursday in Lebanon’s capital, demanding to withdraw his trapped savings to pay hospital fees, security sources and a family member said.

US inflation eases in July amid falling oil prices

US inflation eased slightly in July, according to official data Wednesday, potentially taking pressure off the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates sharply while bringing a much-needed boost to President Joe Biden just months before crucial midterm elections.

US sanctions crypto ‘laundering’ service Tornado

The United States placed sanctions Monday on Tornado Cash, a leading “crypto mixer” for transactions in virtual currency that US officials describe as a hub for laundering stolen funds, including by North Korean hackers.

MPIC CFO Joins WBA Allies’ Assembly 2022

Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), the country’s leading infrastructure investments company, represented by its Chief Finance, Risk, and Sustainability Officer Chaye A. Cabal-Revilla, joined the World Benchmarking Alliance’s (WBA) Allies’ Assembly 2022 as a speaker and panelist in Cape Town, South Africa.

MPIC CFO Joins WBA Allies’ Assembly 2022

Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), the country’s leading infrastructure investments company, represented by its Chief Finance, Risk, and Sustainability Officer Chaye A. Cabal-Revilla, joined the World Benchmarking Alliance’s (WBA) Allies’ Assembly 2022 as a speaker and panelist in Cape Town, South Africa.