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View Diary: The Vatican Bank and Money Laundering (90 comments)

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  •  LOL, I was thinking (5+ / 0-)

    that this reads better than a Dan Brown novel.  Truth is really stranger than fiction.  

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:17:46 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  nope (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dporpentine, alba

      truth is less clear, more ambigous, and nearly always less spectucal.

      This reads like Dan Brown because Clermont writes like Dan Brown - she mixes up fact and fiction to present a narrative.

      Her story sounds good because has been written to sound good.  

      Her ample excursion on Banco Ambrosiano is a good example.  The real core story is that in the mafia infested seventies and eighties some guy took a sleepy Italian province bank created to cater to a conservative Catholic clientele and made it into a international financial player.  That story reads like new economy and banking crisis 101 - including inflated earnings, phony business and shady principals lining their own pockets. Kinda like Bernie Madoff meets letsbuyit.com.

      Only that among the bank's customers and investors there weren't only nice rich New York Jews. Not unusual in Italy in those days, they had mafia money in their books. Now those mafia guys weren't quite as understanding and law abiding as Madoff's clients, and didn't take "sorry" for an answer when their millions suddenly vanished.  Calvi got his spectacular exit on Blackfriar's Bridge, and so did quite a few of his co-conspirators. Also a few law enforcement types who decided going after the Mafia-affiliated victims was much more interesting than going after the perps found out the hard way that this was not so.

      Notice something? Where's the Church in all this? Well, the Vatican Bank held shares in Banco Ambrosiano, mostly due to Ambrosiano's Catholic tradition and its broad client base among the clergy and Catholic Orders. Also, the Vatican Bank's then-head, Paul Marcincus, sat on the board of a few Ambrosiano-controlled banks, most notably the Bahamas based Cisalpina Overseas Bank, which played a crucial role in many of Calvi's fraud schemes.

      Bad Mojo.

      So, yes, the Church lost major money here, and additionally, one of theirs was noted for a decidedly underwhelimg performance as a bank overseer.  Recognizing the latter the Church ponied up major money (about 240 Million US$, in 1983 dollars)  to contribute to a victim compensation fund.

      Well, and thats it.  Nobody outside of Ms Clermonts Anti-Catholic conspircay circles has ever seriously claimed the church ordered murders of Calvi and his friends, and nobody has ever come with anything remotely resempling evidence of that - but nonetheless Ms Clermont's article reads exactly like that.

      It is made to read like that.  

      Though I have to admit I like Dan Brown's writing better.

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