Church of England
The bishop and the 'bank robbers'
LAST WEEK the Archbishop of York, John Sentanu, attacked many business people - at the Worshipful Company of International Bankers' annual dinner! He singled out those "who made £190 million deliberately underselling the shares of [the bank] HBOS... and drove it into the arms of Lloyds TSB." He called them "bank robbers and asset strippers." Some sensitive souls complained.
Sentamu was speaking when the Bush administration was confident that its £700 billion 'rescue deal' would go through. The Archbishop quite rightly commented that this financial crisis "makes action on poverty look utterly achievable. It would cost $5 billion (£2.7 billion) to save six million children's lives worldwide. World leaders could find 140 times that amount for the banking system in a week. How can they tell us that action for the poorest is too expensive?"
Of course, Sentamu's Church of England itself makes enormous money on the finance market. Church assets of over £5.6 billion are invested, much of it in property and private equity businesses.
The finance executives effectively run the CofE and many other establishment institutions. Perhaps if Sentamu seriously wants to chase the 'money changers' out of his temple, he should join forces with the working class and put forward a socialist economic alternative!