Pope Benedict and his investment team at Body of Christ Capital are steadfastly sticking to their message that you're all going to burn in hell but the PMs over at the Church of England have apparently had a change of heart. Though Archbishop Rowan Williams just last month expressed discontent that the financial sinners in his flock had yet to repent and last year Archbishop John Sentamu described short selling as "bank robbery," they've decided to go on record saying these hedge fund guys? Not as bad as we thought. In fact, the C of E is now lobbying for the industry, after being tipped off to the fact that proposals to regulate hedge funds might adversely affect their bottom line.
The Church Commissioners, who manage the £4.4 billion assets -- down from £5.7 billion in 2007 -- of the established Church, have criticised European proposals to regulate hedge funds.
A new European Union directive designed to limit the way hedge funds are managed restricts the Church's ability to make money, the Church's investment managers warn.
The letter warned that the new restrictions "will significantly restrict our ability to generate funds to pursue our charitable missions and thus reduce our impact for public good".
They said there would be "unintended consequences" of the Alternative Investment Directive, which seeks to limit leverage, and to compel investors based in the EU to use only EU-based funds and deposit banks.
The signatories, who have investment porfolios worth a total of about £19.5 billion and spend nearly £1 billion a year on areas that are of "public benefit", argue that more than nine out of ten global hedge funds are either not domiciled in the EU or have non-EU managers.
"To maximise the returns on our investments, we must have freedom to select the best investment managers, and funds, and to select the investment ideas that best meet our individual needs," they say.