If you're on Pope Francis's distribution list, you know that he is not exactly the biggest fan of Wall Street. In his June encyclical, he railed against too big to fail and said he wants "restraints...imposed on those possessing greater resources and financial power." In July, he noted that "the unfettered pursuit of money...is the dung of the devil." And he's used the phrase "savage capitalism" on a bunch of occasions. Still, a number of finance executives feel confident that they can not only find some middle ground with ole Franny during his visit to NYC later this month, but that they can make a convert of the guy.
“He’s made it very clear that he has a particular affinity for the downtrodden and the less fortunate,” said Ken Langone, a billionaire investor who co-founded Home Depot Inc. and gave $200 million to New York University’s medical school. “New York, to me, is the city on the hill that demonstrates philanthropy and giving back and caring for others more than any other city. And I think he’ll see that.” [...] “When you look at some of the great business leaders on Wall Street, they demonstrate a lot of the same attributes the pope demonstrates,” said John Studzinski, a vice chairman at private-equity firm Blackstone Group LP who’s on the board of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral Landmark Foundation. “Very clear, strong convictions; strong views on leadership; can’t really be micromanaged; are very stubborn and tenacious, but at the same time are very good listeners and tend to surround themselves with good people.”
If Francis doesn't drive off in his popemobile telling his assistant to get his deals guy on the horn to draw up the papers for Pontiff Capital Management, Langone et al will eat their god damn words. He's going to be a regular at Bull & Bear by the end of next month.
Can Wall Street Sell the Pope on Capitalism? [Bloomberg]