Pope’s Army Gets Help From Ex-Central Banker for Vatican Revamp

Popery has long benefited from wisdom of top bankers of their times. Earlier Rothschilds would advise the Vatican over their mismanaged finances.

Catherine Bosley writes how the Vatican continues to take services of bankers. Just that it is a central banker this time and the services sought is not just financial:

Pope Francis’s guards need a new barracks and they’re getting help from a different kind of power — a central banker.

Former Swiss National Bank President Jean-Pierre Roth, who oversaw the 2008 bailout of UBS, is now chairman of a foundation working to refurbish the quarters of the Vatican-based unit famous for its Renaissance-style uniforms, including striped pantaloons and helmets festooned with feathers.

His advocacy for the Swiss Guards isn’t the path usually chosen by central bankers. Many have tended to go for think tanks and academia — such as former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and ex-Bank of England chief Mervyn King. Finance attracted Roth’s SNB successor Philipp Hildebrand, who is now vice chairman of BlackRock. Roth, who retired from the SNB in late 2009, also serves on the boards of both Nestle and Swatch Group.

The Pontifical corps, whose recruits even today must be unmarried Swiss Catholic men under the age of 30 and have “irreproachable reputations,” have served the Papacy since 1506 and look after the pontiff’s safety. But their accommodation is no longer fit for purpose and needs to be rebuilt.

“It’s not only that the buildings need an overhaul, but there’s also the need for more space,” Roth said in a telephone interview. “The number of guards will be expanded somewhat in coming years, and the rules on marriage were made more flexible. The 19th-century layout doesn’t work any more.”


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