One of the more interesting events of the past week was the sacking of Cardinal Giovanni Becciu, who amongst other duties was responsible for the Vatican’s ‘sainthoods and beatification department’. He was, as a circuit court judge might put it ‘no saint himself’, and despite his pleadings of innocence that it was all ‘a misunderstanding’, his involvement in a number of dubious property transactions was enough to end his career.

This is not the first financial scandal in the Vatican to put it mildly, and in general the relationship between finance and religion is usually not a close one (relatedly German academics have found an inverse relationship between trustworthiness and willingness to work in the financial services industry).

God’s Work?

Apart from the pronouncement by the former chief executive of Goldman Sachs that the bank was doing ‘God’s work’ there are few people who think religion and finance go hand in hand. One exception was Sir John Templeton, whom I had the honour to meet a number of times.

However, the idea that finance can do good, and shape the world in a progressive way has gained some credence with the rise of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investing. Together with the fast growing ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) industry, ESG is now one of the hottest areas in investment management (ESG ETF’s are therefore very hot).

Sin Stocks

The premise of ESG investing is to better direct capital away from ‘sinning’ companies (e.g. tobacco

Palantir Technologies Inc. began trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.


NYSE

Two members of the House of Representatives asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate Palantir Technologies Inc.’s disclosures and governance ahead of the controversial software company’s Wednesday direct listing.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, D-Ill., wrote a letter Sept. 17 requesting that the SEC investigate several elements of Palantir’s
PLTR,
+31.03%

filing for a direct listing and request further disclosure. Specifically, the two members of Congress wanted more information on the company’s work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on coronavirus data.

“Palantir must provide greater transparency to potential investors about the data protections or lack thereof associated with its government contracts, and further information about the U.S. and non-U.S. government entities for which it is working on data related to the COVID-19 crisis,” the representatives wrote. “This is of paramount importance to investors and the public, as Palantir Chief Operating Office Shyam Sankar recently characterized the company’s work for multiple governments to manage and process data in response to the COVID-19 crisis as the new ‘driving thrust of the company.’”

“I was not aware of those requests,” Sankar said in an interview with MarketWatch on Wednesday immediately after Palantir’s shares began trading. He added that “part of this process was a pretty sensitive back and forth with the SEC” on a variety of topics, which led to 11 total versions of the company’s S-1 filing with the SEC. Three of those versions were publicly posted after the letter was sent, one on Sept. 18 and two on Sept. 21, when Palantir added language about its unique share structure and then removed it after a TechCrunch report detailed the new disclosures.

For more: Five things to know about the Palantir

Kush Finance

Kush Finance
Kush Finance
Kush Finance

TALLINN, Estonia, Sept. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Decentralized Finance (DeFi) ecosystem is gradually shifting from the very fundamental aspect of decentralization to using what are called ‘governance tokens.’ These types of digital assets have become popular since DeFi picked up earlier in the year, and then gained momentum when Compound launched its ‘COMP’ governance token in June. While they have emerged as the fuel for DeFi network growth, some innovators are taking advantage of the asymmetry in technical knowledge and issuing governance tokens mainly to the developing team.

Well, a recently debuted project dubbed ‘Kush Finance’ is returning the DeFi ecosystem back to its basics using its own governance token, called ‘kSEED.’ Unlike other DeFi projects that have allocated a significant amount of governance tokens to a small group, the Kush Finance DeFi token is designed to turn kSEED holders into a collective whale. This basically eliminates a scenario where whales dump on unsuspecting DeFi token holders as has been the case in recent weeks.

To achieve full decentralization, Kush Finance has implemented a bidding model which allows kSEED token holders to exercise complete governance within its DeFi platform. They can do so by constructing and proposing their preferred bids within periods identified as ‘voting rounds.’ Once the process is complete, the Kush machine will automatically execute the bid with the most votes at the end of a particular round.

The Kush Finance bidding model also accommodates additional bids by chaining them onto the initial order. Consequently, each Kush Finance voting contract can be upgraded, replaced, or reconnected to allow kSEED holders to vote on a bid that reconnects to the rest of the network. In doing so, Kush Finance has eliminated the need for a central developer to keep updating its