Category Archives: Banking Cartels

Son of ‘God’s banker’ Roberto Calvi: Mafiosi who hanged father from Blackfriars Bridge still at large in London


Family moment: Italian financier Roberto Calvi (right) and his son Carlo in a picture taken by Carlo’s sister Anna in 1982, the year Roberto was found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in London

Son of ‘God’s banker’ Roberto Calvi talks 30 years after father’s death

Carlo Calvi, 58, has spent £15million conducting his own investigation

Daily Mail | May 26, 2012

By Claudia Joseph

It was a very public death.

In the grey light of dawn, the body of a man was found hanging from scaffolding underneath Blackfriars Bridge in Central London, his feet dangling in the water.

Roberto Calvi was found hanging from scaffolding on Blackfriars Bridge, his pockets loaded with bricks. Both the Calvi and Sindona cases remain unsolved.

He was wearing an expensive Italian suit and his pockets  were weighted with bricks and stuffed with cash.

Initially police believed that Italian financier Roberto Calvi, known as ‘God’s banker’ because of his close financial ties with the Vatican, had committed suicide.

But the dead man’s son, Carlo Calvi, commissioned an independent forensic report, which concluded in October 2002 that he had been murdered.

In 2005, Italian prosecutors brought murder charges against five suspects but all were acquitted after the subsequent trial in Rome.

Now, 30 years after his father was found dead, Carlo remains convinced that he was murdered and wants police to reopen the case.

Carlo believes that up to a dozen men from the Italian underworld were involved in the murder – and claims many are still at large in London.

‘A long time has passed since my father’s murder on June 18, 1982,’ he said. ‘It is not unrealistic to believe that there are individuals involved in his death still alive. I want the City of London Police to pursue these individuals and put them where they belong. It is a matter of public interest. These people are still operating in London. We should all know who they are and what they are doing.’

Carlo, aged 58 and himself a former banker, has dedicated his life to seeking justice for his father, who was the chairman of Italy’s second-largest bank, Banco Ambrosiano. The bank subsequently collapsed with debts  of half a billion pounds amid dark rumours of laundered Mafia drug money, a link with the clandestine ‘P2’ Masonic lodge and secret political slush funds.

Now living in Montreal, Canada, Carlo spends his time travelling between his home and London, New York and Milan – sifting through  evidence, meeting secretive contacts willing to talk about Italian organised crime and poring over the transcripts of Mafia trials.

His obsession with finding the men involved in his father’s murder has come at a price – both financial and personal. He has spent £15 million on fees for lawyers, private detectives and other experts in an attempt to identify the guilty.

And his marriage to Marie Josee, mother of his two sons, Roberto, 18, and Nicola, 16, broke up in 2000. He has also not seen his sister Anna, 55, a lecturer at Warwick University, since their mother’s death from Parkinson’s disease in 2006.

‘There’s no doubt I have fixated on the case,’ he said. ‘I’m sure that played a part in my divorce and it has affected my relationship with my sister. She doesn’t necessarily agree with the things I have done.’

Carlo was a 28-year-old post-graduate student at Washington’s Georgetown University when he recieved the telephone call that would change his life. His mother Clara, then 60, and sister Anna, 25, were staying with him in Washington, having been warned by his father that their lives were in danger.

‘My mother had been living with me in America for about six weeks because my father feared for her safety,’ he recalled. ‘My sister arrived the day before he died. We were awoken by the telephone in the middle of the night when my uncle Luciano, my mother’s brother, called from Bologna to say that he had heard the news on the radio.

‘He spoke to my mother who had a complete breakdown. She was devastated. We had to call a doctor. I remember telling my uncle that he could have been more careful with his words. I think he was a little too direct.’

Within hours the family had been escorted by American police to a secret apartment in the Watergate complex, famous for the break-in that brought about the fall of President Richard Nixon. They spent the next few weeks under police guard before returning to Carlo’s home.

‘My mother never recovered from my father’s death,’ said Carlo. ‘She and my father had always dreamed  of living near Lake Como. They were very close and she remained very attached to her dreams.

‘The following year, she suffered  the first symptoms of Parkinson’s. I don’t think she got it as a direct result of my father’s murder – but surely it doesn’t help if you have lived through such a shock?’

Carlo’s quest for the truth began a month after his father’s death when  a London inquest recorded a verdict of suicide. It was hardly a likely explanation. Six days before his death, Calvi had shaved off his moustache and skipped bail in Italy pending an appeal against a four-year suspended prison sentence for illegally transferring £18 million out of the country.

Fearing for his life, the 62-year-old banker chartered a private plane and fled to Britain on a false passport with Sardinian business tycoon Silvano  Vittor, a long-term associate who assumed the role of bodyguard. He was taken to a safe house in Chelsea Cloisters, West London – believed to have been organised by another Sardinian businessman, Flavio Carboni.

Calvi had already written to Pope John Paul II  warning him of the imminent collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, saying that it would ‘provoke a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions in which the Church will suffer the gravest damage’.

Calvi also had close links to the Mafia, the Neapolitan Camorra – a Mafia-like criminal organisation based in Naples – and the Masonic lodge P2. The latter was described by Calvi’s former Banco Ambrosiano mentor, Sicilian Michele  Sindona, as a ‘state within a state’ because of its powerful members, including former Italian Prime  Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Carlo refused to accept the 1982 inquest’s suicide verdict. He hired one of Britain’s best-known barristers, George Carman QC, to represent the family at a second hearing, which recorded an open verdict. Still not satisfied, he demanded that his father’s body was exhumed.

Carlo then commissioned the  independent forensic report, which concluded in October 2002 that his father had been murdered as the injuries to his neck were inconsistent with hanging, there was no trace of rust and paint on his shoes from the scaffolding and he had not touched the bricks in his pockets.

In 2005, Vittor and Carboni were accused of killing Calvi. But the duo and three others – Mafia financier Pippo Calò, businessman Ernesto Diotallevi and Carboni’s girlfriend Manuela  Kleinszig – were acquitted 20 months later.

Another name linked to Calvi’s murder was Mafia ‘supergrass’ Francesco Di Carlo, known as ‘Frankie the Strangler’.

According to Di Carlo, the killers were Vincenzo Casillo and Sergio Vaccari of the Naples Camorra.

‘Calvi was naming names,’ said Di Carlo. ‘No one had any trust in him any more. He owed a lot of money. His friends had all distanced themselves. Everyone wanted to get rid of him. I was in Rome and received a phone call from a friend in Sicily telling me that a certain high- ranking Mafia member had just been killed.

‘I will never forget the date because of this: it was June 16, 1982 – two days before Calvi was murdered. The friend told me that Pippo Calò was trying to get hold of me because he needed me to do something for him,’ Di Carlo claims.

‘When I finally spoke to Pippo, he told me not to worry, that the problem had been taken care of.

‘That’s a code we use in the Cosa Nostra. We never talk about killing someone. We say they have been taken care of.’


Determined: Carlo Calvi (pictured) has dedicated his life to seeking justice for his father

Carlo Calvi believes that the supergrass is telling the truth. He agrees with Di Carlo that his father’s killers were Casillo – the second-in-command of the Camorra, who was  murdered by a car bomb in Rome in 1983 – and his sidekick Vaccari, who was stabbed to death three months after Calvi’s murder.

Vaccari was also a former tenant of Calvi’s last known home, the rented flat at Chelsea Cloisters.

Carlo points out that both his father and Casillo had business cards belonging to Alvaro Giardili, a Camorra associate, in their possession when they died.

‘I’m not suggesting Alvaro Giardili was involved, but he definitely  connects to some of the individuals involved in the case,’ Carlo said. ‘When my father died, he had Giardili’s business card in his wallet.

‘One of the first people to ring us when we returned to the house after my father died was Giardili. In general, I consider Di Carlo a reliable witness. But I am more interested in what he has to say about the social network of the Italian underground in London during the Eighties.’

It is that underground movement that Carlo is now hoping will be exposed – even if his own safety  is jeopardised.

Calling for a third inquest, he said: ‘The police have already admitted it was murder but I would like to see the case reviewed in open court and the remaining defendants in their jurisdiction pursued.

‘When I lived in Italy I had bodyguards but now I have to rely on my own judgment and instinct.

‘There have been instances when I have been concerned for my safety but I try not to be confrontational and protect myself.

‘If the worst happens, I am not the only person who has this information. I will not rest until I find out the truth about my father’s death.’

Prosecutors investigate Vatican Bank mafia link


Father Treppiedi, 36, was serving as a priest in Alcamo, near Trapani, said to be the richest parish on the Mafia’s island stronghold of Sicily

Anti Mafia prosecutors have asked the secretive Vatican Bank to disclose details of an account held by a priest in connection with a money laundering and fraud investigation, it emerged on Sunday.

Telegraph | Jun 10, 2012

By Nick Pisa in Rome

The official request was made more than a month ago but so far the Vatican Bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works, has refused to disclose any records of the account held by father Ninni Treppiedi – who is currently suspended from serving as a priest.

Investigators want to know more about vast sums of money that are said to have passed through his account to establish if they were money laundering operations by on the run Mafia Godfather, Matteo Messina Denaro.

The reports emerged in the Italian media and came just two weeks after the head of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was sacked amid claims of power struggles and corruption within the Holy See which have been linked to the leaking of sensitive documents belonging to Pope Benedict XVI.

More in line with a Dan Brown thriller, it is not the first time that the Vatican Bank has been embroiled in claims of Mafia money laundering. Thirty years ago this month financier Roberto Calvi was found hanging under London’s Blackfriars Bridge with cash and bricks stuffed into his pockets.

Initially City of London police recorded the death as suicide but Italian authorities believe it was murder after it emerged Calvi, known as God’s Banker because of his links to the Vatican Bank, had been trying to launder millions of pounds of mob money via its accounts and through his own Banco Ambrosiano which had collapsed spectacularly.

Father Treppiedi, 36, was serving as a priest in Alcamo, near Trapani, said to be the richest parish on the Mafia’s island stronghold of Sicily, and he was suspended after a series of questionable transactions of church funds and which has also led to his local bishop Francesco Micciche being sacked.

Trapani prosecutor Marcello Viola made the request six weeks ago for details of the account held by Father Treppiedi at the Institute of Religious Works to be disclosed but according to reports in Italian media, as yet the go ahead has still not been given by the Vatican.

In particular prosecutors are said to be looking at financial transactions made through Father Treppiedi’s account at the Vatican Bank between 2007 and 2009 and which came to almost one million euros but paperwork explaining the source of the money is said to be missing.

Attention is also focusing on several land and property deals made by the parish which is in Messina Denaro’s heartland in the area around Trapani and where he still commands fear and respect.

There is speculation that Gotti Tedeschi was aware of the possible Mafia link and was about to name names and police seized paperwork from his home which is said to detail his suspicions and which he had prepared for a handful of trusted sources as he feared his life was possible in danger.

In a statement prosecutor Viola said:”We have made a request for information to the Vatican City State in the spirit of collaboration with regard to an investigation into sums of money in financial transactions undertaken by the Diocese of Trapani.”

Transactions by the Vatican Bank are already under the spotlight with leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera saying Gotti Tedeschi was aware of accounts held by “politicians, shady intermediaries, contractors and senior (Italian) officials, as well as people believed to be fronts for Mafia bosses.”

Of particular interest are said to be property investments and property sales that could potentially have been used to disguise money transfers and launder money – all this in the light of report earlier this year that the Vatican Bank was not completely transparent in its dealings despite efforts to be so.

The latest development comes as prosecutors in the Vatican continue to question the Pope’s butler Paolo Gabriele, 46, in connection with the leaking of documents which then ended up in a whistle blowing book published by an Italian journalist called His Holiness.

No-one from the Vatican was immediately available to comment.

Vatican Banker Fears for His Life: Gotti Tedeschi Could Turn Whistle-Blower


Ettore Gotti Tedeschi feared for his life when he was ousted as head of the Vatican bank after a vote of no confidence May 24. Three decades ago, another of “God’s bankers” was found hanging from a noose under Blackfriars Bridge in London. Tony Gentile, Reuters / Landov

The recently ousted head of the Vatican bank may have evidence that the organization is involved in money laundering—and now he’s afraid for his life.

He spent the last two years struggling endlessly against the Vatican’s powerful Vatican forces, whom he says blocked his every attempt at transparency.

Daily Beast | Jun 10, 2012

By Barbie Latza Nadeau

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi feared for his life when he was ousted as head of the Vatican bank after a vote of no confidence May 24.

The 67-year-old Italian was brought in by the pope’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in 2009 with a mandate to turn the troubled bank around and help “facilitate transparency” with an eye toward quashing rumors that the bank was a den of iniquity. The Vatican had hoped that through Gotti Tedeschi’s guidance, the tiny city-state could finally earn a coveted spot on the global Financial Action Task Force “white list” of states whose financial practices can be trusted.

In reality, Gotti Tedeschi says he found the bank’s record much worse than he could have imagined, and that he spent the last two years struggling endlessly against the Vatican’s powerful Vatican forces, whom he says blocked his every attempt at transparency. He stormed out of his final meeting of the board of the Vatican bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), even before they cast their no-confidence vote against him. The bank says it dismissed him due to lack of management skills and “progressively erratic personal behavior.” But Gotti Tedeschi says he was ousted because he got too close to the truth about the bank’s alleged shady dealings. He told a Reuters journalist moments after he was sacked, “I have paid the price for transparency.”

A week after his ouster, Gotti Tedeschi was in trouble again. His home in Piacenza and his offices in Milan were searched by Italian police, who say they were combing for evidence that he was an “informed witness” with regard to questionable business dealings of Italy’s state-run defense and aerospace firm Finmeccanica, whose president is his close pal. He has not been arrested, nor is he officially under investigation, and the police say the Finmeccanica inquiry is a separate affair not at all related to his problems with the Vatican bank. But in searching his property, investigators reportedly found a treasure trove that could link the Vatican to all sorts of shady dealings and underworld characters. And the Vatican top brass desperately want to get their hands on it, sternly warning Italian police that because the Vatican is a “sovereign nation” their documents are protected under immunity, even if they are found during a criminal probe outside its borders. “The Holy See is surprised and concerned at the recent events that Professor Gotti Tedeschi is involved with,” said a Vatican statement issued Friday. “We have faith that the prosecutors and Italian judicial system will respect our sovereignty—recognized internationally—with regard to these documents.”

What they are reportedly worried about is a secret dossier that Gotti Tedeschi told friends he compiled “just in case something happens to me.” Local press reports say the dossier includes 47 different binders with emails from the pope, letters from cardinals, and notes and reports from various meetings tied to Vatican bank business. He had reportedly planned to deliver the dossier directly to Pope Benedict XVI, presumably as a counterargument to his May 24 firing. The cache reportedly contains irrefutable evidence that could substantiate claims that the IOR is involved in money laundering and tax-evasive practices. There were documents that allegedly show financial transactions between the Vatican and a number of surprising characters, including politicians and known middlemen for mafia bosses. If true, it would give Italian authorities a rare opening to investigate the Vatican’s banking practices with names, account numbers, and transaction dates of dealings with financial entities outside the Vatican’s historically secretive jurisdiction.

In 2010, Gotti Tedeschi and IOR general manager Paolo Cipriani were placed under criminal investigation by authorities in Rome on suspicion of alleged money laundering for shady transactions between the Vatican’s bank accounts. More than €23 million was frozen and later released after the Vatican allegedly cleansed itself by passing anti-fraud legislation. Gotti Tedeschi’s dossier reportedly also included a list of enemies who might want to harm him, including Cipriani, who is still under criminal investigation in the Italian judicial system from the 2010 affair. The Italian police are taking the banker’s enemy list seriously and are considering providing him with police protection.

There is little doubt that Tedeschi has reason to be worried for his safety. Three decades ago, another of “God’s bankers,” Roberto Calvi, was found hanging from a noose under Blackfriars Bridge in London. His pockets were weighted down with bricks and cash. Calvi was not the head of the IOR like Gotti Tedeschi, but he was closely tied to the Vatican’s secret banking structure as head of Banco Ambrosiano, which went bankrupt at the time amid allegations of money laundering, mafia collusion, and generally questionable banking practices. The Vatican owned a small stake in the bank, but wielded great influence over Calvi, who knew the Vatican’s deepest financial secrets. The mystery into Calvi’s death has never been solved. First thought to be a suicide, evidence later pointed to murder. “There are some similarities between the situation of Gotti Tedeschi and what my family lived through during the trial of currency violations of 1981,” Roberto Calvi’s son Carlo told The Daily Beast. He says his father could not have defended himself without exposing the whole structure, and that’s what led to his demise. “While it is difficult for the public to appreciate this, there has always been an attitude of intolerance, isolation, and stubborness with those who set up this type of fiduciary relationship to evade regulations, and this makes them take risks that would be unimaginable to most.”

But neither the Vatican nor Gotti Tedeschi seemed to have learned anything from the scandal surrounding Calvi’s death. “I do not know Gotti Tedeschi,” he says. “But I do know that the very same account structure that existed at the time of my father has continued to be used by IOR in a similar fashion and has even increased disproportionally in size.”

For now, Gotti Tedeschi is cooperating with Italian authorities. According to prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone, Tedeschi told prosecutors he was “held hostage because he wanted transparency, especially with regard to certain Vatican accounts. It all started when I asked to have information about accounts that were not in the church’s name.” Where it goes from here is anyone’s guess.

Pictured: Unsuspecting multi-millionaire Ben Goldsmith smiles alongside the US rapper who ‘had an affair with his Rothschild heiress wife’


Close: This instagram photo taken around seven months ago shows Ben Goldsmith’s close relationship with rapper Jay Electronica

Daily Mail | Jun 3, 2012

By Sam Greenhill and John Stevens

All seems good with the world in this picture of a happy-looking Ben Goldsmith as he enjoys a spot of hunting with the American musician Jay Electronica.

But the image of the smiling pair, which is believed to have been taken seven months ago, may come to haunt the millionaire after his wife Kate had an alleged affair with the rapper.

The tinted instagram picture emerged today and shows Mr Goldsmith and Electronica standing shoulder to shoulder – Mr Goldsmith seemingly oblivious to any issues in his relationship.

Mr Goldsmith’s spat with his wife over the alleged fling took an even uglier turn yesterday as he took to Twitter to publicly accuse her of fretting more about her image than their ‘devastated children’.

He took to Twitter to broadcast his anguish about the end of their nine-year marriage amid reports the heiress has been having an affair with a US rapper.

Mr Goldsmith ridiculed the 29-year-old for hiring a PR firm to ‘fix her reputation’. He told his 6,000 followers: ‘A bit late surely? How about focusing on her devastated children?’

Heiress Kate, 29, a scion of the Rothschild banking dynasty, has three young children with Mr Goldsmith, son of the late billionaire Sir James Goldsmith.


Enjoying the high life: Kate Goldsmith takes to the sky in a helicopter to travel between a Jay Z and Kanye West concert

Mr Goldsmith’s comments came as pictures emerged of the opulent interior of their family home in Kensington, West London, which went on the market for £20million just before the couple had their final separation.

The ‘unique’ detached property, built in 1860, has more than 5,600sg/ft of living space across four floors, complete with solid oak flooring, a summer house and spacious garden in one of the capital’s most desirable districts.

Mr Goldsmith is said to have confronted his wife after discovering explicit text and email messages from hip hop star Jay Electronica.

Matters came to a head last Wednesday in a fierce bust-up at the couple’s home, in which he is said to have slapped Kate and kicked a child’s toy at her in fury.

His wife called police who arrested Mr Goldsmith, 31, on suspicion of actual bodily harm. He later accepted a police caution.

The Eton-educated financier also posted a Tweet yesterday which said: ‘Ps, in case you missed it’, and pointed his followers to an article in the Daily Mail about his wife’s alleged infidelity.

However, by late afternoon it appeared Mr Goldsmith had had a change of heart about airing his marriage troubles in public.

Both the Tweet about the Mail article, and the earlier one about his wife hiring a PR company, were deleted without explanation.

The PR company Mrs Goldsmith retained is Project Associates Ltd, a Mayfair-based reputation and crisis management firm.

A spokesman at the firm said Mrs Goldsmith was concerned that ‘inaccurate information’ was being given to the media designed to ‘deflect from the gravity of last week’s incident involving the police’.

He added: ‘Kate is devastated, she has had a very frightening time since she and her husband initially split five months ago, and this is just another sad development.

‘Her main concern now is for her children who will remain with her at the family home.

‘Kate has no further comment at this time. In the meantime she is seeking legal advice on a number of matters.

‘Her family wish to add that they are completely supportive and they remain very much on speaking terms.’

Mr Goldsmith has moved out of the family home and is staying in Italy with his mother Lady Annabel, and will now file for divorce.

At the weekend he told the Mail on Sunday: ‘I’m pretty shell-shocked by everything. All I am thinking about now is my children.’

The couple are from two of the country’s wealthiest families. Mr Goldsmith inherited an estimated £300million after the death of his father, who built up a £1.2billion fortune.

Kate inherited an £18million fortune after the suicide of her banker father Amschel Rothschild, and is related to the Guinness brewery family on her mother’s side.

The couple have known each other since they were teenagers and were regulars in society publications such as Tatler before marrying young in September 2003 at a wedding attended by 600 guests.

In 2010 Mrs Goldsmith set up a record company called Roundtable Records, which led to her spending time at gigs and clubs in London as well as travelling to Los Angeles.

She got to know the 35-year-old rapper – real name Timothy Elpadaro Thedford – last autumn.

Yesterday Jay Electronica posted a bizarre message on his Twitter page which read simply: ‘#LoveIsOnTheWay’.

Last week, the union between the son of the late financier Sir James Goldsmith and his wife, a scion of the Rothschild banking dynasty, collapsed in the most spectacular fashion.

Mr Goldsmith apparently confronted his  29-year-old wife last Wednesday after discovering explicit texts and emails between the pair.

After initially denying the affair, Kate admitted it when her husband told her he had read the text messages.

There was a fierce row, during which Mr Goldsmith is said to have slapped Kate and kicked a child’s toy at her.

Ben then took their children to school, and by the time he had returned his wife had called the police and officers were at the house to arrest him.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that a 31-year-old man from Kensington, West London, was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and taken to a police station, where he accepted  a caution.

Mr Goldsmith is away on a pre-planned holiday with the couple’s three young children. But he has said he plans to sue for divorce on the grounds of adultery.

While friends of Ben’s say his wife is still ‘obsessed’ with Electronica, last night a friend of Kate’s claimed the affair happened during a five-month break from Ben, and ended after three months.

Whatever the precise truth, it is still a startling end to the marriage that marked the union of two hugely powerful dynasties.

That Kate Goldsmith has been carrying on with a rapper known for his sexually explicit lyrics is undoubtedly a scandal, even for a family that is no stranger to colourful goings-on.

Last night, one friend told the Mail that the Goldsmith family are incredibly angry and that the divorce will be nasty.

‘Ben is going to start proceedings at the earliest opportunity,’ says the friend. ‘It will be a fight. They will fight over the kettle and the teapot!

‘There is a lot of anger. Lady Annabel (Ben’s formidable mother) is especially incensed and upset.’

Both Ben and his 29-year-old wife are wealthy in their own right,  and unravelling their fortunes to reach a divorce settlement will  be complicated.

Sir James left his family a £1.2 billion fortune when he died in 1997, much of which is tied up in trust.

Kate and her family were left £18 million — considerably less, but hardly a pittance — when her father died. Amschel Rothschild, a banker, was found hanged in the Hotel Bristol in Paris in 1996, aged just 41.

Feelings are running high at the moment, and another complication is the fact that Kate’s sister, Alice Rothschild, is going out with Ben’s elder brother, Zac.

Zac’s own ten-year marriage to Sheherazade Ventura-Bentley collapsed in 2009 after he began an affair with Alice, and they now live together in a house on the Goldsmiths’ family estate in Richmond, South-West London.

Zac’s divorce is still not finalised, as lawyers continue to work out a financial settlement between him and Sheherazade.

According to one friend, Alice now finds herself in a tricky situation. ‘Alice is well-liked in the family, but the Goldsmiths are asking, how much did she know about Kate and this rapper? Alice and Kate are close. It’s very awkward.’

Indeed. So how did Kate Goldsmith come to fall for a rapper? How did the affair begin, and what will happen between them now that her husband intends to divorce her?

Kate Rothschild and Ben Goldsmith were just 21 and 23 respectively when they married in 2003. They were young — perhaps too young.

When they married, Ben was the more confident of the two, and the ‘dominant’ one in the marriage. Kate, say those who know her well, has a more vulnerable air.

‘People often say she’s rather like Princess Diana,’ says a friend. ‘Her father’s suicide had a profound effect on her, and she has this way of making people protective of her.’

But as the marriage wore on, Kate grew in confidence  and, say friends, became tired of ‘being told what to do all the time’ by her husband. They began to grow apart.

And then Kate met Electronic.

The singer’s background could not have been more different from the Rothschild girl, who was educated at Bryanston School in Dorset.

Electronica was born and raised in the Magnolia Projects in New Orleans, Louisiana, an area known for poverty and violent crime.

He rose to prominence in 2007 when a track entitled Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge) became popular on MySpace, the social networking site.

Three years later, Jay-Z, one of the world’s biggest selling rap artists, signed him to his Roc Nation stable of musicians.

Kate has her own record label, Round Table. Thirty-five-year-old Electronica has been based in London for the past couple of years. Presumably the pair met through their links with the music industry.

According to reports, but denied by Kate’s friends, the affair is believed to have begun about a year ago, with Kate besotted by the singer, whom she calls Jay Jay.

Both her family — her mother, Anita, is the daughter of merchant banker James Guinness — and the Goldsmiths are said to be aghast at the affair.

‘Ben is heartbroken, devastated and thoroughly miserable,’ a friend of the couple reportedly said.

While Kate’s friends claim the affair is over, his friends have a different view.

‘He suspected Kate was cheating on him because she has been behaving increasingly erratically for some time,’ says one.

‘She is obsessed with this chap, who is one of her clients. She is always on the phone to him, and out with him until four or five in the morning most nights. Sometimes she even stays with him.

‘Ben was paranoid about their friendship months ago, but when he confronted her about an affair earlier this year she denied it.

‘Then, last week, he found a series of texts and email messages. They were very intense messages planning sexual liaisons.’

On the face of it, it is a classic tale of a posh girl falling for a bad boy. But according to another source, it is not quite like that.

‘He has this “street” persona, but Jay Electronica is not really like that — he’s much gentler, a vegetarian and Buddhist,’ says another friend. ‘He and Kate feel they have a spiritual connection, and Kate tells friends he is the first person to really understand her.

‘And although he comes from a poor area, he has been successful, he has money, and he pays for Kate when he takes her out.’

The affair has uncanny echoes of a previous scandal involving Kate’s great aunt, born Pannonica Rothschild, who went on to become Baroness de Koenigswater.

It is a strange story. In 1948, Nica, as she was known, became bewitched by an unknown black jazz pianist, Thelonious Monk, after hearing a recording he had made of Round Midnight.

At a time when mixed-race relationships were frowned upon, she abandoned her husband and five children, moved into a hotel suite and set about finding him. She finally tracked him down in 1954 and devoted the next 28 years to him until his death.

Nica’s family disowned her. Kate can expect to be similarly shunned by the Goldsmith clan.

Friends say that the situation is difficult, too, for Jemima Khan — Ben’s older sister, who was on good terms with Kate, but will now be expected to cast her adrift.

‘It’s hard, but Lady Annabel will expect all of them to rally behind Ben,’ says the friend.

So what of the future? Electronica returned to the U.S. last week to attend his grandmother’s funeral, but is expected back in Britain soon. No one knows what will happen next between him and Kate.

As early as this week, the lawyers will get involved.

This week, Kate was still at the Kensington house, which was put up for sale two months ago. When the Mail knocked on the door yesterday, a young blonde woman came to a side door and said: ‘We don’t want to talk to you.’

But a friend told the Mail: ‘Kate is devastated. She has had a very frightening time since she and her husband initially split five months ago, and this is just another sad development. Her main concern now is for her children, who will remain with her at the family home.’

Lady Annabel, the Goldsmith family matriarch, is on holiday in Sicily and could not be contacted. But she was well aware that it was her husband Sir Jimmy’s wish that one of his children would one day marry a Rothschild.

He would never have imagined that such a union would end like this. But then no one did, least of all Kate’s husband Ben.

Lord Jacob Rothschild Confronted on Bilderberg, New World Order

“Well….”

Published on May 31, 2012 by

Rothschild and Rockefeller families join forces for some extra added wealth and power


The transatlantic alliance cements a five-decade acquaintance between the now ennobled Jacob Rothschild (R), 76, and David Rockefeller (L), 96, the grandson of the ruthlessly acquisitive American oilman and philanthropist John D Rockefeller.

Telegraph | May 31, 2012

By Alistair Osborne

RIT Capital Partners, which is chaired by Lord Rothschild, has taken a 37pc stake in Rockefeller Financial Services, the family’s wealth advisory and asset management wing. It has snapped up the holding from French bank Société Générale for less than £100m.

The transatlantic alliance cements a five-decade acquaintance between the now ennobled Jacob Rothschild, 76, and David Rockefeller, 96, the grandson of the ruthlessly acquisitive American oilman and philanthropist John D Rockefeller.

The two patricians now plan to capitalise on their family names to buy other asset managers or their portfolios, using their networks of top-notch contacts to ensure they get a seat at the table for any deal.

“We’ve known each other for a long time, they have a good business,” said Lord Rothschild yesterday. “We haven’t got a presence in the US and this brings together two formidable names in finance.”

He said the two firms planned to capitalise on current market conditions where banks, like SocGen in this instance, are selling non-core assets to rebuild capital ratios. “At a time when big banks are destabilised, there may well be opportunities,” he said. “We could buy an asset management company or grow one. Rockefeller already has $34bn (£21.9bn) assets under administration.”

Rothschild and Rockefellers in joint venture

Rockefeller and Rothschild Dynasties Join Forces

The Rockefellers and the Rothschilds Make a Deal

The Rockefellers and Rothschilds Hook Up

Old money alliance will attract new wealth

Rothschild buys into Rockefeller wealth business

RIT Capital Partners, Chaired By Lord Rothschild, And Rockefeller & Co. Announce Strategic Partnership

He said David Rockefeller was still “very involved” in the business, though it is run day to day by chief executive Reuben Jeffery.

The Rockefeller group goes back to 1882, set up to invest the family money made by John D Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, the forerunner for today’s Exxon Corporation, which he built with a Darwinian aggression. “Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It’s to see my dividends coming in,” he once said.

The Rothschild banking dynasty has its roots in the 18th century when Mayer Amschel Rothschild set up a business in Frankfurt.

Lord Rothschild fell out three decades ago with his cousin Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, who then ran the UK branch of the family bank NM Rothschild. That sprang to fame in 1815 when it bought government bonds in anticipation of Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.

Lord Rothschild’s relations with the French side of the family have been better though and he likened the Rockefeller deal to RIT’s tie-up earlier this year with the Edmond de Rothschild Group, which has €150bn (£120bn) under management.

“We think that having that span of interests in Europe and America – as well as China – will give us a better chance of finding exceptional investment opportunities,” he said.

RIT, which has net assets £1.9bn, has had a tricky few months with the shares down about 14pc in the past year. They fell 6 today to £11.25.

Lord Rothschild said: “Everyone has been marked down. We didn’t have a brilliant year on the quoted side but we did do very well on the private side,” realising investments in North Sea operator Agora Oil and Gas and credit manager Harbourmaster.

 

JPMorgan injects $400 million into China unit, eyes expansion

Reuters | May 28, 2012

SHANGHAI  – JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) has injected 2.5 billion yuan ($394.08 million) into its China unit, the latest foreign bank to beef up its Chinese operations.

Foreign banks, including HSBC (HSBA.L) and Singapore’s DBS Group (DBSM.SI), have either injected or are planning to pump in capital into their China units which are expected to grow rapidly over the coming years even as growth in the world’s second-biggest economy comes off the boil.

“The additional capital will better position the bank in the evolving regulatory environment and cement our commitment to clients in China,” Zili Shao, Chairman and chief executive of J.P. Morgan China, said in a statement on Monday.

“The capital will be used to expand the bank’s branch network, develop products, increase corporate lending, and recruit employees,” Shao added.

The injection brings the registered capital of the locally incorporated unit to 6.5 billion yuan.

The local unit, which conducts commercial banking businesses in China, has also received regulatory approval to open its 7th branch in China in Suzhou, west of Shanghai, the statement said.

JPMorgan has a separate investment banking joint venture in China.

HSBC (0005.HK) injected 2.8 billion yuan into its China unit last year, even as it laid off several hundred investment bankers in London, Hong Kong and elsewhere as part of its jobs cull to save billions of dollars.

DBS, Southeast Asia’s largest bank, said in April it is planning to make an injection of 2.3 billion yuan into its China unit to increase its network and staff, and upgrade infrastructure and other technology platforms.

($1 = 6.3439 Chinese yuan)