I read an article years ago about the Vatican City going bankrupt and subsequently being bailed out by the CEO of a large sneaker company (Nike, Adidas or Reebok, etc. - I can't remember which). I recall this happened in the 1980's. Is this true, and if so what actually happend?
I've dug up some articles that indicate that the Vatican was indeed impoverished, but no articles indicating an insolvency or bankruptcy.
Here's an article from 1991 that implies a potential looming bankruptcy: POPE ASKS CATHOLICS FOR FINANCIAL BAILOUT, Date: April 15, 1991, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Here's another article from the Youngstown Vindicator dated August 13th, 1979, entitled "Funerals and Conclaves throw Vatican More Deeply into Debt", which states "... the most serious problem with the Vatican is ... poverty. The Vatican does not have enough money to meet its expenses."
If indeed the Vatican was in financial hardship as far back as 1979 through 1991, it stands to reason that there was a period of some insolvency or debt restructuring. I remember this being a "big deal" at the time, so I'm somewhat surprised that there are no references to it.
It seems I have confused the Vatican City with the Vatican Bank.
Here's a quote from the Wikipedia article Institute for Works of Religion (the Vatican Bank):
The [Vatican Bank] was involved in a major political and financial scandal in the 1980s, concerning the 1982 $3.5 billion collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, of which it was a major shareholder. The head of IOR from 1971 to 1989, Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, was under consideration for indictment in 1982 in Italy as an accessory of the bankruptcy; however, he was never brought to trial due to the Italian courts' ruling that the priest, being a high-ranking prelate of the Vatican, had diplomatic immunity from prosecution.
So for the purpose of this question, let's take it that the "Vatican" went through financial catastrophe. The question then becomes: Was the Vatican Bank bailed out by the CEO of a large sneaker company (or other such philanthropist)?