Take heart, New York, Mayor Mike’s losing money on the stock market, too.
The Mayor’s tax returns — albeit a vague version of them — were revealed to New York journalists for two hours this morning, offering a limited look at the Mayor’s immense fortune and how it fared in the recession. Mayoral spokesman Stu Loeser wouldn’t indicate whether the Mayor had seen an overall net gain or loss in the 2008 fiscal year, simply reiterating what the forms said — “like everyone else whose invested in the stock market, the Mayor lost money last year.”
But it’s not putting a damper on his spending, as many media organizations have noticed: A few hours after opening up about his losses, the Mayor also revealed that in the past two months alone, he’d spent $18 million on his campaign for reelection — bringing up the grand total to $36 million.
The Mayor’s stock market returns are new — and not just because they’re losses. Until a year ago, Bloomberg wasn’t allowed to invest in most stocks on the market to avoid a conflict of interest with his role as Mayor. But in December 2007, the city gave Mayor Mike the green light to start investing more broadly. If an investment company picked out the specific investments, the Conflict of Interest Board ruled, Bloomberg could spread his wealth free of those possible conflicts
And spread his investments he did — through the Quadrangle investment firm, a firm known mostly for its senior-executive-turned-Obama appointee Steve Rattner. But while the firm reported the Mayor’s gains as more than $500,000, his losses far outweighed any gains leaving the Mayor with overall losses higher than $500,000.
The reports were coded by amount — for example, A for amounts between $1,000 and $5,000, all the way up the alphabet to G for amounts $500,000 and above. Previous years’ returns were characterized by columns filled with positive G’s, but this year, the recession left many columns filled with negative G’s. Despite the vague coding system of letters which, the Times noted last year, makes the reports look more like a report card than a tax return, a few anecdotes leaked an image of the mayor’s finances — one tax return from the IRS must have been a whopper, because the Mayor earned more than a half million in interest when the IRS was late to return it.
Daughter Georgina’s equine victories earned the Mayor a few grand, too. Bloomberg reported a rental income between $1,000 and $5,000 on his farm in Wellington, FL, where Georgina rides horses competitively during the winter. The tenants, identified by Mayoral spokesman Stu Loeser as Heather Hays and Hannah Isop, are both horse people. Hays is a trainer at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, New York, a farm close by Georgina’s own farm in North Salem and where Georgina competes regularly. Isop rides competitively in a lower bracket, oftentimes on a horse — Husker Du [!] — that Georgina gave Isop, according to EquineHerald.com
While the markets may have hit Mike’s investments, they didn’t slow his philanthropic efforts. Bloomberg gave 235 million to more than 1200 charitable organizations — 30 million more than last year.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 10, 2009