1/23/2012 3:08 PM ET|
Where Mitt Romney keeps his money
Romney has more than $1 million tied up in each of several Goldman Sachs funds, including as much as $1 million in the Goldman Sachs Small Cap Value A (GSSMX)fund, which seeks long-term capital appreciation in small-cap stocks.
Romney's portfolio also includes an investment of between $1 million and $5 million in the Goldman Sachs Strategic Income A (GSZAX)fund. His wife's trust has between $500,000 and $1 million in the Goldman Sachs Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund A (GAMDX).
Most of Romney's income is from his investments -- although he did make nearly $114,000 serving on the board of Marriott International (MAR, news). He resigned as a director in January 2011. He also made $374,000 in speaker's fees in 2010 and 2011 combined.
Romney has also drawn fire for profiting from investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- two entities he has criticized along with two former Democratic senators who, Republicans say, favored Fannie and Freddie. "The failures of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd are just so legion that we have to rethink about how we're going to support a growing housing industry," Romney said last September, according to the Boston Globe.
But Romney reported investments of between $250,000 and $500,000 in a mutual fund called the Federated Government Obligations Fund (GOIXX), which invests in the debt of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with other entities. This fund was not part of the blind trust, the Globe reported. Instead, Romney likely would have been familiar with it. Romney's campaign said the investment was made by his charitable trust.
Romney also has millions of dollars in various Bain Capital funds. In his disclosure forms, he said that he hasn't been actively involved with Bain since retiring from there in 1999. His Bain investments were part of his retirement agreements with Bain and are passive in nature, he said.
Income tax returns released
The tax data released this week may not make questions about his tax rate go away. He and his wife paid $6.2 million in taxes over those two years, with a rate of 13.9% in 2010 and 15.2% in 2011. That's lower than a lot of Americans earning far less money pay.
Romney had steadfastly refused to release tax returns in the early months of his campaign, drawing criticism for his hesitation. A Washington Post editorial called it a "striking and disturbing departure" from the past practices of presidential candidates.
"Asking candidates to make their tax returns public is undoubtedly an invasion of privacy," the Post editorial scolded. "But it is one that comes with the territory of a presidential campaign."
Romney pays a low tax rate because most of his income comes from investments; tax rates on capital gains are lower than those on other income.
In the past, Romney's advisers dumped dozens of stocks that would very likely have made him more money, but were thought to be "politically sensitive," Money magazine reported. Those included the now-private casino operator Harrah's and oil companies that do business with Iran.
Cayman Islands investments
Some of Romney's millions have ended up in Bain investment funds in the Cayman Islands, ABC News reported. As much as $8 million is parked in 12 funds in the Caymans, according to ABC, and another investment of between $5 million and $25 million is domiciled in the Caribbean tax haven.
Romney's campaign says the Cayman accounts help attract money from foreign investors. Generally, investment firms like Bain establish Cayman accounts to draw investors to their funds, profiting handsomely in the process. While the Caymans are widely used as a tax haven, his campaign says Romney gets no tax advantage from the Cayman connection and has paid all taxes on income from those funds.
As much as these financial questions may make campaign managers uncomfortable, there is a bright light for Romney here. It might be better for him to get these out of the way now. If Romney wins the Republican nomination, he can try to steer the dialogue away from his financials and toward topics that benefit his campaign against President Barack Obama.
Of course, with Obama expected to focus part of his campaign on the growing gap between rich and poor, and a need to raise taxes on the rich, shifting the focus away from Romney's portfolio may not be easy.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Let Them Eat Cake ~
Quote: " It's very rare to ever have more than $100 million in an IRA" the Journal reported.....
I have some news; these days it's very rare for almost any average American to even have an IRA, (or an other financial instrument), let alone with anything in it approaching nine figures. The 'glitteratti' of the country are not only unbelievably fortunate to be so comfortably esconced in such wealth ... they are also extremely insulated. They have no real sense of the plight of millions of hard working Americans whose finances are so tight that they have to make daily decisions between buying some gas to get to the job, a bag of groceries so the family can eat one more day or for a rent or utility bill that has come due.This nation is in the deep dark woods and the big bad wolf comes knocking on almost everyone's door on a daily basis ... unless you are among the privileged and the landed gentry.
Peace to all ....
I see Romney is like the rest on the rich, hiding money in Caymen Island, Switzerland and who knows where else. Somehow it is a shady deal to me. When he claims he knows how hard things are for the lower and middle class, I cannot believe that, he is out of touch with most of the American people. Maybe the lower and middle class people should be creating the laws, see how Congress likes that.
This is an idea that should be passed, we need a Congressional Reform Act for 2012 1- No Tenure/No Pension. ACongressman/Woman collects salary while in office and receives no pay when their in office. 2- Congress (past, present & Future participates in Social Security. All funds in Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immedicately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress Participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose. 3- Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do. 4- Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower CPI or 3%. 5- Congress loses their current healthcare system and participates in the same healthcare system as the American people. 6- Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people. 7- All contracts with pass and present Congressmen/Women. Congressment/Women made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their terms, then go home and back to work. If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take 3 days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Don't you think its time? If you agree, you need to send this to you friends and let it get to our Officials.
They should be made to live on the laws they made for us, then you will see changes. I don't trust any of them. Its a real shame those representing us have so much greed in them.
What kind of "patriot" shelters their money in the Cayman Islands?
So the guy is criticized for using the existing laws to reduce his taxes, instead of applauded for maximizing profits, creating and saving jobs, which is what America was formerly about.
- We have a tax code of over 54,000 pages and one should question if these "existing laws" create a healthy economy that benefits ALL Americans or are they special tax breaks and shelters that only help the rich while putting the American economy at risk by shipping jobs overseas and for speculative behavior.
- Bain capital does have winners like Staples and Sports Authority but there are also questions about the failures that Bain and other capital equity firms invest in. There is no doubt that some of these companies were doomed to failure but the equity firms finance these deals by loading these companies with debt so their investments are paid back with a 'maximized' profit. Sometimes these new debt loads were what kill the companies. If these equity firms had lost money on some of these investments then I would conclude that these were real attempts to turn the companies around. If they only made profits off of these failed companies then I would have to wonder what their motives were.
- As for job growth 2000-2010 was the first decade since the 1930 with zero job growth. Federal taxes are at historic lows yet job growth is anemic. Again, have our tax and business policies been created to maximize job growth or to maximize profits for those at the very top.
- Yes, at one time America had a vibrant middle class which created demand for many of the goods that companies produced and sell. Companies had healthy profits and Americans had good paying jobs. THIS is what America was formerly about.
All these attacks on Romney over his money is all BS, I wouldn't have released a damn thing even if it casused me to lose, let America have Newt if that's what they want, even worse let them keep the Clown show in the white house going another four years for all I care! What he has released will not be enough you hard it in today's debate already Brian Williams saying that some will ask for more years, why because that is precisly the Obama game plan, keep Romney looking like the rich boogie man, why don't we get tax returns from Nancy Pelosi, Reid and all the other rich bastards in politics, say what you want about Romney he looks to me like a man who has worked for what he has and is smart enough to know how to keep it, just like everyone else would do if they knew how period! This man has been married to the same woman for over 40 years, raised great productive kids, and has made alot of money, why would this man want to be president if it wern't just to want to help this country? He doesn't need money, power, or the headache!
There are so many ways to keep the govt from taxing money it's ridiculous - but you've got to have money first to hire the CPAs and Attorneys who know how to do it - money put into an IRA is supposed to be taxed when its taken out, but it can be dribbled out and the balance at death does not have to be taxed immediately - it can go to a beneficiary who may have 70 yrs to live ... the rules are made to avoid taxes; those rules are put into place by the rich and can only realistically be used by the rich. Just like the "no estate taxes" BS. Only the rich (top 1%) are even subject to the estate tax, for the 99% its a non-issue. Why should huge fortunes be passed on without tax to generation after generation of kids who never have to work a day in their life? Capital gains tax is another way the rich get richer without paying significant tax. I believe a major overhaul of tax code is overdue and the result should be simpler more straight forward and offer more transparency. The VAT should be looked at closely and considered. Property taxes are of more concern to me than income taxes. At least with income tax, if you don't make the money you don't have to pay the tax. And sales tax is pretty high but at least with sales tax, if you don't have the money and don't spend money then sales tax is more controlable. I'm happy to pay U.S. taxes if I earn money here in the good ol USA - I think its despicable for people who are so fortunate to live in a country where they can succeed and have the freedoms and benefits and government services we do and then not want to help support the general welfare of our friends and neighbors. We have problems but the "government" is not the cause of them. The people we elect to represent us have failed us and our government.
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