Friday, August 24, 2012

UK: Romney's riches

The Guardian

Mitt Romney's tax documents: sifting through the grubby details

As Gawker's Bain files show, Romney's wealth is serious – and his financial instruments complex. What lessons can be drawn?

By Richard Adams

Gawker's dump of 950 pages of documents detailing aspects of Mitt Romney's investments shout out one big truth: that Mitt Romney is not just super-wealthy, but that his wealth is nurtured through a thicket of financial instruments that surpass ordinary expectations of wealth.

He also makes money from British shit. But we'll come to that in a minute.

The latest Gawker cache is just the tip of an accounting iceberg, since it details investments that may account for only a mere $10m of Romney's estimated $250m in assets, and described just 21 of the hedge funds, vehicles and partnerships that Romney uses. There are doubtless many more.

Once again, the spotlight turns back onto Romney's association with Bain Capital, since each of the 21 institutions detailed by Gawker are affiliated with Bain. And once again Mitt Romney's taxes become an issue, since many of these are located in the Cayman Islands, a place associated for good or ill with tax avoidance.

Not that anyone is suggesting Mitt Romney has done anything wrong. As the Republican candidate himself repeatedly says: "I paid the taxes required under the law." It's just that the vast majority of Americans don't get the opportunity to invest in Cayman Islands-domiciled funds, whatever the law may say.

Read it at The Guardian:

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