Jan 18, 2020

Bloomberg can delay financial disclosure until after Super Tuesday

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group/Getty Images

Billionaire presidential contender Mike Bloomberg received an extension through March 20 that allows him to keep details about his personal wealth confidential until after Americans vote in the 2020 Democratic primaries, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Billionaires have been a focal point so far in the 2020 election, and have been lamented by other candidates for using their vast wealth to buy the nomination.

The state of play: Bloomberg received an extended deadline to file his financial disclosure more than two weeks after Super Tuesday.

  • He has already poured $200 million into TV and digital ads, the Times notes.
  • Bloomberg entered the race in November, months after his rivals. If he drops out before March 20, he may never have to share his financial particulars.

The big picture: Transparency has become important to the 2020 race since President Trump has refused to share his tax returns. "Many Democrats do not want to cede their political advantage on the topic in 2020," the Times writes.

Our thought bubble, via Dan Primack: Bloomberg, as one of America's most successful living entrepreneurs, has created and amassed a lot of wealth.

  • There should be a thorough accounting of how he made his money, and how it affected others along the way.
  • If there are legitimate criticisms, let 'em fly. Just as they should for any other part of his professional and personal conduct, in both the private and public sectors.
  • And there is certainly value in a robust debate over the future viability of plutocracy in America, including the idea of taxing wealth (as opposed to only taxing income).

Bloomberg is worth an estimated $50 billion, per the Times.

His campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

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Why it matters: Bloomberg is skipping the four early contests in February and hoping to make a national splash on Super Tuesday on March 3. By positioning himself as a moderate best suited to defeat Trump, the billionaire and former New York mayor would stand to benefit from no clear front-runner emerging from the early contests.