Michael Bloomberg is a very rich man. As of publishing, the Forbes real-time net worth tracker had him ringing in at $52.4 billion, making him the 9th wealthiest person in the world.
The former New York City mayor has built up quite the empire, but as he disclosed to Radio Iowa this past December, he'd give it up if he won a presidential campaign—either by selling it or placing it in a blind trust. The New York Times reports that Bloomberg "is expected to file paperwork this week in at least one state with an early deadline, although an adviser said the former New York mayor had not made a final decision to run."
While he's deliberating, let's see exactly what he's promising to put on the line.
The businessman founded Bloomberg LP, a media and financial data services company, in 1981.
After 15 years at Wall Street firm Salomon Brothers, he was let go with a $10 million severance package. He used those funds to found Bloomberg, sensing that the financial sector needed better information and analysis—and that traders would happily pay top dollar for that service.
Today, he retains an 88% stake in the company, which has grown to a full-on media business as well as a suite of products serving the financial industry.
He rose to national prominence during his three terms as New York City's mayor.
During his administration, Bloomberg took the same data-driven approach that had benefited him the private sector and applied it to the city government. He advocated for improved infrastructure, environmentally-friendly policies, and public health-minded reforms like bans on smoking and trans fats.
Of course, his tenure wasn't without controversy. Bloomberg continues to support the "Stop and Frisk" tactic implemented during his terms, although critics believe it lead to over-policing of minority communities. His close ties to Wall Street were also distasteful to those on the left.
He was elected mayor as a Republican and an Independent, but Bloomberg has made it clear that if he campaigns for 2020, it will be as a Democrat. It's also important to note that he spent at least $268 million on his three mayoral runs, giving him a huge monetary advantage.
In recent years, he's continued to make headlines for his philanthropy.
Bloomberg broke records this past fall when he donated $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins's financial aid programs—the largest single contribution ever made to an educational institution.
He's also made significant contributions in the hopes of fighting climate change, an issue that he advocated for in Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet, a 2017 book he co-wrote with Carl Pope.
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