Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mayor Moneybags Prepares To Run For President

Mayor Moneybags is worth about $15 billion dollars.

He had a third of that fortune invested in his pal Steven Rattner's crooked private equity fund known as Quadrangle Asset Management.

Now he's moving it:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York has decided to remove his fortune from a private equity firm founded by his longtime friend, 10 months after that firm became embroiled in a scandal involving the state pension fund.

The mayor is shifting about $5 billion from Quadrangle into a new investment firm devoted solely to his interest and that of his charitable foundation. About a dozen employees of Quadrangle will join the new enterprise, suggesting the move is not being driven by a desire to change investment strategy. According to a letter that Quadrangle sent to its investors on Friday, the mayor was seeking privacy and flexibility for his investments.

In assets, Quadrangle will shrink by more than half, leaving the firm only private equity investments in the media and telecommunications industries. The setback caps a year of struggle for Quadrangle, after Steven Rattner — the founder who is Mr. Bloomberg’s friend — departed last year to run the Obama administration’s automobile task force. Mr. Rattner was linked to the New York pension fund investigation within months of that appointment and stepped down from his government role last summer.

No charges have been brought against the firm or Mr. Rattner by the attorney general of New York or the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are both investigating Quadrangle’s past dealings with the New York state pension fund.

The Times speculates that Bloomberg is moving the money so that he can use it in 2012, when he may run for president and drop more than $1 billion of his own money on the race.

Leaving aside whether people who were in charge of Bloomberg's money were involved in the pension scandal, I think the important part of the story is that Bloomberg is running for president in 2012.

You can see how he's setting it all up.

He and Obama were once buddies - now he's been criticizing him over the terrorist trials to be held in NYC, over his bank plan, and over the health care reform business.

He's got his buddies in the press writing lots of stories or talking on the TV about Washington gridlock and partisanship that has government paralyzed (the latest was Bobo Brooks on Meet The Press last week saying he know sees a third party candidate as a viable option in 2012 because the two party system is so dysfunctional.)

He hired Howard Wolfson
, former p.r. hack for Hillary Clinton in the '08 race, after he won re-election for a third term as mayor. Wolfson wasn't brought in to jive the press about what the mayor is currently doing at City Hall. Wolfson was brought in to jive the press about what the wonderful non-partisan technocrat Bloomberg can do to solve Washington partisan gridlock.

And now he's moving his money from his crooked pal Rattner's fund so that he can use it for the 2012 run.

The scary thing is, with the Supreme Court allowing corporations to spend as freely as they want on elections (and presumably they just might want to drop lots of money to elect quite literally one of their own) and with Bloomberg's willingness to drop over a billion on this race, it is just possible he could win.

Not likely, of course. But when you're talking that kind of money being leveraged to buy the White House, who the hell knows what'll happen.

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