With the Occupy Wall Street protesters in Zucotti Park earning the attention of the national and worldwide press it seemed overdue for a Noticing New York update on the history and status of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's accumulation of wealth. Many of the placards on display when you visit the protest are critical of Bloomberg, including the one above that suggests that Bloomberg be spoken to "about the looting." Conversely, Bloomberg is critical about what the protesters have to say.
For a long time and until just recently, Bloomberg was not only the Mayor but also the city's richest individual (now he is only the second richest), his wealth having skyrocketed after he announced his interest in politics. For more about the unprecedented peculiarity of that and Bloomberg's conflicts of interests as Mayor while his wealth accumulated see: Thursday, October 22, 2009, This Is Rich! Looks Like Bloomberg is Making History and Sunday, November 1, 2009 Bloomberg vs. Thomson (54% to 29%?): It’s Not What You Think. (For Instance the “P” is Missing and What Might “P” Stand For?). The image below is from, and explained in, those posts.
The coverage in those posts provides good material for asking Bloomberg questions "about the looting."
Here, as an updated quick reference, are figures on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s increasing estimated annual net worth consolidated from Forbes for our article The Good News IS the Bad News: Thanks A lot for Mayor Bloomberg’s “Charity” (Monday, February 2, 2009). For more on what those numbers mean in context click to read the article.
The most reliably constant gauge of his wealth over the years are the annual figures published by Forbes in September of each year:
1996 - $1 billion* For more on how Bloomberg's wealth declined (because he didn't see the financial crisis coming?- And how the press missed it) see: Bloomberg Update: Fire and Ice (Sunday, April 12, 2009)
1997 - $1.3 billion
1998 - $2 billion
1999- $2.5 billion
2000- $4 billion
2001- $4 billion
2002- $4.8 billion
2003- $4.9 Billion
2004- $5 Billion
2005- $5.1 Billion
2006- $5.3 Billion
2007- $11.5 billion
2008- $20 billion
2009- $16 billion (interim March figure)*
2009- $17.5 billion (A year of $105 million in direct campaign expenditures, plus. .)**
2010- $18.0 billion (Bloomberg surpassed by David H. Koch)***
2011- $19.5 billion
** Respecting this: Direct campaign expenditure were over $105 million. Bloomberg, in his three bids for mayor, easily burned through more than $250 million in direct campaign expenditures. Taking into account funds Bloomberg spent indirectly for political purposes you get into billion dollar figures.
*** Bloomberg was still reported to be New York City's richest New Yorker in March of 2010 but in September 2010 was surpassed by David H. Koch, one of the two equally wealthy brothers providing substantial funding to the Tea Party. It is to be observed with some interest that Bloomberg's accretion of wealth substantially accelerated when Bloomberg got involved in politics. In August of 2010 people began writing about how David Koch and his brother Charles were funding the Tea Party which emerged starting in the beginning of 2009 (i.e. just weeks after Obama’s January 2009 inauguration.) Looks like it can be very good for one’s financial status to get involved in politics! (Though to be fair the Kochs were involved in politics before the advent of the Tea Party.) The brothers' privately-owned Koch Industries is a diversified conglomerate that had its origins in crude oil refining and still has substantial investment in pipelines and refineries. Consequently, Koch Industries has a history of accidents, spills and pollution of the environment.
For an older story about how the media is not keeping up with the story of Bloomberg's wealth, the conflicts of interests involved in where it comes from and his so-called "charitable" giving see: No Real Debate About It: Press Remains Way Off Track in Presupposing Bloomberg’s “Charity” (Friday, October 2, 2009)
For Noticing New York's remarks on Bloomberg's term limits extension see: Challenging Bloomberg Unlimited (Sunday, October 18, 2009)
(Mayor Bloomberg above listening to public testimony about the term limits extension bill he signed immediately afterward.)
Does making so much money make Bloomberg a good mayor? See: Monday, March 28, 2011, Take TWO (AYR’s) On Times Coverage- Revisiting Light Shed by CityTime Outsourcing Scandal When Reexamining Bloomberg Management Myth.
[Note, PS added January 25, 2013- Updating information is available in the post: Friday, January 25, 2013, Bloomberg’s Increasing Annual Wealth: 1996 to 2012 Plus Updates On His Annual “Charitable” Giving]