Mike Bloomberg on Corporations

Mayor of New York City (Independent)


Business have big cash reserves & need no tax cuts

A Wall Street Journal editor asked a room full of CEOs to raise their hands if the corporate tax cut being considered in Congress would lead them to invest more. Very few hands went up. Attending was Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump's economic adviser and a friend of mine. He asked: "Why aren't the other hands up?"

Allow me to answer that: We don't need the money.

Corporations are sitting on a record amount of cash reserves: nearly $2.3 trillion. That figure has been climbing steadily since the recession ended in 2009, and it's now double what it was in 2001. The reason CEOs aren't investing more of their liquid assets has little to do with the tax rate.

The largest economic challenges we face include a skills crisis that our public schools are not addressing, crumbling infrastructure that imperils our global competitiveness, wage stagnation coupled with growing wealth inequality, and rising deficits that will worsen as more baby boomers retire.

Source: OpEd by Michael Bloomberg in Bloomberg News , Dec 15, 2017

Reduce 35% corporate tax by eliminating loopholes

I'm in favor of reducing the 35 percent corporate tax rate as part of a revenue-neutral tax reform effort. Right now, the corporate code is so convoluted, and rates so high relative to other nations (thereby creating an incentive to keep profits offshore), that the real rates companies pay can be wildly divergent. This is neither fair nor efficient. Eliminating loopholes and reining in the offshoring of profits can and should be done in a revenue-neutral overhaul of the tax code.
Source: OpEd by Michael Bloomberg in Bloomberg News , Dec 15, 2017

Rezoning old manufacturing sites led to construction boom

Bloomberg oversaw the most massive rezoning in more than 40 years, recognizing the city's changing face, especially the diminished role of its once thriving manufacturing base. That left acres of industrial moonscapes to be reclaimed once the city government decreed that housing, office buildings, hotels and stores could rise where factories and plants once stood. The new zoning did not guarantee new building, it only cleared a path for more and more building during and after what had already become the biggest construction boom in 30 years. The cranes worked overtime until the Wall Street meltdown and recession of 2008.

The new rules also restrained some development in congested residential neighborhoods and provided for some manufacturing and affordable housing at various sites, though nowhere near enough to satisfy critics who argue that too many of Bloomberg's plans favor the wealthy.

Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by J.Purnick, p.207-208 , Sep 28, 2010

Wooed Goldman Sachs to NYC with $1.65 billion in tax breaks

Bloomberg described how he lobbied the CEO of Goldman Sachs to build the company’s new headquarters across from Ground Zero. Bloomberg says, “This is where the best want to live and work. So I told him, ‘We can help with minimizing taxes. Minimizing your rent. Improving security. But in the end, this is about people.’ ” The city’s workforce has plenty of admirable qualities, but even Bloomberg can’t spin the fact that Goldman got more than $1.65 billion in city and state “help” in the deal.
Source: Chris Smith, New York Magazine , Oct 3, 2005

Built up a $1.3B company from scratch over 20 years

It had been 20 years since we started the company--refugees from Wall Street motivated by an idea that we could build something new that just might make a difference in the world of money and investing. We were too young and too insignificant for anyone to warn us then that we were crazy to think we could create a company that could challenge the giants of financial media. So we didn't hesitate. Within a year, we had our 1st customer and 5 years later, our 1st overseas office. By 1989, our annual sales were approaching $100 million and there were now more than 400 of us selling a machine that had a small, growing following.

We added magazines, radio, and television--all tethered to the 24-hour machine--that made us unique as a multimedia company catering to the people with the most at stake. We were never satisfied and that drove us to work harder and build more. By May 1997 we were able to install our 75,000th Bloomberg computer terminal, bringing our annual sales to $1.3 billion.

Source: Bloomberg by Bloomberg, by Mike Bloomberg, p. v , Aug 27, 2001

Given $10M upon being fired from Salomon Brothers in 1981

So there I was, 39 years old and essentially hearing, “Here’s $10 million; you’re history.” One summer morning, the managing partners told me my life at Salomon Brothers was finished. On Saturday, Aug. 1, 1981, I was terminated from the only fulltime job I’d ever known, and from the high-pressure life I loved. This, after fifteen years of 12-hour days and 6-day weeks. Out!

For a decade and a half, I’d been an integral part of the country’s most successful securities trading firm, even of Wall Street itself. Not just in my head. If my press was to be believed, in everyone’s. Suddenly, though, needed no longer. I was a general partner. An owner rather than an employee. Nevertheless: Fired!

The Salomon Brothers Executive Committee had decide to merge the 71-year-old partnership with a publicly-held commodities trading firm, Phibro Corporation. For 63 of us, it was our last meeting as Salomon partners.

Of course, there was the $10 million I was getting. America’s a wonderful country.

Source: Chapter 1 of “Bloomberg by Bloomberg,” by Mike Bloomberg , Aug 10, 2001

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Page last updated: Mar 15, 2019