Mitt Romney: Goldman Sachs Guy

Mitt says he's "not a Wall Street guy." But in one key way, he's pure Wall Street.

| Mon Jan. 23, 2012 4:00 AM PST

Mark Makela/ZUMAPRESS.comMark Makela/ZUMAPRESS.com

"I am not a Wall Street guy, classically defined," said Mitt Romney in a December interview with the Huffington Post. Private equity firm Bain Capital, Romney's longtime employer and the company that made him rich, he seemed to say, was a different breed from JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and the other Wall Street financial titans. It was as if he was distancing himself from the unpopular Wall Streeters who helped cause the 2008 economic collapse.

But in one key way, Romney is pure Wall Street. A review of his personal financial disclosure records shows that a chunk of Romney's wealth—he's worth an estimated $190 million to $250 million—comes from investments in an array of Wall Street banks and investment houses, none more so than Goldman Sachs.

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Romney and his wife, Ann, have investments in nearly three-dozen various Goldman funds together valued at between $17.7 million to $50.5 million, according to a financial disclosure form (PDF) filed in August 2011. Those investments appear in the blind trusts and individual retirement accounts belonging to the Romneys. Romney's been a loyal Goldman Sachs client. His 2007 disclosure, filed before his first presidential run, showed Goldman investments valued at between $18.2 million and $51.5 million.

No other Republican presidential candidate comes to close to matching the size and breadth of Romney's investment portfolio. Nor do any of the other candidates' personal financial disclosures list any investments in Goldman-run funds. Romney's big bet on Goldman's financial wizardry could give more ammo to his critics who attack him as a out-of-touch corporate elite who profited by flipping companies and laying off workers, and who has little in common with average Americans. (A Romney spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.)

Goldman Sachs is considered by many one of the villains of the 2008 financial crisis. In 2010, Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi acidly described Goldman as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money." After a lengthy investigation into the firm's activities, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) accused Goldman last year of deceiving its clients by selling them complex investments that the firm's own traders predicted would fail—a charge Goldman vehemently denied. Levin also accused Goldman brass of misleading Congress about its trading activities, referring the matter to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Goldman investments in Romney's 2011 disclosure are spread across a variety of portfolios and investment funds. A private, Goldman-managed stock portfolio in Mitt Romney's blind trust worth between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000 contains stock holdings in 32 companies, including Bank of America, McDonald's, Staples, and Occidental Petroleum. Another Goldman fund, also worth between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000, invests in (PDF) everything from junk bonds to US Treasuries, derivatives to futures, foreign currencies to the government housing corporation Fannie Mae.

Here's a list of the Romneys' most recent Goldman investments:

Investment Low range High range Holder Type
GS Financial Square Federal Fund - FST Shares $5,000,001 $25,000,000 Mitt IRA
GS Private Client Portfolio $1,000,001 $5,000,000 Mitt Blind trust
GS Strategic Income Fund Class 1 $1,000,001 $5,000,000 Mitt Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Small Cap Value Class 1 $500,001 $1,000,000 Mitt Blind trust
GS Financial Square Federal Fund - FST Shares $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Linked to GP GSCI Agriculture, structured note $500,001 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Trust GS Inflation Protected Securities Funds - INSTL SHS $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Linked to MSCI EAFE Structured Note $500,001 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
GS Local Emerging Mkts Debt FD Mutual Fund $500,001 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
GS Strategic Income Fund CL 1 $500,001 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc Linked to DJIA Structured Note $500,001 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc Linked to DJIA Structured Note $500,001 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
GS 2002 Exchange Place Fund LP $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
GS Capital Partners Fund 2000 LP $500,001 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Global Opportunities Fund LLC $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Partners LLC $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Partners II LLC $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Trust GS Inflation Protected Securities Fund - INSTL SHS $250,001 $500,000 Mitt Blind trust
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc Linked to Russell 2000 Index Structured Note $250,001 $500,000 Ann Blind trust
Cash - GS Account $100,001 $250,000 Ann Blind trust
Cash - GS Account $50,001 $100,000 Mitt Blind trust
GS Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund LLC $50,001 $100,000 Mitt Blind trust
GS Capital Partners III LP $15,001 $50,000 Ann Blind trust
GS Financial Square Federal Fund - FST Shares $1,001 $15,000 Ann IRA
Goldman Sachs Core Fixed-Inc Mutual Fund $1,001 $15,000 Ann IRA
The Goldman Sachs Group CMN (Sold) $0 $1,001 Mitt Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Investment Grade Credit Fund - Inst (Sold) $0 $1,001 Mitt Blind trust
GS Global Equity Partners I, LLC (Sold) $0 $1,001 Mitt Blind trust
Cash - GS Account $0 $1,001 Mitt IRA
Goldman Sachs Ultra-Short Duration Government FD (Sold) $0 $1,001 Mitt IRA
Goldman Sachs Short Duration Government FD (Sold) $0 $1,001 Mitt IRA

 

Here's a list of Goldman investments in Romney's 2007 disclosure:

Investment Low range High range Holder Type
Goldman Sachs Financial Square (Sold) $0 $1,001 Mitt Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Institutional LI (Sold) $0 $1,001 Mitt Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Bank Deposit $500,000 $1,000,000 Mitt Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Emerging Equity Fund $1,000,001 $5,000,000 Mitt Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc $1,000,001 $5,000,000 Mitt Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Struct Intl Equity Fund $1,000,001 $5,000,000 Mitt Blind trust
GS Global Equity Partners $1,000,001 $5,000,000 Mitt Blind trust
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc 0% 9/25/08 (Sold) $0 $1,001 Mitt Blind trust
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc 0% Due 12/11/2009 (Sold) $0 $1,001 Mitt Blind trust
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc 0% Due 3/25/10 $250,001 $500,000 Mitt Blind trust
GS Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund, LLC $1,000,001 $5,000,000 Mitt Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Global Strategic Energy Fund, LLC $1,000,001 $5,000,000 Mitt Blind trust
Goldman Sachs GTAA Fund, LCC $1,000,001 $5,000,000 Mitt Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Financial Square Federal Fund $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Intl Real Estate Secs Fund $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
GS 2002 Exchange Place Fund LP $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
GS Global Opportunities, LLC $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
GS Direct Strategies Fund LLC $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
GS Hedge Fund Partners II LLC $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
GS Hedge Fund Partners LLC $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
GS Quant and Active Direct Strategies Fund, LLC $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
GS Capital Partners Fund 2000, LP $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Ann Blind trust
GS Capital Partners III LP $100,101 $250,000 Ann Blind trust
Goldman Sachs Financial Square Federal Fund $1,000,001 $5,000,000 Mitt IRA
Goldman Sachs Emerging Markets Equity Fund $250,001 $500,000 Mitt IRA
GS Structured US Equity Institutional $100,101 $250,000 Mitt IRA
Goldman Sachs Japanese Equity Fund $0 $1,001 Mitt IRA
Goldman Sachs Financial Square Federal Fund $0 $1,001 Ann IRA
Goldman Sachs Core Fixed-Inc I Mutual Fund $1,001 $15,000 Ann IRA

Romney has grappled with accusations in both of his presidential bids that he's a lifelong member of the wealthy elite who can't relate to blue-collar Americans. Romney has recently compounded his 1-percent problem by claiming that $374,000 in speaking fees is "not very much," betting Rick Perry $10,000 during a nationally televised debate, and revealing that he pays roughly 15 percent in taxes. (A typical middle class family pays closer to 25 percent.)

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, says that while Romney isn't the first very wealthy man to run for president (think John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt), one of Romney's basic problems is connecting with middle-class Americans. His many investments in Goldman could shape voters' opinions of Romney. "The massive Goldman holdings would be another bit of the Romney mosaic," Sabato says. "It's another reason why Romney has to find ways to better connect with average people's problems—because he doesn't have any of the same problems on his plate."

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