Mitt Romney still gets money from Bain Capital through a blind trust held by his wife Ann and investments in the Cayman Islands. In addition to his Swiss bank account, closed in late 2010, he has other accounts in the tax haven Bermuda. During the 2012 primary, a lot of attention was paid to the idea that Romney was the single Republican candidate in the absolute worst position to make the argument against Obamacare. But Romney is also one of the best possible candidates for President Obama to use to make the case that rich people aren't paying their fair share. As Romney said during a primary debate, "I pay all the taxes owed. And not a penny more." Vanity Fair's Nicholas Shaxson has a fascinating look into how Romney does that with offshore accounts.
Among Shaxson's revelations:
- Romney got more than $2 million in income from Bain in June. "The firm today has at least 138 funds organized in the Cayman Islands, and Romney himself has personal interests in at least 12, worth as much as $30 million, hidden behind controversial confidentiality disclaimers," Shaxson writes. Romney's campaign has repeatedly pointed out that he quit the firm in February 1999, but his ties to the firm lasted beyond that date.
- Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd., an entity based in Bermuda, was set up in 1997 and transferred to Ann Romney's blind trust in January 2003. In securities filings, it's called "a Bermuda corporation wholly owned by W. Mitt Romney," but Romney failed to disclose it on several financial disclosure forms until he listed it on his 2010 tax return. However, his tax return did have 55 pages detailing transactions with foreign entities.
- Romney's blind trusts don't seem all that blind: They've invested $10 million in Solamere Founders Fund, which was founded by their son Tagg and former campaign fundraiser Spencer Zwick. The manager of the trust is Romney's personal lawyer and he says he invested the Romneys' money in Solamere without consulting them.
The Obama campaign loves this story, of course, emailing reporters a link to it very early Tuesday morning. If the Romney campaign says there's nothing unusual about Romney's finances -- that people of his wealth often have offshore accounts to protect them from paying taxes -- that only strengthens Obama's case.