Mitt Romney is without question one of the wealthiest presidential candidates in modern history. His financial success has been a target of opponents who sought to portray him as being out of touch with middle-class Americans in Election 2012.
But how much is Romney really worth? Probably more than we think, according to new reports.
The former Massachusetts governor's financial portfolio has included an offshore company, Bermuda-based Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd., not listed on Romney's mandatory financial disclosures, The Associated Press reports.
The AP says the firm is among several of Romney's undisclosed holdings; another company he has financial ties to recently posted a $1.9 million earning, which the news agency says suggests Romney could be wealthier than the $250 million claimed by his presidential campaign.
Under state and federal ethics guidelines, Romney isn't required to disclose such investments. And, according to The AP, he has never been cited for any such omission.
Whether Romney's level of wealth precludes him from being sympathetic to middle-class woes is a debate perhaps best left to political scientists and beltway pundits.
The real problem here, as private equity, tax and campaign finance law experts told The AP, is this: "Romney's limited disclosures deprive the public of an accurate depiction of his wealth and a clear understanding of how his assets are handled and taxed."
So, to the initial question, how much is Romney really worth? We don't know.
Perhaps it's time to puts some teeth into our financial disclosure laws.