His net worth is over US$36 billion, easily qualifies him as the world’s 14th richest man. He started his career on Wall Street in 1966 in an entry level job at investment bank Salomon Brothers. He made his first barrel of gold when he founded Bloomberg LP, which sold its first financial information systems to Merrill Lynch. But Michael Bloomberg soon found that his skillsets were not confined to business only.
Thanks to September 11 terrorist attacks, he ran for mayor as a Republican and successfully became the 108th Mayor of New York on January 1, 2002. Later, he won a second term in 2005 and just when you thought that was just about it, Bloomberg campaigned to weaken the city’s term limits law and was elected to his third term in 2009. Not only Mike has proven himself as a businessman, he’s also a skilful politician.
Michael Bloomberg is also a well-known philanthropist, having splashing hundreds of millions of dollars through his Bloomberg Philanthropies Foundation. Mikey is so famous that he was urged, numerous times, to run for the U.S. presidential elections, to which he declined. Perhaps his interest was merely being a mayor, not governor nor president. But if mayor is what he loves, there’s a new job opening in … London.
London, the city of 8.5 million will elect Boris Johnson’s successor in May 2016. Speculations are blowing like Hurricane Katrina that Britain could see an American becoming London’s new mayor. British Prime Minister David Cameron has started testing water by getting his adviser, Steve Hilton, persuading Mike Bloomberg to run for the post. It seems London desperately needs a problem-solving leader like Bloomberg.
Interestingly, the present London Mayor Boris Johnson was not the first choice for the city. Bloomberg was supposed to run for the mayorship back in 2008, but Mikey chose to run for a third term in New York instead. So, Boris was nominated as the Tory candidate instead. Now that it’s impossible for Bloomberg to become Mayor of New York for the fourth term, doors are wide open for him to try his skills in London.
Already, British papers are singing songs of praises and throwing supports for Mike Bloomberg to come to London. Among things that impress supporters were Mikey’s push for charter schools, gun control and redevelopment of run-down areas during his mayorship of New York. Although not a citizen of the UK or the European Union, Cameron administration has started running “marketing” campaign promoting Bloomberg.
Bloomberg had began spending a lot of time and money in London after his mayoralty ended in 2013, building “Bloomberg Palace,” a two-tower skyscraper, on the site of Roman temple ruins, goes the marketing talks. The billionaire has a £20 million (US$30 million, RM108 million) house in Knightsbridge and has referred to London as his “second home”. Most importantly, the 73-year-old tycoon was given an honorary knighthood by the Queen last year.
But what about Mikey’s citizenship? No problem. Even if fast track citizenship – which usually takes five years – does not do its trick, money can. Rich foreigners can fast-track their applications for British residency by investing US$15 million in the UK. But Mr Bloomberg has invested more than £500 million (US$746 million, RM2.7 billion) in Britain. Hence, Mikey could get his citizenship, probably in less than a week, if Cameron says so.
After all, getting the American billionaire into Britain is considered as easy as importing foreign soccer stars for UK teams. In addition, both Bloomberg’s daughters, Emma, 36, and Georgina, 32, are British citizens, as is his ex-wife, Susan Brown, born in Yorkshire. They were married for 18 years before divorcing in 1993. But the question is – would Mike Bloomberg leave for London since he loves New York city so much?
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