Mitt Romney has an IRA reportedly worth upwards of $100 million. Which is amazing, especially considering the contribution limit is $6000 per year and was lower in the past. The Romney campaign isn’t saying how he pulled it off, but here’s some educated guesswork:
TPM— In other words Romney’s IRA may hold stock in Romney’s offshore funds, those funds could have levered up and yielded huge returns to the IRA. That would allow Romney not just to circumvent the annual contribution limits, but to avoid a 35 percent tax that would have kicked in if the IRA had taken on the debt-financed investments directly.
On a campaign conference call in January, Romney’s trustee promised to investigate whether Romney’s IRA included investments that allowed him to avoid the UBIT. Neither he nor the campaign ever provided an answer.
Even with that nifty little dodge going for him, it’s hard to see how someone’s shares in an IRA built out of non qualified investments could appreciate that much. Unless someone had extraordinary luck in picking shares that would skyrocket, in offshore accounts, while working as a corporate raider privy to more inside information than Bud Fox. Which doesn’t sound too far from what a real-life Gordon Gecko acolyte named Michael Milken pulled off, before he was indicted on 98 counts of insider trading and sentenced to ten years in the pokey.