The $102M IRA

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I read the first plausible story of an IRA of this size from a report in the Boston Globe. Though this could only be confirmed if Romney agrees to release his tax returns, the math is almost appalling. Mitt Romney was the sole shareholder of Bain until 2002. SEC filings for 2002 show Bain Capital to have just over 3 million shares of class A common stock at a par value of $0.01. An IRA account allows for a $5,000 contribution per year, or 500,000 shares at 1 cent per share. The same contribution each year for 6 years would result in a $30,000 IRA consisting of 3 million shares of Bain Capital stock at $0.01/share. If Bain sold for $34/share in 2002, which does not seem unreasonable given its earning potential, then those 3 million shares would be valued at exactly $102 million with no immediate tax liability. Am I wrong to think this is too odd a coincidence not to be questionable?

Bryan22's picture
Jul. 18, 2011 10:26 am

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