Mike Bloomberg earns $1 billion a year

Add Michael Bloomberg to the billion-dollar-a-year club. DealBook reports that Fortune’s Carol Loomis has had an inside look at the books, and found 2006 profits of $1.5 billion on revenues of $4.7 billion. Given that Bloomberg personally owns more than two-thirds of the company, his share of the profits would seem to be in the ten-digit range.

Which makes the following all the weirder:

Fortune speculates that Mr. Bloomberg might instead try to leverage up the company to pull out some cash, a scenario that would become more likely should he decide to run for president, which a number of people have reportedly urged him to do.

As for Mr. Bloomberg’s stake, Ms. Loomis writes:

One sticky fact about the $13 billion or so: Right now it’s in the company, not handy if Mike were soon to decide he needed cash for a campaign or philanthropy. So how to create liquidity? The probable answer is debt. Mike may not as yet have taken any on, but a source close to the company says he surely will.

Both political campaigns and philanthropic contributions can certainly consume a lot of cash. But $1 billion a year? Even by today’s presidential campaign standards, it would be mind-boggling if anybody spent more than that. So why can’t Bloomberg just continue to campaign and donate using cashflow rather than debt?

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