Obama Discloses Assets Valued at $2.8 Million to $11.8 Million

U.S. President Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama held total assets of between $2.8 million and $11.8 million last year and reported no debt, according to federal financial disclosure forms released yesterday.

The president’s assets were concentrated in U.S. Treasury obligations, an investment posture that would leave him financially vulnerable if he and congressional leaders can’t agree on raising the U.S. debt limit in time to avoid a default.

Obama reported holding between $1 million and $5 million in U.S. Treasury bills and between $1 million and $5 million in Treasury notes, according to the forms, which give ranges of value rather than specific amounts. Treasury bills have maturities of one year or less; Treasury notes have maturities of between one and 10 years.

In a JPMorgan Chase & Co. checking account, Obama, 49, reported a balance of between $250,001 and $500,000.

The disclosure forms reveal that Obama’s holdings grew from 2009, when he reported assets of between $2.3 million and $7.7 million. The growth mostly comes from an increase in the valuation of the Treasury notes from 2009.

Treasuries returned 5.88 percent last year, the best returns since 2008, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s U.S. Treasury Master Index data. The financial disclosure did not include performance data on the president’s portfolio.

The president’s tax return for 2010, released April 18, showed that he had a total adjusted gross income of $1.7 million and paid $453,770 in federal income taxes. Most of his income came from royalties paid on his books -- “Dreams From My Father,” a memoir, and “The Audacity of Hope,” which outlines his political philosophy.

Biden’s Disclosure

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, reported assets of between $241,000 and $894,000 in mutual funds, life insurance and certificates of deposit. The Bidens’ largest asset is a residential rental property in Wilmington, Delaware, valued between $100,000 and $250,000.

The vice president and his wife reported debts of between $160,000 and $450,000, the largest of which is a home equity line of credit from the Wilmington Savings Fund Society on which they owed between $100,000 and $250,000.

Neither Obama nor Biden, 68, reported retaining any gifts for personal use during 2010. They are required to report on the financial disclosure forms only those gifts they retain that are valued at more than $335. In most cases, the president and the vice president accept gifts on behalf of the U.S. government and the items are turned over to the National Archives, rather than kept for personal use.

The financial disclosure forms for federal office-holders do not include the value of a primary residence or of a mortgage on a primary residence.

Disclosures from other members of the administration who are required to file them likely will be released next month, Bob Bauer, counsel to the president, wrote on the White House website.

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