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Who Are the Wealthiest Members of the Obama Administration?
Who Are the Wealthiest Members of the Obama Administration?

By Sophie Gilbert Published Thursday, March 19, 2009

Its no surprise that the big money in government is in defense. But monied people seem to go there, too. In the April edition of the magazine, available today, we examine the wealthiest Cabinet secretaries in the Obama administration. According to the financial-disclosure forms of Obama administration figures, though, there are more than a few millionaires in the rest of the team too. In fact, beyond the department heads, four out of ten of the wealthiest Obama appointees are at the Pentagon. Heres how the list shakes out:

1. Gary Gensler, head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission: assets of at least $15,533,000, though they could total as much as $61,745,000.
Gensler, a Baltimore native, is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs School of Making Money, becoming partner when he was 30 and eventually the companys cohead of finance.

2. Susan Rice, ambassador to the United Nations: assets of $14,031,000 to $41,265,000.
Thanks to family money, Rice hasnt had to rely on her $123,460-a-year job at the Brookings Institutionplus an $86,568 directors fee at BNA, a publisher of information for government and businessto pay the bills. She has between $4 million and $20 million squirreled away in Canadian banks.

3. Jeh Johnson, Defense Department general counsel: assets of $11,237,000 to $51,580,000.
In Johnsons wedding announcement, the New York Times called him the most eligible bachelor partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, the New York law firm. Heres why: The partnership brought him $2,636,314 in 2008 along with a severance payment between $1 million and $5 million, placing him firmly on the list of Lawyers Taking Absurd Pay Cuts to Work for Obama.

4. Mary Schapiro, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission: assets of $11,139,000 to $41,795,000.
Schapiro, who now has the distinction of serving under five presidents, comes to the SEC from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. According to an SEC spokesman, Schapiros severance package from FINRA amounts to $7.2 million; she also received deferred-compensation packages of $675,033 from Kraft Foods and up to $1.5 million from Duke Energy (she was a director at both companies).

5. Rahm Emanuel, White House chief of staff: assets of $5,023,000 to $13,170,000 in 2007.
According to congressional disclosures, Emanuel made $16.2 million in his 2 years as an investment banker at Wasserstein Perella, in between advising Bill Clinton and taking Rod Blagojevichs vacant seat in the 5th District of Illinoisor roughly $740 an hour 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Despite considerable assets, Emanuel is notoriously thrifty when it comes to living arrangements. When in DC, he lives rent-free in a room provided by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro.

6. Thomas Perrelli, associate attorney general: assets of $2,322,000 to $5,630,000.
As managing partner of Jenner & Blocks Washington office, where he specialized in copyright and media law, Perrelli made $1,382,760 in 2008. His stock portfolio is relatively diverse, with holdings in everything from soft drinks to cell phones, and he has between $500,000 and $1 million in a Bank of America account.

7. Robert Hale, Defense undersecretary/comptroller: assets between $2,223,000 and $8,120,000.
We hope Hale has a thrifty streak because he will be tasked with reining in Pentagon spending. The American Society of Military Comptrollers paid him $150,000 as executive director in 2008, with an additional bonus of $42,500. His own consulting firm, RFH Consulting, made $8,000.

Kirk, Panetta, Goolsbee and more...

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