What’s Ross Worth?

Forbes - - FACT & COMMENT -

How much is Sec­re­tary of Com­merce wil­bur ross worth? last year, Forbes es­ti­mated his for­tune at $2.9 billion. But in Jan­uary he filed a fi­nan­cial-dis­clo­sure form re­veal­ing a net worth of roughly $700 mil­lion. Asked about the dis­crep­ancy, ross ex­plained that he shifted a chunk of his as­sets into trusts for his fam­ily mem­bers be­tween the elec­tion and the in­au­gu­ra­tion, leav­ing more than $2 billion off of his dis­clo­sure.

Fed­eral law re­quires Cab­i­net mem­bers to list in­come-pro­duc­ing as­sets, even ones they re­cently sold or gave away. ross says he fol­lowed all rules, but how some­one ap­par­ently held $2 billion worth of as­sets that pro­duced less than $200 of in­come last year—the min­i­mum thresh­old for dis­clo­sures—raises more ques­tions than it an­swers.

Still, with $700 mil­lion to his name, ross re­mains one of the rich­est mem­bers of don­ald Trump’s Cab­i­net, though he no longer qual­i­fies for The Forbes 400. “I don’t care if I’m on the list or not,” he says. “That frankly doesn’t mat­ter. But what I don’t want is for peo­ple to sud­denly think that I’ve lost a lot of money when it’s not true.” —Dan Alexan­der

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