TIME Interview with Mike Bloomberg

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TIME Magazine Cover, October 21, 2013
Photograph by Charles Ommanney / Reportage by Getty Images for TIME

Mike Bloomberg is about to be unemployed for the second time in his professional life. The first was in August of 1981, when Saloman Brothers fired Bloomberg from the only full-time job he had ever known. The second time will be January 1, 2014, when he hands control of New York City over to the next mayor.

The cover story of this week’s TIME magazine is about what Bloomberg will do next, with a clear focus on his enormous wealth and his determination to spend it down changing the world to fit his vision. We live now in a new age of mega-philanthropy, when newly minted billionaires have enormous powers to influence politics and how we live our lives. To report the story, I travelled in late September with Bloomberg to Paris and London, where he reviewed grant proposals and launched new philanthropic efforts and met with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

To read the full story, click here.

Below are some additional excerpts from Bloomberg’s conversation with TIME in London.

On what he will do next:

I’ve said I’m not a consultant. I would want to own the company. I’m not a teacher. I want to learn, but that’s not my bag. I’m not an investor. I delegate that to others. I’m not an author. I wrote one book, did a book party, know what it’s like. I wrote every word in the book no matter what anybody says. But I’ve done it once. I want to do things. And I think the first answer to your questions is if you came to me and said, “I’m just retired or lost my job or whatever. What should I do?” My answer is wait a little while, a couple of months, and see what’s out there because of the things that will become available to you that you never ever even remotely thought about. And it would be a shame to commit yourself. And whatever’s available to you day one is going to be available two months later if it isn’t “So what?”

On how he approaches philanthropy:

I want to work on those things that others aren’t working on, where you can really make an impact and you can do groundbreaking work or set up the world for the next philanthropist or innovator to come along. So for example, smoking, nobody was working on that. AIDS lots of people are working on, but nobody’s working on obesity. Nobody’s working on traffic deaths. Malaria, yes, there are other people doing it, but at Johns Hopkins we’re trying to build a better mosquito, one that will drive out the old one but doesn’t carry the parasite.  With [Bill] Gates, on polio I gave him $100 million. I gave him an award the other day, the Lasker Award, he and Melinda, and he had sent me an email. We had talked about polio before. It’s down to three countries: Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. We’ve had 40-odd workers who have been giving out vaccine killed so far working on this project. If you could stamp out polio, it wouldn’t come back. If you don’t stamp it out, it will catch on, like tuberculosis is — in Africa tuberculosis all of a sudden has reared its head. It’s a disaster. All of a sudden. If you can — and why not do that when there’s plenty of money? Because a lot of people will be afraid to go in with the dangers and the fact that that last three countries is going to cost a half a billion dollars.

On the resistance to his efforts:

None of these fights are going to be easy. If it was easy, we wouldn’t have to have a fight. It would have been done a long time ago. But all of these things. Yes, the tobacco companies are strong. Yes, now they’re attacking with e-cigarettes, which are not great for you, incidentally. Don’t smoke them. Or obesity with full-sugar drinks and fast food cultures and that sort of thing. Okay, you know, if it was easy, it would have been solved and I wouldn’t be attacking it. These are good problems to have. And nobody thinks you’re going to win all the time. But just take a look. Gay marriage is as good an example as any. There’s a whole bunch of states now. And background checks for internet and gun show sales on guns, 15 states now have background checks. And in every one of those states, the suicide rate’s half the national average. It’s fascinating. Suicide, you have to get a gun quickly. There’s fewer guns on the streets. Chances are you don’t find the gun. You don’t commit suicide. You say, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” And you never get around to it, okay?

TIME Cover:Michael Bloomberg Wants To Be Mayor of the World

169 comments
MeiHaChan
MeiHaChan

Thank you Michael Bloomberg for spending 12 years of your life attempting to improve New York City. I hope your enjoy your retirement....do what you want to do.

jamalagrin
jamalagrin

Bloomberg  should do a Houdini disappearing act for the sake of the country. Next to President Obama, he is the biggest, most stupid, interfering thug in the country telling people what they can drink, eat, and how to act. He is a perfect candidate to run for office in communist Russia, or in any one of the Islamic fascist countries. Good riddance from office I say on behalf of anyone who believes in freedoms.

jamalagrin
jamalagrin

Bloomberg  should do a Houdini disappearing act for the sake of the country. Next to President Obama, he is the biggest, most stupid, interfering thug in the country telling people what they can drink, eat, and how to act. He is a perfect candidate to run for office in communist Russia, or in any one of the Islamic fascist countries. Good riddance from office I say on behalf of anyone who believes in freedoms.

TomBurch
TomBurch


Does the world really need another ego-bloated millionaire with a "... determination to spend it down changing the world to fit his vision"?  Perhaps Bloomberg could use his golden years to enroll in a few American history courses at SUNY to actually learn that the USA was established to allow "We the People" to sculpt America into its collective vision.  Or maybe Bloomberg could set himself up as a cable talk show personality who hosts a liberal version of Fox television's successful The Five program. Bloomberg could sign-up Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Sharpton and Alex Baldwin to sit around a semicircular table and spend one hour per night telling each other how superior they are to everybody else in America. It would be entertaining to see the 5 of these self absorbed elitists talking over each other for a full 60 minutes - all of them demanding to get the last word in - meaning the show would be a non-stop cacophony of loud white noise.  Bloomberg could call his dily talkfest Tower of Babel. Nobody in his right mind would watch such dreck twice, but at least it would get Bloomberg off the street so he couldn't force his personal agendas on an undeserving public.

BobSmith7
BobSmith7

He's a little man with a big ego and lots of money.  A dangerous combination. 

Rockut
Rockut

Why doesnt he unbind himself from all that money and give it to the peiople he tried to oppress?

CarolineKennedy
CarolineKennedy

What's next for Idiot du Jour?

A well aimed 30.06 shot would be nice.

Can I wish that from Santa?

JimboWales
JimboWales

Hopefully he decides suicide is the way to go.

leopard
leopard

Just look at how that Asian family was attacked in Manhattan.  Does anyone think those motorcycle riding thugs would have attacked if it was possible the victims were armed?  Unarmed people are victims.  Rich people with armed guards, like Bloomberg, are hypocrites when calling for gun control.  Obviously Gun Ban Bloomberg doesn't care about ordinary people.  It is his hatred of stereotypical NRA members that drives his gun ban obsession.

leopard
leopard

"background checks for internet and gun show sales on guns"  What a crock of BS!  Internet sales always had to go through a licensed firearms dealer with background check.  Only exception is face to face private sale where both parties live in the same state.  So 99% of internet sales had background checks BEFORE Gun  Ban Bloomberg.  Gun shows have always required background check, just delayed.  Every purchase from a dealer requires federal paperwork, ID verification, and background check later.  Gun Ban Bloomberg lies so much you can't trust a thing he says.

RomondoMcPiratepants
RomondoMcPiratepants

Nanny B-

step 1- Dig a hole

step 2- fall in and die of thirst, wishing desperately that you had biggulp. 

step 3- the world is a much, much better place.

SuspectChief
SuspectChief

Bloomie and his mentor Obozo are two needing a jigger of hemlock .. right away, please.

TimothyAdams1
TimothyAdams1

If there's any justice in the world, his children will all die before him so he can see it.

BlastedFools1
BlastedFools1

It's shameful that a man this arrogant and ignorant at the same time, has the piles of money that he has.  If ever there were a graphic illustration of a Napoleonic Complex, you couldn't find a better one than Bloom-Burqa.

silverfox
silverfox

what's next?  buying elections.......what else?

frustrated1
frustrated1

a true psychopath

very dangerous because of the money he controls

needs to be put down, immediately

mickrussom
mickrussom

Put this traitor in prison.  NOW. For life.

rowheel0420
rowheel0420

He should spend his money by partnering with one of the private space travel companies, build a new mansion on the moon, move there and the rest of the world very happy.

SandMan00
SandMan00

Great advice Doomberg. Most working stiffs would be on the streets if they just "took two months off" to ponder their next opportunity. Shows how out of touch this megalomaniac control freak is. NYC is a worse place for having him in the mayor's office, yet he thinks he is doing great. My advice to this colossal jerk would be to take a job paying $30K a year and actually trying to live on it. Until then, I could care less what he thinks about the world that 99.9% of us have to live in.  This sicko f*cks with other people's lives as a hobby.

jjprc32
jjprc32

Crime rate is on the rise with no end in sight.

80% of high school graduates are functional illiterate.

Taxes are thru the roof and with no end in sight.

Welfare has been growing.

Illegals at last count were around a million.

BLOOMBERG, WHAT A GUY

JohnDavidson
JohnDavidson

How about admitting your lies about second hand smoke and repeal the indoor smoking ban you pompus @ss

bTeri
bTeri

How about retiring to a permanent golf game in Bermuda and stay out of our lives with your contrlol freak anti-Constitutional social engineering...


and his stat on guns is a joke... in the past twenty years, according to a long term DOJ study that surprising wasnt publicly shared by Eric Holder clearly shows between 1992 and 2012 the number of guns in our country doubled and the gun crimes went down an average of 70%.   And why doesnt he mentioned in anti gun countries that their suicide rate is high, just from other means so assuming a gun is somehow responsible for a person taking their own lives is just absurd on its face.

ffnov22
ffnov22

I could see Bloomberg selling women's shoes at Macy's. But I wouldn't buy from him....

Sevenofnine
Sevenofnine

The cover should have read...Doomberg Unhinged!

Hopefully whatever follows involves 1. Not the USA 2. Cerebral Hematoma 3. Dirt nap in a foreign anti-gun cesspool

NoVaNick
NoVaNick

I can see Bloomberg spending a huge chunk of his billions for scientists to come up with a way to make him, and only him of course, live forever. If that doesn't work, he will have himself cryogenically frozen when he dies so they can bring him back one day. He is a delusional narcissist who thinks he is God.

twoz
twoz

Whatever he chooses to do let us pray that it is far, far from America.  That is the nicest statement I can make regarding this man.

LloydMiller
LloydMiller

Bloomberg is a thoroughly disgusting tyrant. 

Spiff74
Spiff74

If there ever was a twenty-first Century Napoleonic complex, it has to be Bloomberg.  I wonder if his fathers publication reflect this personality...

militanttradcat
militanttradcat

Michael Bloomberg...The only man to fail "Life 101." 

KimKirk
KimKirk

So many lives to ruin.............. so little time.....

MarkWebb
MarkWebb

Anyone interested in throwing him a good old fashioned Mussolini retirement party? 

lastexitinny
lastexitinny

Ill try to remember how great NYC is as I step over the OWS homeless, garbage and rats..But plenty of bike lanes and rent a bikes!!! that's not a legacy, that's a doooshbag

tsabo77
tsabo77

Hopefully he'll go by an island some where and veg out on it, and stop trying to take law abiding citizens guns and basically stay the hell out of the personal lives of americans.But with all that money, I dont think we'll be that lucky.

DaleMartin
DaleMartin

The wanna be Hitler has all the usual pathologies of big time penis envy and autophallophobia. Bloomie and Upchuck Schumer should be happy together in a gun free paradise, just name the country, we can come up with the cost of deportation..

yarply12
yarply12

Bloomberg Unhinged is more like it.

KennethGlennKoons
KennethGlennKoons

Bloomie is just another liberal NY know it all who frankly shows little love for America but lots of love for his own ego and ideology that gets stroked with his enormous amount of money. Still, his liberal progressive soul is anti our heritage, history and values. That he sees himself as leader of ....whatever, is a sick soul.

Rockut
Rockut

@SuspectChief WAit a minute.   If onixon died who would be president?

After 5 years of Obama   this country would not survive 3 years of that moron.

He probabally would fire 2 nucs in the air to scare some small thugish country and start world war 3.

TomBurch
TomBurch

@BlastedFools1 If we could compare personal egos, I think Obama would beat Bloomberg (and Napoleon) hands down in the ego department.

JohnDavidson
JohnDavidson

This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

“I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study...........................

Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

TomBurch
TomBurch

@Spiff74 Bloomberg's mountain of money makes those around him nothing but Yes Men. Living in such an environment, Bloomberg, and others like him, become convinced of their brilliance and great intellects.  I assume that after decades of being surrounded by submissive toadies, guys like bloomberg actually come to believe they are superior to everybody else.  They are a plague on civil society and are always threats to the liberties of others.