The United States House Committee on Financial Services (or House Banking Committee) oversees the entire financial services industry, including the securities, insurance, banking, and housing industries. The Committee also oversees the work of the Federal Reserve, the United States Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and other financial services regulators. It is chaired by Barney Frank (D-MA)
1. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)
The Massachusetts Senator claims the mantel of richest Member in the 110th Congress. Kerry’s actual holdings, however — including those of wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, widow to ketchup heir Sen. John Heinz (R-Pa.) — are likely much greater.
In an April 2008 article, Forbes.com estimated Heinz Kerry’s net worth at $1 billion.
Kerry’s disclosure forms list the value of more than 180 assets — including Heinz family trusts and investment funds — only as “over $1 million,” rather than the more specific ranges including $1 million to $5 million. Senators are allowed to list assets in the “over $1 million” category only if the items are held independently by a spouse or dependent child.
2. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.)
The wealthy Californian, who remains heavily invested in Harman International Industries, has seen her wealth increase nearly $10 million since filing her 2006 report.
Harman’s report lists three accounts, including one held solely by her husband, totaling a combined minimum of $125 million in stock and options in the company. Harman’s spouse founded the company, which manufactures electronics under the brand names AKG Acoustics, Harman Kardon, Infinity and JBL, among others.
4. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)
A descendant of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, the West Virginian’s vast assets remained stable in 2007, as his net worth increased by a little more than 1 percent.
Rockefeller’s fortunes are stored primarily in three blind trusts with JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wachovia Corp. and United National Bank, valued at more than $50 million, $25 million to $50 million, and $5 million to $25 million, respectively.
Another family trust is listed at simply “over $1 million.”
The Senator lists at least $5.5 million in debt on two loans, down from $6.5 million in 2006, when he listed an additional $1 million loan from United National Bank in Charleston, W.Va.
8. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
Together with her husband, financier Richard Blum, Feinstein claims a diversified portfolio that grew by $1.8 million, or an increase of just under 4 percent, since 2006.
The Californian lists assets with her husband that include ownership of all or part of numerous limited partnerships.
Among those, the Blum Family Partners, owned entirely by Blum, claims “over $1 million” in stock in RAE Systems, a manufacturer of chemical and radiation detection equipment. The fund also includes “over $1 million” in a real estate investment trust.
In addition, Feinstein lists a $5 million to $25 million investment in Carlton Hotel Properties in San Francisco and owns condos in both Tahoe City, Calif., and on Kauai in Hawaii, both valued at $1 million to $5 million.
Feinstein also lists at least $2 million in debt to Bank of America for two loans made to Blum Capital Partners.
9. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.)
Much of Kennedy’s wealth stems from family trusts, and the Massachusetts Senator reported almost no change in 2007, with an increase of less than 1 percent.
Kennedy lists one family trust valued from $25 million to $50 million, as well as four trusts worth at least $5 million each and a blind trust totaling at least $1 million.
The Bay State lawmaker also owns a rental property in Hyannisport, Mass., valued at at least $1 million and lists a plot of undeveloped land in Lafayette, La., owned by his wife, worth from $500,000 to $1 million.
Kennedy lists $1 million in mortgage debt from Northern Trust Co. for his Hyannisport property.
13. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
McCain’s true value is impossible to estimate because most of the major assets are listed in the name of his wife or children, thereby requiring far less detailed disclosure. Other news outlets have suggested that Cindy McCain’s net worth may exceed $100 million, but there is no documentation to prove that figure.
McCain’s disclosure form lists 12 items with values of “over $1 million” that are owned by his wife and children. In 2007, the family liquidated a trust set up by Cindy McCain’s late mother that had a reported value in 2006 of more than $2.5 million. The proceeds were then distributed to three other trusts, which show a minimum value of $1.4 million. Cindy McCain also liquidated a blind trust in 2007, selling millions of dollars worth of stock, and the reported value of the stock she owns through Hensley & Co.
17. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
The Californian’s net worth rose nearly 16 percent in 2007, adding $2.5 million to her personal wealth.
Among her assets, Pelosi lists a Norden, Calif., town house valued at $1 million to $5 million and a real estate investment in Napa, Calif., worth at least $500,000.
In addition, her husband owns a commercial property in San Francisco valued at $5 million to $25 million. In 2006, the property was listed as worth $1 million to $5 million, so that property alone added $4 million to Pelosi’s net worth last year.
The couple also owns a vineyard in St. Helena, Calif., valued at $5 million to $25 million.
The Speaker’s husband also increased tenfold his holdings in Apple Computer Inc. stock to at least $5 million, up from a minimum of $500,000 in 2006.
Pelosi and her husband also owe mortgage debt on several of their properties, including the vineyard, totaling at least $8.75 million.
Other debts listed by Pelosi include lines of credit totaling at least $3.5 million.