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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Greene's riches includes ties to Venezuela



Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene is fabulously wealthy, that we know.

But a rich man's wealth is a complicated thing, as Greene's financial disclosure form shows. A 56-page report filed this afternoon contains page after page of stocks (from Continental Airlines to Exxon Mobile) to mutual funds and bonds. He is listed as a partner in dozens of real estate companies.

Greene plays it safe -- he has more than $50 million in U.S. Treasury bonds -- and risky, with big investments in Venezuelan government bonds and in the state-owned oil company, Petroleos De Venezuela.

"Venezuelan bonds aren't for the faint of heart, given the government's unpredictable policy, skyrocketing inflation and evaporating foreign reserves," Dow Jones Newswires observed recently. "Yet some investors ... are saying that the downside of owning the bonds seems to be limited given how far their price has fallen and the juicy yields they are offering."

Greene's spokesman Luis Vizcaino told us, "One of Jeff's brokers bought a diversified portfolio of Latin American bonds to diversify his holdings, Jeff never knew he owned Venezuelan bonds and he sold them as soon as he became aware that they were part of the portfolio purchased for him."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:14am]


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