Friday, August 27, 2010

Bloomberg's Support For Ground Zero Mosque: Follow The Money

Mike Bloomberg has been adamant in his support of the Ground Zero Mosque. Even at the cost of voter approval, he has stuck to an unpopular position that has cost him a lot of political support. Is he really devoted to a matter of principle? Should he be admired for going against the crowd? Or are other factors influencing his decision?

A little article in an English language newspaper from the United Arab Emirates sheds some light on Mayor Bloomberg's possible concerns that could influence his support for the Ground Zero Mosque.

The National reports that Bloomberg News will be more than doubling its office staff at its Dubai office in 2010 and 2011. The National reported as follows back in 2008 as follows.

"The company has had a presence in Dubai for a decade. The planned expansion would increase its staff from 25 to 40 by the end of the year, and to as many as 100 by the middle of next year, Mr Linnington said. The decision to expand was prompted by strong regional sales of its terminals, which provide financial news and data to bankers, traders, portfolio managers and corporations, as well as to other journalists."

Marketing financial news is of course an adjunct to doing business. And it looks like Bloomberg has plans to expand in business itself rather than just reporting on it. Max Linnington, director of Middle East operations for Bloomberg News reported as follows in The National.

"The company has also been developing an Islamic finance portal, which Mr Linnington said would be helped by having more people on the ground building relationships." Particularly since the meltdown of the western capitalist system, there has been an increasingly large focus on the virtues of Islamic finance," he said. "Today, there is no one single provider of information that caters to the Islamic finance market. So by Bloomberg being here, we are in the process of building out an Islamic finance product. We are very confident that we can build a product that meets the needs of the market right now."

Up until now, coverage of the Mosque debate has focused on Mayor Bloomberg's dogged adherence to an unpopular position. A look at his Middle Eastern business interests provide a lot of insight into what might be influencing his decisions as mayor.

A comprehensive discussion of the Ground Zero Mosque debate should include a discussion of where Mike Bloomberg's financial interests lie. We have listened to him preach to us and scold us for our supposed bigotry. Now it's time to ask some hard questions.

Mayor Bloomberg's publicity machine has made sure that all New Yorkers know that he only gets paid a dollar a year as mayor. That may well be all that he is paid. But is it all that he gets? Sphere: Related Content

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