A Rockefellerian Line of Credit

Photograph by Michael Reynolds/EPA

Senator Jay Rockefeller on the Capitol.

A Rockefeller is probably good for a loan like this.

The question is why he needs it.

Today, for the first time, members of Congress divulged the details of their home mortgages as well as their general personal finances.

And Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia has reported among the best interest rates on a 1998 line of credit from the National Bank of Charleston.

The value of the on-demand loan is listed as $5 to $25 million in that congressional parlance of ethics disclosure that brackets everything in wide ranges.

The interest rate is quite specific: NY Prime minus 1 percent.

The prime rate in New York yesterday was 3.25 percent.

Yet this is a lawmaker who reports assets of more than $50 million in one trust alone, with JP Morgan Chase Bank serving as trustee for a family trust established in 1934.
The income from those holdings last year ranged between $1 million and $5 million, according to Rockefeller’s disclosure. He also reports a 1952-vintage trust fund at Wachovia Bank in the range of $25 million to $50 million, which also produced an income of $1 million to $5 million last year.

America’s first billionaire, John D. Rockefeller established trusts in 1934 for his five sons and daughter consisting of oil company stocks and real estate. Another set of trusts were established in 1952 for his grandchildren.

The senator is John Davison Rockefeller IV, a former governor of his adopted home state, which he first moved to as a Vista worker in the Sixties. He was elected to the Senate in 1984.

He not only has a line of credit with the bank in West Virginia. His wife also has a mortgage on a condominium in his native New York City valued at more than $1 million. The interest rate on that 10-year loan  taken from JP Morgan Chase last year was 4.875 percent with an adjustable rate.

Bloomberg’s Richard Rubin contributed to this report. 

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