What to do about rich Russians buying NYC real estate? Asking for De Blasio.

De Blasio wishes he knew what to do, but he's only the mayor of NYC
October 21, 2017 11:00AM

Tell us how you really feel, Bill. BuzzFeed asked the NYC mayor whether real estate investment from foreign wealthy buyers — particularly Russians — is a gift to the city. (Kevin Case, front/Pixabay, back)

New York City mayor Bill De Blasio has a problem he’s not sure how to fix.

On BuzzFeed News’ Friday morning show, Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith asked De Blasio how he feels about the world’s wealthy — particularly Russians — investing in New York real estate to clean their money. As TRD reported, Russian investment is picking up thanks to Trump’s presidency and local New York players are their fixers.

“Is that basically a gift to the city because you get some extra tax revenue?” Smith asked.

“I see Russian oligarchs as a problem,” responded De Blasio. (Cue slow clap.) The mayor went on to talk about Russian interference in the U.S. elections before circling back to respond directly to Smith’s question on how the city views investment from wealthy Russians in New York real estate with a shrug.

“It manifests here as people with a lot of ill-gotten gains buying a lot of property — I don’t like it one bit,” said De Blasio. “I wish I had a specific law or approach to address it.”

Live and let live seems to be the de facto approach now.

[BuzzFeed News] — E.K. Hudson