Bloomberg Talks About ‘Coming Back,’ Reaffirms Opposition to Corporate-Pay Limits

Standing onstage with Bill Clinton and Lance Armstrong at the opening session of the Clinton Global Initiative in the New York Sheraton this morning, Bloomberg appeared to hint strongly (as if his maneuverings to this point weren’t a strong enough indication) that he likes the idea of running again for mayor.

Armstrong, who was there to promote his cancer foundation and health issues, talked about his return to competitive racing after initially retiring.

Bloomberg, who spoke directly afterward, addressed himself to Armstrong and said, “I did like your comments about coming back and doing it again. But that is a whole nother issue.”

After Bloomberg spoke, Clinton commended the job he had done serving the city (and country, he said) as mayor and told the audience, “My guess is there’s a lot more ahead.”

Talking to reporters in the hotel basement about 15 minutes earlier, once again addressing economic issues, Bloomberg had expressed confidence that a government bailout would go through, but called the opposition to high compensation for executives at companies involved in the bailout "impractical."

Asked whether he thought the deal was imperiled, Bloomberg said, "If people really thought that was in trouble the market would crater."

Asked for his thoughts on the opposition to high executive pay, which the increasingly populist-sounding presidential candidates have railed against on the campaign trail, Bloomberg said, "It’s one of the most impractical things."

He went on to suggest, as he did yesterday, that the opposition to high pay could reduce incentives for executives to help dig their industries out of the crisis, saying that in a "free market" climate like Wall Street, people "tend to use financial reward as their goal rather than public service." There is, he said, "nothing wrong with that."