Sotomayor, an avid Yankees fan, lives modestly, reporting virtually no assets despite her $179,500 yearly salary. On her financial disclosure report for 2007, she said her only financial holdings were a Citibank checking and savings account, worth $50,000 to $115,000 combined. During the previous four years, the money in the accounts at some points was listed as low as $30,000.
Mankiw says his "grandmother would have been shocked and appalled to see someone who makes so much save so little." And I don't really want to offend anyone's grandmother. But if your career aspirations involve being appointed by the president of the United States to a position that requires the advice and consent of the Senate, doesn't it make sense not to own assets?
My sense is that nothing derails a confirmation quite like a set of complicated personal finances, except maybe hiring an illegal immigrant. I'm sure simple finances will pay off for Sotomayor, assuming there isn't a giant tax problem lurking somewhere.