The billionaire former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, has confirmed he is considering running as an independent candidate for the US presidency.
He told the Financial Times he was “looking at all the options”.
His aides told US media last month he was eyeing a bid but this is the first time he has acknowledged he may run.
Last month the unnamed advisers said he had been alarmed by the increasingly polarised nature of the race.
Donald Trump remains frontrunner to be Republican party nominee, while Democrat favourite Hillary Clinton is facing a strong challenge from self-declared socialist Bernie Sanders.
In his interview, Mr Bloomberg was damning about the quality of the debate in the 2016 race, saying US voters deserved “a lot better”.
“I find the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters,” he said.
No third-party candidate has ever won a US presidential election.
Mr Bloomberg was a Democrat before turning Republican in 2001, then later becoming an independent.
But despite pro-business views, his liberal stance on issues such as gun control and abortion mean that an independent bid from Mr Bloomberg would be most damaging to the Democrats, says BBC North America reporter Anthony Zurcher.
More on the US election
How does a US election work? If you want to be president, it helps to be governor, senator, or five-star military general – and have lots of patience
What would a Trump presidency be like? Imagining the first terms of Mr Trump and other candidates
Shall I compare thee to Iowa: Why the Hawkeye state is like the Oscars, the Luge, and Leicester City football club
Know your election lingo: Americans and Brits quizzed on US political jargon
Special report: The BBC’s full coverage of the race to the White House