Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Monday, July 16, 2012

Romney's version of corporate socialism

Anthony Gardner, writing for Bloomberg, reports that Mitt Romney's specialty during his years at Bain Capital, was privatizing gains and socializing investment losses. 
What’s clear from a review of the public record during his management of the private-equity firm Bain Capital from 1985 to 1999 is that Romney was fabulously successful in generating high returns for its investors. He did so, in large part, through heavy use of tax-deductible debt, usually to finance outsized dividends for the firm’s partners and investors. When some of the investments went bad, workers and creditors felt most of the pain. Romney privatized the gains and socialized the losses.
The report describes Romney's style of "casino capitalism" that produced quick profits for big investors but led to the destruction and bankruptcy of companies like Accuride, Ampad and Dade with thousands of workers losing their jobs and whole communities, including schools and public services being destroyed. When Bain's investment's went south, which they did about 40% of the time, the big losers were often public pensions, including teachers pension funds, whose boards, according to another Bloomberg report, had  "political ties and sensitivities."

According to Gardner:
While Bain Capital wasn’t alone in using financial engineering to turbo-charge its returns, it was among the most aggressive under Romney’s leadership. Enriching investors by taking leveraged bets isn’t a qualification for a job requiring long-term vision and concern for public welfare. It is appropriate to point that out to voters.

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