When Mitt Romney has been challenged about this record at Bain Capital – he tends to respond in a few ways. Either you’re attacking “free enterprise” and the whole ofAmerica’s entrepreneurial spirit or he has said that he isn’t responsible for the decisions made at Bain after he “retroactively” left in 1999 despite 142 documents given to the SEC listing Romney as the sole owner, CEO and shareholder.
Regardless of his involvement level … whether engaged in the day to day or not – Mitt retained his role at Bain and was subject to responsibility for those decisions made at Bain. Furthermore – regardless of his involvement – he received healthy compensation for that role and profited handsomely off of the decisions made from 1999 – 2002. How much? We don’t know because Mitt Romney won’t share his tax return information.
Bloomberg says he privatized profits and socialized the losses breaking down company by company HERE:
There are many other examples of this debt-fueled strategy. In the two years following the acquisition in 1993 of GS Industries, a steel mill, for $8 million, Bain Capital increased the company’s debt to $378 million on operating income of less than a 10th of that amount. Some of this was used to pay Bain Capital a $36 million dividend in 1994. That degree of leverage was excessive in light of the cyclicality and capital-intensive nature of the steel industry.
By the time the company went bankrupt in 2001, it owed $554 million in debt against assets valued at $395 million. Many creditors lost money, and 750 workers lost their jobs. The U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which insures company retirement plans, determined in 2002 that GS had underfunded its pension by $44 million and had to step in to cover the shortfall.
Bain Capital’s acquisition of Stage Stores, a department- store chain, in 1988 was 96 percent financed by debt (mostly in junk bonds) — an extreme level for a cyclical and very competitive low-margin business. Bain sold a large part of its stake in 1997 for a $184 million gain, three years before the company filed for bankruptcy because of its inability to service its $600 million debt.
The NY Times gives us these details from 1999 to 2002 HERE:
Yet because he retained technical control of Bain Capital’s management and because his wealth remained heavily tied up with the firm, Mr. Romney’s name or signature appears on dozens of documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission between February 1999 and August 2001, when he finalized a retirement deal with the active Bain partners and transferred to them his shares of Bain’s management entity.
All told, Mr. Romney’s name appears on at least 142 such forms, some of which have been the subject of news coverage in recent days, fueling questions about whether Mr. Romney ever really left. One such form, posted last week by Talking Points Memo, lists Mr. Romney’s “principal occupation” as “managing director” of Bain Capital Investors VI Inc., a private equity fund.
Paul Krugman writes that Romney’s policies benefit the rich and it ties into his business experience HERE:
Thus the entirely true charge that Mr. Romney wants to slash historically low tax rates on the rich even further dovetails perfectly with his own record of extraordinary tax avoidance — so extraordinary that he’s evidently afraid to let voters see his tax returns from before 2010. The equally true charge that he’s pushing policies that would benefit the rich at the expense of ordinary working Americans meshes with Bain’s record of earning big profits even when workers suffered — a record so stark that Mr. Romney is attempting to distance himself from part of it by insisting that he had nothing to do with Bain’s operations after 1999, even though the company continued to list him as C.E.O. and sole owner until 2002. And so on.
The point is that talking about Mr. Romney’s personal history isn’t a diversion from substantive policy discussion. On the contrary, in a political and media environment strongly biased against substance, talking about Bain and offshore accounts is the only way to bring the real policy issues into focus. And we should applaud, not condemn, the Obama campaign for standing up to the tut-tutters.
If you don’t understand what’s going on with Romney and Bain Capital – see below:
To understand Mitt Romney’s impact on people’s lives…you can hear it directly from workers who lost everything because of Bain Capital HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE..
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