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This is a brutal—two-by-four studded with rusty nails upside the head brutal—assessment of Mitt Romney's career by a fellow private equity funder. Assessing Romney's claims that "his business acumen and job-creation record [are] a key qualification for being the next U.S. president," Anthony Luzzatto Gardner writes that:
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. [...] When some of the investments went bad, workers and creditors felt most of the pain. Romney privatized the gains and socialized the losses.
What’s less clear is how his skills are relevant to the job of overseeing the U.S. economy, strengthening competitiveness and looking out for the welfare of the general public, especially the middle class.
Gardner details how it was Romney's "debt-fueled strategy" that led to a substantial overlap between some of Bain Capital's most profitable deals and highest-profile bankruptcies. We've been over that before (not that there's anything wrong with going over it again), but what's special here is that someone from Romney's own profession, writing in noted socialist publication Bloomberg, is summing up Romney's career in such harsh terms.
Take your pick: do you care more that Romney privatized gains and socialized losses, or that it's not clear if his skills are relevant to the job of president? Even private equity fund guys say it's true!
Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 07:21 AM PDT.