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Mitt Romney at Bain Capital holding money
(Bain Capital/Boston Globe)

The reason why Mitt Romney and his defenders in the press do not want to talk about Bain Capital's brand of "business" is because it strikes at the very heart of Mitt Romney's central justification for being president. They both defend what Mitt Romney did as "capitalism" and "free enterprise." In their elite world, it is perfectly legitimate business to make money when companies fail. Therefore, Mitt Romney as president will also see to it that this style of "business" is legitimized and encouraged by the federal government when Mitt Romney is president.

But Mitt Romney isn't a businessman in the way the average American understands business. Mitt Romney didn't invest in that steel mill, turn it around for a profit and walk away with perfectly justified earnings. Nor did he invest that money and lose his investment through mismanagement or bad luck, which would also be perfectly fair.

The central problem with Mitt Romney's style of "business" is that he doubled his investment even though he drove that steel mill into bankruptcy. This is no different from golden parachute CEO's who run companies into the ground and still walk away with a huge severance package. This is no different from what Bernie Madoff did. This is no different from racketeering. Mitt Romney's "business" is no different from what Wall Street did, running the national economy into the ground and walking away with record profits. While one could very cynically call loansharking "business," nobody believes it is in any way a healthy and free market enterprise.

The American people understand business shouldn't be like this. There should be rules against it. There should be ethical standards preventing people from even thinking of doing it. Not only is it immoral, it strikes at the heart of what a truly free and fair market should be all about: creating and building, competition on a level playing field, and comeuppance when there is failure. If you or I start a flower shop and it fails, we lose our savings. If Mitt Romney does the same thing, he doubles his investment. That's not a free market. That's a perversion of what free enterprise is all about. Mitt Romney's brand of "business" should not be held up as a model. He should be decried as the poster child of what is wrong with this country's elite in the media and on Wall Street. Mitt Romney's "business" experience wouldn't be any better for America than Madoff's.

Mitt Romney's experience at Bain is exactly what disqualifies him for the office of president.

To make a long story short, Mitt Romney isn't a businessman. He's a Wall Street racketeer. Any business that rewards failure is not a market, and certainly not a free and fair one. That's called a racket. Even the Tea Party understands that, even if the elite media do not.

Originally posted to Triple-B in the Building on Tue May 15, 2012 at 08:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by The Bain Files and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  It is terrific, one minor problem. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dotsright
      There should be ethical standards preventing people from even thinking of doing it.
      Thoughts are not something we can or want to control. Even suggesting not thinking of something suggests interfering with what we know very well about the human mind.

      Many creative ideas start with something that is wrong. The good thinker considering the idea turns it around and states it in the workable form.

      All kinds of human ailments, psychiatric, hormonal deficiencies and imbalance, stress, etc. lead to thinking shtuff that is wrong, ugly, etc.

      Otherwise, your usual high quality observations.  Thanks

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Sat May 19, 2012 at 07:02:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think "ethical standards" means just that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Spoc42

        --not a law, but a recognition that such things just aren't done.  Getting that into the heads of people like Mitt Romney who think "greed is good" isn't going to happen any time soon, but it's more of a hope and a dream.  Maybe someday american businessmen would have an ethical code recognizing that this isn't an appropriate way to make money.

        Unfortunately, I think a lot of those sorts of people would sell their own mothers for a bag of silver.

        "Not me. I'm a spectator. I'd wish them luck but I can't do that. I don't [want to] wish them luck. I want them to go to hell." -Fishgrease

        by Orange Crush on Sun May 20, 2012 at 06:51:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It is - but "recommends" aren't working!! (0+ / 0-)

      It's weird - a few of the comments have recommend buttons visible and functioning but most don't have any recommend buttons at all!  

      Yesterday, same thing!  I didn't holler then (feigning patience) but I'm hollering now!  Please, somebody, fix it!

      How can I rec these brilliant comments if there are no rec buttons?????

      If I could do it myself, I would!

      TYIA!

      To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

      by Eyesbright on Sat May 19, 2012 at 07:29:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of course not. But the rules are different (10+ / 0-)

    for Rmoney and his ilk. We have privatized the gains and socialized the losses.

  •  The Obama campaign must (12+ / 0-)

    eventually tie it all together with this:

    Mitt Romney's "business" is no different from what Wall Street did, running the national economy into the ground and walking away with record profits.

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Tue May 15, 2012 at 08:40:02 AM PDT

  •  Good Grief BBB......That would be the thin end of (0+ / 0-)

    the wedge.....Do you realize how many of our chaps would be lost if some a policy were instituted?

  •  Free market but keep those subsidies coming (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, a2nite, demongo, kurt, FarWestGirl

    And get rid of those pesky government regulations and abolish the minimum wage or create a sub minimum wage so we can replace everyone w/ teenagers making less than minimum wage.

    These idiots wouldn't know capitalism if Adam Smith kicked them in the groin.

    •  I disagree with your comment, and (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, cosette, devtob, Hoghead99, Loozerio

      completely agree with this diary.

      These idiots very well know capitalism. They have simply distorted it to fit their liking. They've done it very, very well. It is immoral, and in my belief, illegal.

      This should be a major discussion point of the debates, and President Obama just simply MUST support criminal action against those who have purposely, and with malice aforethought, stacked the deck in their favor, creating "different" rules to play by while the other 99% of America is relegated to playing "fair".

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Sat May 19, 2012 at 05:21:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This absolutely nails it (4+ / 0-)
    Any business that rewards failure is not a market, and certainly not a free and fair one. That's called a racket.
    It's a micro version of the 2008 U.S. bank/wall street bailout that many many people are still seething from. Wall streeters getting away with golden parachutes after they failed.

    If Romneys' entire operation can be linked as an exact miniature version of the whole countrys' wall street bail out - Wow that would put a stake right through his whole vampire capitalism platform imo.

    P.S. - It also blows holes in the "picking winners and loses" campaign the GOP has been selling for years now

    •  Not only seething (6+ / 0-)

      but reeling. We are, as a nation, one paycheck away from the very self-same economic disaster that the President was forced to accept even before his inauguration. Had he not, we would be so very much worse off as to stagger the imagination. And, not the US alone, but the entire world economy.

      This is a point glossed over by many. In fact, I think the word which best applies here is "staggering". We are, as a nation, staggering for the vast majority of our citizens, while those who created a fool-proof set of rules exclusively for their own use swagger.

      It's time they be held to account, and for the truest values of America to be returned to their rightful place in our democracy. And, in my personal view, it could not possibly happen too soon.

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Economic
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Sat May 19, 2012 at 05:25:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The thing I'd like to know are details (4+ / 0-)

    Bain took money from pension funds of that steel company and then ran up a huge debt and then the company went bankrupt.  Who was holding all that debt? Seems to me that the debt holders should get money out of Bain's hide.  The Federal Gov't had to support the pensions that Bain left behind unfunded or under funded.  I'd like to know how much money that was.  Seems to me that there should be a claw back during bankruptcy for companies that do this stuff.  Seems to me that Bain should be declared insolvent and Rmoney a chief criminal that needs to repay restitution.  There were people, companies, pension funds that lost money in these deals.  How can Bain double their investment when others lose?  That is immoral and should be criminal.  I've been involved in startups with vulture capitalists and when a company fails, the vulture capitalists get the remnants which they try to unload so they don't lose so much.  I never heard of a vulture capitalist that charged the company that they buy for services rendered.  That is like a stockholder getting paid a big salary for buying the stock.  I'd do that in a flash, maybe they will pay 6 figures.

    "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength", George Orwell, "1984" -7.63 -5.95

    by dangoch on Tue May 15, 2012 at 10:59:20 AM PDT

    •  "preferential distribution" (3+ / 0-)

      in bankruptcy law insiders who get $$ within 1 year of bankruptcy are indeed subject to clawback.  Maybe this period needs to be extended.

    •  GST owned the debt. (13+ / 0-)

      But Bain owned GST. The corporate structure prevented the owners from being held directly liable for GST's debt, though.

      Bain took a majority stake in GST, put its people on the board, then voted as a majority of the board to direct the company to borrow as much as it could. So the banks loaned that money to GST, and GST was liable for it.

      Then, the board voted to give that cash to the individual directors, and to pay back Bain's initial investors with it. That was a "business decision," protected by law. It turned out to be an extraordinarily poor decision for GST, but it certainly "maximized shareholder value," which is what Bain's fiduciary duty to its investors was. So it's all on the up -and-up, so far a business law is concerned.

      That's the beauty of the racket. The debt belongs to the company. And the company is nobody in particular. It's just a legal fiction. And everybody gets to walk away from it when it's broke.

      •  Funny how corporations are "people" (8+ / 0-)

        when they want to buy an election, but when it comes to taking personal responsibility for debt they're back to being a "legal fiction"....

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Sat May 19, 2012 at 05:39:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is the best explanation I've read, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jabney

        I'm still a little confused.
        Did Bain own all the stock, or just the controlling interest?
        If Bain just got back their initial investment, how did they make money?
        Did Bain just make money from the fees they charged GST for their expertise?
        Or with Bain's advice, did GST increase in value before it all fell apart?
        Did Bain sell their stock holdings before GST went under?
        Did GST make capital investments with the borrowed money, or was that money just used to pay Bain?
        I may have more questions once you answer these. I took 2 business law classes, so I understand the protections afforded corporations. But they didn't teach vulture capitalism, and my mind doesn't work that way.

        Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

        by HappyinNM on Sat May 19, 2012 at 06:12:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  From what I understand... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HappyinNM, sethtriggs, Russycle, Spoc42

          Bain owned a controlling interest.

          Bain investors—the people from whom they raised the cash to buy GST and other companies—got their money back and more.

          Bain charged GST "management fees" for their genius advice, and Bain's control of the Board of Directors meant GST would pay them.

          GST neglected all capital investments during the time it survived under Bain. It was an austerity program, imposed to make it possible to pay cash out to Bain, Bain executives, and Bain investors. Payments and bonuses also kept flowing to the few non-Bain directors and executives who stayed on from the original GST. They were making a mint, so there was no reason to oppose Bain's moves, even if they had the votes, which they didn't.

          The ostensible plan in takeovers like these is to slash costs enough to look profitable on paper. That means cutting jobs, ending capital investments, etc. If you lower costs enough without crashing the company under its debt, you can flip it and leave the debt to the buyer to deal with.

          But if it crashes, it crashes. The shares held by Bain execs and others are worthless, but they've been paid in cash already, anyway. So they walk away. Who cares? Let the creditors sell the plant. There's no money in it anyway, since all the capital investment ceased years ago. And if they were smart, Bain bought another, similar business, rolled the two up, and moved all the machinery it could to the other plant. So the creditors can sell the building (if it wasn't leased), and the workers get unemployment and can take their case to the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation and try their luck there.

          And that's how you profit from turning a going concern into a bankruptcy. All the money that used to be tied up in operating a plant and paying workers and producing products gets converted into cash and drained out, then when the engine seizes up and you abandon the car if you can't sell it for parts.

          •  Excellent! I think I've got it. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sethtriggs

            Would it be in your purview on this site to do a diary like this? As I've been reading, it seems there are many who are trying to understand exactly what Bain (Romney) did that destroyed companies. Everybody gets the part about many being left unemployed, and maybe for the purpose of the election, that's all anyone needs to know. However, I'm pretty sure there are those who have enough intellectual curiosity to want to understand in detail what transpired. What do you think?

            Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

            by HappyinNM on Sun May 20, 2012 at 08:22:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've done these two: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HappyinNM

              http://www.dailykos.com/...

              and

              http://www.dailykos.com/...

              But it's been a while since I did. And sometimes when you write something yourself, you have a hard time seeing whether or not you've made a certain point as clearly as possible. You'll have to tell me if you think either or both of these diaries did the job, or whether the point needs to be made differently.

              •  I'm a little embarrassed. (0+ / 0-)

                It appears that you've already done your part, and I just missed it. The situation with GST was unique, as, according to the linked Reuters story, they not only had to deal with Bain, but the steel business as a whole was having difficulties. That one appeared in January, and may be due for a repeat (now that the GST ads are out), with the link to the Reuters article. The diary done at the beginning of this month, wasn't as clear for me (except for the Reich video). Perhaps there's a less complicated way of contrasting how a business typically works vs. how Bain works. Might even be interesting to show the similarities between how Bain works, and how Bush profited from a stadium bought with other people's money.

                I'm happy to help in any way I can, but I'm inclined to defer to you, as you've been doing this far longer than I. Thank you for taking the time to teach me.

                Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

                by HappyinNM on Sun May 20, 2012 at 06:21:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Ooh. Where are my manners? Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sethtriggs

            Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

            by HappyinNM on Sun May 20, 2012 at 08:23:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for calling it what it is!!! (4+ / 0-)

    Racketeering!

    This is no different from racketeering. Mitt Romney's "business" is no different from what Wall Street did, running the national economy into the ground and walking away with record profits. While one could very cynically call loansharking "business," nobody believes it is in any way a healthy and free market enterprise.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Tue May 15, 2012 at 01:28:05 PM PDT

  •  Rmoney is no more qualified than Chainsaw Al (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn, Supavash

    to be president.

    "When and if fascism comes to America...it will not even be called 'fascism'; it will be called, of course, 'Americanism'" --Professor Halford E. Luccock of Yale Divinity School; New York Times article from September 12, 1938, page 15

    by demongo on Tue May 15, 2012 at 01:42:59 PM PDT

  •  Like the villians in Ayn Rand. (0+ / 0-)

    I read several of her books in college long ago and thought the heroes were slimebags. All of the really creative and productive people I know are unselfish and give back to the community. It is only the losers who are concerned about getting their due.

    However, the worst villians were the industrialists who were sucking at the government teat.

    No wonder the Paulites detest Romney.

  •  The root of the economic mess (6+ / 0-)

    ---is a system that is based on Wall Street Casino.

    Capitalism is not about wall street casino.

    It should be about making profits from the fruits of your labor.  

    Thus to fix the economic mess stop the wall street casino.

    Root of Job Loss: Low capital gains (tax incentive) for stock market casino compared to real businesses that produces Jobs. Great Business idea A Dept Store that sells only made in america goods

    by timber on Sat May 19, 2012 at 05:15:14 PM PDT

  •  there are no real free markets in 21st Century (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, devtob, Eric Nelson

    capitalism, Romney and his parasitic ilk are exploiting flawed, imperfect competition. kinked demand. irrationality under deregulation and kleptological political policies, all in an institutionally structured environment that has unevenly developed regions and globalized markets.

    slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare." 政治委员, 政委!

    by annieli on Sat May 19, 2012 at 05:17:27 PM PDT

  •  Industrial Darwinism...Somebodys gotta make a (6+ / 0-)

    few gazillian dollars on a loss.  This is Mitt's style of business "competence".  How can he be concerned with actual people, when corporations are people...my friends.  Thanks for the post BBB.

    I'm just wasting a great big Corporation and the entire fund. The girders of Wall Street And the temples of money. And the high priests Of the expense account. And Im wasting the whole thing. J. Strummer

    by bongojazz on Sat May 19, 2012 at 05:21:52 PM PDT

  •  I do not see this as a good issue to persue (0+ / 0-)

    I'm no campaign strategist but even I could come up with a campaign ad comparing Mitt's misgivings with regard to Bain and what the taxpayers lost with regard to Solyndra.

    This one might be best left alone in my considered opinion.

    •  Solyndra was a one-off (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cosette, vcmvo2, sethtriggs

      It was a big screwup but not part of a pattern of conduct, and certain not the basis of Obama's assertion that he deserves a second term.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Sat May 19, 2012 at 05:49:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Solyndra was not an isolated case (0+ / 0-)

        If you look closely at the "investments" like Solyndra our government has made that went belly up, you'll see this was bigger than most, but not an isolated case.  A "pattern of conduct" is whatever someone can make it out to be, so we should be very careful here.

        •  Every Administration has guess wrong... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sethtriggs

          ...on multiple instances of attempted support of emerging technology. Weapons development is legion with "what the fuck were we thinking?" initiatives that ate thru enough federal spending to make Solyndra a comparative rounding error.

          When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by Egalitare on Sat May 19, 2012 at 08:20:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  What Romney did is very different from what (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spoc42

      happened with Solyndra. Unfortunately, that may be difficult to explain. However, the Solyndra deal began during Bush.

      Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

      by HappyinNM on Sat May 19, 2012 at 06:17:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Happy...c'mon (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HappyinNM

        I'll agree with ya on the difference betweeen Solyndra and Bain.

        But, the public knows that getting bin Laden began during Bush so Obama taking credit for it now and then not taking the lumps for going forward with Solyndra and the ultimate failure there is something that same public isn't going to buy.

        Can't have it one way and not the other, so to speak.

      •  Big differences. (0+ / 0-)

        Bain is about making a profit by destroying, downsizing, and moving production offshore, sailing on the full 'race to the bottom trend.   Move fast, and break things.

        Solyndra was an attempt to build clean jobs for the benefit of Americans with a new innovative product.  Swimming against the tide.

        Had the Chinese not been dumping solar products in the US (a matter of international litigation now) and the US really supported solar job growth here,  Solyndra would still be in business.  

  •  Soviet-style oligarchies (10+ / 0-)

    No, what Romney didn't wasn't anything like Bernie Madoff.  But that's the best thing you can say.

    What Romney did was "game the system", a style of making capital without making wealth that is helped enormously by the rise of the personal computers and spreadsheets which allow you to run the numbers easily.

    What Romney did was very much like the Soviet Union's style of ruling by oligarchies.  A small group controls parts of an economy.  It's certainly not Adam Smith style "invisible hand" capitalism.

    So when we talk about today's Republican party being dominated by racist nutjobs and loser gun nuts, we have to remember that conservative causes are financed by people who don't believe in capitalism.

    This is what Democrats should be running against.

    "What doesn't have credibility today is the truth." -- Bill Moyers, The Daily Show 6/22/05

    by Baron Dave on Sat May 19, 2012 at 05:22:46 PM PDT

  •  Call Mitt what he is (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, cosette, devtob, jabney, howd, Matt Z

    Leveraged buyout artist..Nothing more...Gordon Gecko is a proper image of the guy.
    Private Equity is just mitigated soft language.
    LBO artists lever up under levered companies and then strip them of their assets and cash.
    They use every trick in the book.  Creating jobs is not part of the scheme....Usually workers are fired to cut costs.
    If the Dems cannot demonize this racketeer for what he actually is, then they only have themselves to blame.

  •   3 of the 7 Bainers are actually eating money SICK (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cosette, devtob, sethtriggs

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Sat May 19, 2012 at 05:24:24 PM PDT

  •  "Real free market" (5+ / 0-)

    is an oxymoron.

    "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sat May 19, 2012 at 05:30:07 PM PDT

  •  One Supposes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob

    That "free market" means capitalism.  Capitalism is an ugly word, but it is the economic system in which we live.  It's challenging to analyze a problem when one doesn't accurately represent it.

    If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    by stewarjt on Sat May 19, 2012 at 05:33:11 PM PDT

    •  There's nothing wrong with capitalism. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ebohlman, vcmvo2, Spoc42

      It just needs to be regulated. Everyone has to be on the same playing field.

      Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

      by HappyinNM on Sat May 19, 2012 at 06:25:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Monopoly without rules (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HappyinNM

        Is just a bloody scramble for plastic houses.

        We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

        by bmcphail on Sat May 19, 2012 at 08:29:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wsexson

        Exactly why do you believe there's nothing wrong with capitalism?  What are your reasons?

        If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

        by stewarjt on Sat May 19, 2012 at 08:50:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why do I think this question is some sort of (0+ / 0-)

          setup? But I'll give it a try nonetheless. Capitalism refers to an economic system in which private people or corporations (as opposed to governments) create and run businesses that produce goods or services. Those involved in this type of commerce can determine, through their own abilities, how financially successful they are. They can use their skills to innovate. That's all my brain is capable of this late at night. Next time, if you really want an answer, a little humility would be nice.

          Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

          by HappyinNM on Sat May 19, 2012 at 09:58:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What? (0+ / 0-)

            Exactly what in my respectful question indicates hubris?

            Just to respond what reason you provide.  It's entirely possible and probable that someone could do everything right along the lines you indicate and still have his/her business fail or be unemployed through no fault of his/her own.

            It's clear that you may want to analyze capitalism a little more closely before you confidently arrive at the conclusion there's nothing wrong with it.

            If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

            by stewarjt on Sun May 20, 2012 at 04:38:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Perhaps a better statement would be that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Spoc42

              there isn't anything wrong with capitalism as practiced in the US. We've instituted anti-trust legislation, regulation, and unemployment insurance, and other tweaks that soften the edges. Threw in a little socialism so to speak. What is happening presently is capitalism at its worst. When regulation was relaxed, the vultures came out of the woodwork and turned the whole system upside down. I'm old, so I grew up during a period when capitalism was working pretty well. When I was young, I had a big mouth, and got fired about every 6 months. But it was no big deal. That same big mouth afforded me the ability to get another job without much difficulty. Also, there were plenty of jobs to be had. What's going on now is a travesty. Lots of young people are losing time in creating their future because of the skewed wealth distribution. If we don't get our shit together pretty soon, it may be too late, individually and collectively. Perhaps what appeared to me like hubris on your part is merely anger. If that's the case, I understand your anger.

              Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

              by HappyinNM on Sun May 20, 2012 at 08:42:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  See if you can remember the name for this. (12+ / 0-)

    Step 1: Raise money by telling investors you'll get them fantastic returns.

    Step 2: Borrow a bunch of money to repay the initial investors.

    Step 3: Borrow a bunch more money to repay the borrowing in step 2.

    Step 4: Borrow a bunch more to repay the borrowing in step 3.

    Step 5: Crash & declare bankruptcy.

    What do we call that kind of "scheme" again?

    And how is it really different from what went on at Bain? Clearly, step 1 is exactly the same. In step 2, the technique is to use the money from step 1 to buy controlling interest in a company—say, GST Steel—with cash reserves or a healthy credit line, then drain those reserves to pay back the investors from step 1, plus bonuses for the Bain execs.

    In step 3, you raid the workers' pension fund to start making payments to the bank on the money you extracted to pay the investors and execs.

    In step 4, you slash funding for operations, capital improvements, worker benefits and salaries, etc. in order to keep paying the bank. Or if you're really a nice guy, you can recapitalize the pension fund you stole from in step 3. Ha ha! Screw that! More likely, think about repeating step 2, where you pay yourself!

    In step 5, the whole thing collapses. Your outstanding bank loans are really the company's problem, not yours. Declare bankruptcy and hand the whole stinking pile to the bank to sort out (or, if you really went to town and killed the bank, too, hand it to the FDIC). As for the pensions, well, that's the PBGC's problem. And if anybody comes looking for the cash GST owes them, what do you care? You're Bain, not GST. Let 'em repossess the plant and try to sell it. You don't care. Bain still has nice offices, and you never really worked for GST anyway. You just owned it.

    So, what do we call those "schemes" again? Where you just keep tapping new cash sources to pay back the previous round of investments or loans?

  •  My endless comments with Dad and Dad-in-law (0+ / 0-)

    "There's nothing wrong with a businessman making profits..."

    "Yeah, I know dad...his priorities were for his business, not for his country. I don't deny him the right to make money (by shipping jobs overseas)...but I don't want him to be my president..."

    But of course there is more. The blatant lies. Yes, Staples added jobs (non-exempt, no benies jobs). But they put at least one other office supply chain out of business, so the net change was nil.

    I THINK the Obama campaign has a BS monitor/media outlet. Do they?

  •  What Romney did at Bain (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cosette, vcmvo2, Eric Nelson, sethtriggs

    was not "no different from what Bernie Madoff did."

    Madoff ran an illegal Ponzi scheme that screwed many of his investors.

    Romney ran an LBO fund that greatly profited his investors, and generally screwed those who worked for the companies Bain took over.

    And it was all legal.

    The main point that Obama's campaign should make is that Bain did not create jobs in the companies it took over and ran, often into the ground.  

    A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

    by devtob on Sat May 19, 2012 at 05:49:47 PM PDT

  •  Actually Romney has more relevant (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jabney, sethtriggs, Spoc42

    experience in his background for the kind of job he's seeking, i.e., he was governor of a state. Of course the state was Massachusetts, and while he was governor the state established both a universal health insurance mandate AND gay marriage, so he's got to leave that entire period off his resume and pretend all he ever did was make money....

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Sat May 19, 2012 at 05:54:44 PM PDT

  •  Disaster Capitalism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jabney, Eric Nelson, Matt Z

    still says it all.

    . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

    by 88kathy on Sat May 19, 2012 at 05:55:55 PM PDT

  •  looting ain't right anywhere but pension looting (8+ / 0-)

    is the lowest of all. Bain loots anyone and anything they can but what really pisses me off is their looting of workers pension funds and leaving the wreckage for all taxpayers to clean up. They just don't give a shit about the lives they distroy in the process, they're like drone pilots who care nothing about the "collateral damage' they wreak. IMO an important reform would be to protect pension funds and make the looters responsible and liable for them.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Sat May 19, 2012 at 06:02:07 PM PDT

    •  Time for RICO? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2

      Racketeering
       Racketeering activity under federal law includes a number of criminal offenses:
         •  financial institution fraud;
         • Obstruction of Justice; obstruction of criminal investigation
         •  interference with commerce, bribery, or extortion
         • unlawful welfare fund payments
         • restrictions of payments and loans to labor organizations
         • embezzlement from union funds
         • Bankruptcy fraud
         • fraud in the sale of Securities

      Just sayin

  •  the "market" ain't free it's fixed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sat May 19, 2012 at 06:04:04 PM PDT

  •  Whatever my problems with Obama (5+ / 0-)

    (and they are many, and I believe legitimate), I want him to not only beat Mitt Romney, I want him to absolutely DESTROY Mitt Romney. Not out of some silly infantile political blood lust of the sort that RW trolls seem to enjoy, but because of what Mitt Romney stands for and is, which is the exact opposite of what this country is supposed to and should be about.

    Namely, fair play, honest work, regard for others, a sense of community, shared sacrifice, values and goals, economic and social justice, and freedom from want and fear of oppression. He stands for and represents the exact opposite of these things, and for that he has to be destroyed, not out of any personal animosity, but because his values are un-American and quite dangerous.

    We need to make this election not just about Obama vs. Romney, Democrat vs. Republican, and left vs. right, but about right vs. wrong. We have to take back the "values" issue, and make it ours again.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sat May 19, 2012 at 06:06:09 PM PDT

  •  I'm starting to think that by "free market..." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    ...those who aggressively promote it really mean "whatever I can get away with."

  •  Small Business vs. Bain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, Spoc42

    Obama should forcefully and frequently point up the contrast between the Bain business model with that of the typical small business owner. This will help blunt the inevitable claim that by attacking vulture capitalism, Obama is attacking American capitalism.  

  •  Mitt's brand of capitalism is immoral (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indie17, vcmvo2, Eric Nelson, sethtriggs

    It may be legal, but it is not honorable or moral. But then little about him is. Not the way he treats animals, the way he treats workers, not in the way he lies daily or in his bullying of someone weaker than himself.

    That should disqualify him for most everything.

    O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

    by Kevanlove on Sat May 19, 2012 at 06:37:30 PM PDT

    •  It's not a "brand". It's not capitalism at all. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, Eric Nelson, sethtriggs

      It's racketeering, pure and simple. Let's call it what it is... crime, not capitalism.

      Meanwhile, back in my dream world, America is enjoying the peace and prosperity of Howard Dean's second term, while Senator Obama has clinched the nomination for 2012.

      by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Sat May 19, 2012 at 07:52:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Disqualification (0+ / 0-)

      I think that the most general disqualification should be to regard him as inhuman. He is so lacking in empathy or any kind of fellow-feeling for people, that I suspect that there is something fundamentally wrong with him.

      If you want to be religious, he is lacking a soul.

      FOSI: Full Of Shit Information - Both my sister and I are trivia freaks...

      by Spoc42 on Sun May 20, 2012 at 05:06:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But that wouldn’t be a free market! (0+ / 0-)

    But that wouldn’t be a free market!
    That would be the work market!  

    Nudniks need not apply.

    by killermiller on Sat May 19, 2012 at 06:43:55 PM PDT

  •  The biggest problem of Romney-style capitalism, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, Eric Nelson

    to my mind, is that Romney and Bain made a lot of money by shifting companies' obligations to the US taxpayers, and by subverting various taxpayer-funded incentives for self-enrichment rather than to promote the activities for which those incentives were designed.

  •  Rmoney: Punish success, reward failure. (0+ / 0-)

    Time to confiscate that meme from the GOP.

  •  Excellent. I couldn't have said it better. Perfect (0+ / 0-)

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat May 19, 2012 at 09:15:33 PM PDT

  •  Romney's Bain 'scheme' might work in the Go-go 90s (0+ / 0-)

    when there were lots of buyers and money sloshing around but today  when the economy is horrible his scheme couldn't possibly work. His 'management experience' has absolutely no value.

  •  Mitt Romney, the wannabe Looter-in-Chief (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42

    What do you think would happen if you or I bought a struggling business for a small percentage of its real value; convinced a bank or other lender that we had airtight plans to build that business into a real money-making Goliath; took out massive loans in the company's name right up to its credit limit; instead of building and revitalizing the company with that money, we payed ourselves huge fees and put the money into Swiss bank accounts and other offshore tax shelters; and then walked away as the company went down in flames and its employees headed en masse toward the unemployment lines?  And we did this not just once, but over and over and over again.

    Odds are, even if you or I had done this only once, we'd be facing criminal prosecution or years of crushing civil litigation in which every last cent was clawed back by the angry lenders.  

    Mitt Romney, however, thinks this kind of activity, repeated over and over and over again, qualifies him to be President of the United States.  It must have offended him tremendously to see a rank amateur like George W. Bush leading the band of GOP looters who pillaged America during the Bush years.  Bush tried but never managed to divert into his GOP buddies' pockets all the money flowing into Social Security and Medicare.  Romney and his buddies have their eyes on those prizes and they're going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to get them.  

    The next few months are not going to be pretty.  When you want to be Looter-in-Chief, you have to be willing to get dirty.  Or at least have your massively-funded, arms-length cohorts get dirty.  And Mitt and his buddies and the various Citizens United attack funders supporting him are as dirty as the day is long.  

  •  There are two sides to Bain Capital (0+ / 0-)

    There is a "vulture capital" side that is exactly what you describe, and possibly even worse.  A lot of people have indeed been put out of work by these practices.  But we can't deny there really is another side to it, the venture capital side, which is responsible for creating jobs through underwriting the capital needed by start-ups.

    Romney's problem is that while Bain Capital started as a venture capital firm, it quickly added the vulture capital side to its business, and since doing so, made most of its money on the vulture capital side. Romney basically wants to pretend that this side of the business didn't even exist.

    There is an excellent description of these two sides of Bain Capital's business in this Boston Globe article.  I think we risk losing credibility if we try to ignore the fact that there was indeed a venture capital side to Bain Capital, and that venture capitalists are essential to our economy.  I'd far rather concentrate on telling the whole truth -- which is that while this is how Bain Capital started, and while it continues to be a part of Bain Capital's business, the vulture capital side of the business quickly became the main source of Bain's (and Romney's) profits.  That way, Romney is the one who is trying to pull the wool over people's eyes.

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Sun May 20, 2012 at 07:29:21 AM PDT

  •  making money by failing is the American way... (0+ / 0-)

    ...despite all the hype from Republicans, in my opinion the public sector (i.e. government), as poor and ineffective as it might be sometimes, has nothing on corporations when it comes to gross negligence and incompetence. The Dilbert comic strip is considered satire by many and it is quite funny, but, based on my lifetime experience in the work place, it's actually quite true. Most companies are run by self-consumed, greedy, incompetent rubes and the people they appoint (much like them).

    And, based on the way the economy's been over the past 5-6 years, it's quite evident that those in charge of banking, finance, mortgage and virtually every other major industry have demonstrated that they are, basically, incompetent.

    Where Republicans come up with the notion that the private sector is more efficient and effective than the public sector is beyond me. There is scant evidence to provde it. But, all of the major mass media in this country is owned by Republicans, so their ongoing propaganda machine continues on spewing all of these lies to a sheepish, cowardly public.

  •  When I see that photo (0+ / 0-)

    I think...well Miittens and the guy on the right are the sane ones.

  •  If the 1% were less like Mitt Romney, (0+ / 0-)

    the 1% wouldn't be the problem.

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Sun May 20, 2012 at 12:46:07 PM PDT

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