Matt Taibbi Explains Why You Should Hate Mitt Romney Even More Than You May Have Hated Him Yesterday

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Mitt Romney hugging his money before its sent away to the Cayman IslandsHello, Matt Taibbi, how are you making us hate Mitt Romney even more today than we did, say, yesterday (which is saying a lot since we had to sit through his forty minute speech about himself yesterday and also a slide show about him and his kids, blagh). But as you will soon discover, making us hate Mitt Romney even more isn’t terribly difficult! You just begin by explaining the nuts and bolts of how Bain Capital destroyed several companies by loading them up with debt, and then you go into detail about how Bain partners made tons of money, much of it off government “handouts” even while laying off thousands of workers, and then you top it all off by pointing out that political and financial journalists have been unwilling or unable to explain any of this to the American public. Thank you, Matt Taibbi, for exposing not only the incompetence of the American pundit class, but also the features–rather than bugs–of the corporate tax code that allow people like Mitt Romney and Incorporated Americans like Bain Capital to happen to all of us.

We should first say that we love Taibbi’s entire article and encourage you to trot on over to Rolling Stone and read the whole thing (and then come back here, of course). But the main point of it can probably be extracted from these gems:

[When taking over a company] Romney and Bain avoided the hostile approach, preferring to secure the cooperation of their takeover targets by buying off a company’s management with lucrative bonuses. Once management is on board, the rest is just math. So if the target company is worth $500 million, Bain might put down $20 million of its own cash, then borrow $350 million from an investment bank to take over a controlling stake.

But here’s the catch. When Bain borrows all of that money from the bank, it’s the target company that ends up on the hook for all of the debt. Now your troubled firm – let’s say you make tricycles in Alabama – has been taken over by a bunch of slick Wall Street dudes who kicked in as little as five percent as a down payment. So in addition to whatever problems you had before, Tricycle Inc. now owes Goldman or Citigroup $350 million. With all that new debt service to pay, the company’s bottom line is suddenly untenable: You almost have to start firing people immediately just to get your costs down to a manageable level. “That interest,” says Lynn Turner, former chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission, “just sucks the profit out of the company.”

“The thing about it is, nobody gets hurt,” says [former KB toys employee] Lenny Patnode. “Except the people who worked here.”

Luckily, Mitt likes firing people who provide services to him, so this isn’t a big deal. HA! HA! HA! Seriously though, it does underscore the fact that Mitt’s primary private sector experience has been in an industry where he takes none of the risks and reaps all of the gains. Also, it should be worth nothing that even though he was a Job Creator, there is no mention of Job Creating in Bain’s mission statement. But that’s ok! Because Mitt didn’t so much make his fortune off firing people; he made it off evading avoiding taxes:

But the way Romney most directly owes his success to the government is through the structure of the tax code. The entire business of leveraged buyouts wouldn’t be possible without a provision in the federal code that allows companies like Bain to deduct the interest on the debt they use to acquire and loot their targets. This is the same universally beloved tax deduction you can use to write off your mortgage interest payments, so tampering with it is considered political suicide – it’s been called the “third rail of tax reform.” So the Romney who routinely rails against the national debt as some kind of child-killing “mortgage” is the same man who spent decades exploiting a tax deduction specifically designed for mortgage holders in order to bilk every dollar he could out of U.S. businesses before burning them to the ground.

Because minus that tax break, Romney’s debt-based takeovers would have been unsustainably expensive. Before Lynn Turner became chief accountant of the SEC, where he reviewed filings on takeover deals, he crunched the numbers on leveraged buyouts as an accountant at a Big Four auditing firm. “In the majority of these deals,” Turner says, “the tax deduction has a big enough impact on the bottom line that the takeover wouldn’t work without it.”

Oh how nice. So basically, this tax deduction means that the government incentivizes the kinds of leveraged takeovers that made Romney into a millionaire and costs thousands of people their jobs. But don’t worry! Given that debt is such a pressing concern for people who aren’t Mitt Romney or in the business of private equity, he has a running mate with a plan. And the plan is that you people all retire a few years later and give up your Medicare, and people like Mitt will plug on ahead, job creating.

[Rolling Stone]

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Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

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163 comments

  1. ChernobylSoup

    Those tricycle-building employees should have invented the tricycle themselves instead of being parasites.

  2. iTuna

    Yeah, I spent most of the morning reading (and re-reading) this piece. It's excellent, powerful stuff, and far too complicated to explain to the average voter. The DNC committee should get Taibbi to just read it during a primetime slot.

    1. fuflans

      so i read this posting right b/4 i went to the airport fri, dutifully bought RS (which i would subscribe to if it weren't bloody WEEKLY), read it and passed it on. then mr fuflans' family and i (all GA libtards – except me. chicago libtard) spent the entire weekend trying to square exactly that circle: how do you get america to pay attention?

      we didn't really have an answer.

  3. metamarcisf

    I heard Matt's interview on Democracy Now yesterday. Last night I dreamed I was being strip-searched by Amy Goodman while Ruth Bader Ginsburg read me my rights.

    1. ChernobylSoup

      And then the bull gets to fuck the farmer's family while the chickens are sent to a call center in China to answer AT&T trouble calls.

  4. Self-Uploader

    Personally, I don't need an explanation. That picture says it all. However, while I see a group of young thugs fellating cash, others see "opportunity" and some magical Candyland with dollars where all their champagne wishes and caviar dreams can become real.

    1. themcwow

      and it's such an awful, stupid photo, so tacky and crass even for whenever it was taken, the 80s?

    1. actor212

      Of which Bain was one of twenty companies investing in Staples.

      Romney was asked to serve on the board, true, but here's the thing: he very nearly missed out on the deal and came to it very late. It was practically closed by the time Bain bid for their share.

      1. ChernobylSoup

        I did not know that. From last night's video, you'd think Mitt polished the floors while his kids manufactured paper clips in the basement.

        1. actor212

          I was wrong, it was four firms picked out of twenty:

          But by this time, Stemberg said, "we must have had 15 or 20 different offers to finance our deal." He included Bain in a team of four firms because Romney had a reputation as "one of the best business advisers in America" and could offer skills as well as money. And so Romney did, remaining on the Staples board for 16 years.

          1. miss_grundy

            Rmoney's idea of advising is leveraging the company, taking the assets and leaving the company to foot the bill, as in paying the mortgage. Then Bain gets a management fee of several million for doing nothing. And the employees at Staples get paid a pittance.

    1. reliefsinn

      Looks interesting. Nice going Mitt and Friends, sucking dry a profitable company that's supplying well paying manufacturing jobs.
      It would be one thing if these companies were all on the edge, and outfits like Bain stepped in and tried to make them profitable again.
      What actually happened constitutes criminal behavior, in my book.
      They should really all be prosecuted, but I am not holding my breath.

  5. Not_So_Much

    I loved Taibbi's piece. But it turns out sharing it with conservative friends on the Book of Face the last few days will make them 'cranky'.

    (a total stranger derided me for using information from a "scurrilous rag". I had to give them mad props for using words good.)

    1. Mittens Howell, III

      sharing it with conservative friends on the Book of Face the last few days will make them 'cranky'.

      I'm pretty sure that's what Facebook's for.

        1. Not_So_Much

          Yep, I posted that one as well because I'm kind of a douchecanoe that way.

          The response I got included a full-on tin foil link to a site with loads of exclamation points that reiterated all the points of the foxnews.com author, but then shouted that it meant something completely different. herp derp derpa derrrrp

    2. ShuCityRefugee

      I have told people that I will not discuss debt or "job creation" with them until they have read the piece. If they want to debate its empirical or philosophical merits, fine; otherwise, I cannot present the case as eloquently or decisively as Mr. Taibbi.

    3. AbandonHope_

      Right, because the fact that it came from a source that they personally dislike means that the facts within are demonstrably false.

      Fucking twits.

      1. actor212

        I dunno. I say the same thing anytime anyone posts something from Newsmax. Of course, I bother to research a little on what they've posted and then post the truth back at them and none of this is to say that I equate Rolling Stone to Newsmax.

    1. FakaktaSouth

      God lord what are you a Mormon? You were just gay married to someone else the other day. And I will fight you to the death, Creepy Matt Taibbi is mine all mine all mine.

      1. prommie

        Who was that fantastic Rolling Stone investigative reporter from the '80s? He seemed to lose credibility during the Bush admin because I think he got played by a CIA ploy to have supposed "leakers" plant ludicrous shit on him and then he'd go around repeating the misinformation. In the early 2000s he was always promising some incredible bombshell he would release soon, but then he never did. I am convinced he got played. What was his name? Matt just better be careful of the same shit.

          1. actor212

            Never wrote for RS but he was one of the first to have the Abu Ghraib story for The New Yorker

            I'll never forget an interview he gave shortly before he broke the story, talking about how guards and other inmates he interviewed spoke of the late-night cries of young boys as they were raped and tortured there. Sent a chill up my spine.

    2. montreal_bruin

      Agreed. "Spanking the Donkey," about covering the '04 Democratic primary, was laugh-out-loud stuff. He's gotten sharper as our country becomes more ridiculous. I've been a fan since reading his articles for "The Exile" in Moscow 12 years ago.

  6. memzilla

    Anagrams of "Bain Capital" include:

    - It Pain Cabal
    - Labia Catnip
    - Anal Bait Pic
    - An Alibi Pact

      1. AbandonHope_

        Ladies and gentlemen, the name of the next Russian female punk band that will be jailed for hooliganism.

  7. SorosBot

    Hell these days I wouldn't be surprised if Bain made a big profit in the business of orphan- and kitten-strangling.

  8. ManchuCandidate

    Hey… HEY!!! HEY!!!

    That's what W did to
    1) Arbusto
    2) Tejas
    3) US Amercia

    I never thought I'd ever see anyone who I'd like less than W and his puppet master Cheney. I thought wrong.

  9. UnholyMoses

    How in the holy fucking hell did a music magazine become the go-to place for insightful reporting on economics and politics?

    I mean, really.

    Eleventy million cable channels, blogs, etc., and it's up to the same people who do in-depth interviews with Kid Rock (who locked up the Hep C demo for the GOP this past week) to give us the truth about Bain?

    Somewhere, my old journalism teacher is weeping …

    1. iTuna

      They had the foresight to hire a weird Air Force dropout named Hunter Thompson, who Taibbi's been trying to emulate for his entire career. Thankfully, it's led to some of the best long-form political reporting of all time.

      1. UnholyMoses

        Sadly, that longer format is in some ways a hindrance—most of the people who need to read it won't, because it's tl;dr.

        They can only understand 10-second soundbites and simplistic phrases.

        Stupidity: They built that.

        1. actor212

          It's not just that, there's a whole raft of reasons, from newspapers needing to cram a higher percentage of ads per page in, to the news division of networks becoming profit centers instead of public interest "charities" (for want of a descriptive term).

          1. tessiee

            And let's not forget another of Uncle Raygun's legacies; abolishing the "equal time for opposing viewpoints" rule. Take all of three seconds to think of how different the media would be right now if equal time for opposing Fox's viewpoint were legally mandated.

        2. AbandonHope_

          Of course, this is the trick to just about every scam, swindle and con out there: make the inner workings complicated enough that the average person will be too lazy and/or stupid to understand it.

          1. actor212

            Oh, you mean like private equity firms like, say, Bain Capital?

            Watergate was a really complex story, but somehow, we managed to grasp it once it was uncovered bit by bit

    2. walterhwhite

      Ok, this is showing my age, but Rolling Stone has been doing insightful reporting for the past 30 years or so.

      1. iTuna

        Try 40! Hunter Thompson's monthly reports from the 72 campaign, later repackaged into Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, is one of the best pieces of coverage I've ever read.

      2. UnholyMoses

        Sorry — not sure I made my point clearly. (My fault! Honestly — sorry.)

        The point wasn't that RS just starting doing this — they have for years.

        It's that they have supplanted outlets whose primary mission and job is to do political/in-depth reporting. Again, nothing's wrong with RS or even Comedy Central spreading the truth. What's wrong is that the "traditional" outlets (for lack of a better term) are not.

        Sure, part of that is due to the fact almost every outlet is owned by one of just five companies, and now puts profits ahead of real reporting. Part of it is the fear journalists have of losing access to the powerful, and the fact they want to be famous for being on TV, not for being real journalists.

        But, IMHO, the biggest issue is the general dumbing down of America.

        The GOP's war on science and education and truth and just basic fucking reality has worked to a large extent, with massive swaths of our nation deciding that voting for their fave on American Idol is more important than voting for President. They don't want to worry their precious little heads about policy — they just want to vote for the guy they'd wanna have a beer with, or against those who are Not Like Them.

        It's just … fuckity fuck shit fuck fuck it pisses me the fucking hell off …

        **takes deep breaths, mixes in decaf**

    3. Negropolis

      Rolling Stone has been putting out good shit for years, now, on politics. This is the same magazine that toppled McChrystal not very long ago.

  10. Callyson

    With all that new debt service to pay, the company’s bottom line is suddenly untenable: You almost have to start firing people immediately just to get your costs down to a manageable level.

    He built that.

    1. miss_grundy

      Wouldn't it be nice if the Dems pointed that out starting on Tuesday. It would be refreshing to hear. Of course, the Stupids, who need to hear this stuff, won't be watching…

  11. IonaTrailer

    I'm still laughing about Clint Eastwood, the new face of the GOP. Old, out-of-touch and delusional.

    1. miss_grundy

      I went to see "Lawless" at the local cinema and they had a trailer for Eastwood's new movie. He plays a gruff character who learns some truths, too bad he can't do this in real life.

  12. FakaktaSouth

    If you make tricycles in Alabama you are fucked, fat kids don't ride nothing they gotta make move no more. You shoulda been making baby-scooters all along dumbass.

      1. FakaktaSouth

        Dude, I TRIED to get y'all to come my way – nobody never listens to me about nothing. We could've run the joint, ain't a fool in sight with more power'n a blonde toting some sweet ammo in a bitchin' Camaro round these parts. Prom's all jacked up and spent half his time in Reno, but I still say the 'stache is looking good…

    1. TavariousChinaSmith

      Or at least you should include 32 oz. cup holders. In fact, not doing so is discrimination and communism.

  13. weejee

    Has the GOP convention given Mittens the bounce he deserves. Well, yes, yes it has.

    God (aka Nate Silver an adding machinist at the NY Timez) finds that over the past week Barry Nobama's chances of re-election are up 3% to 71.6%.

    Yea Mittens, keep up your exemplary work.

    1. HistoriCat

      In that case, someone should let the Dems know. I'm getting tired of the panicked emails requesting money right now!

      1. miss_grundy

        To be fair, Rmoney is using his parasitic capitalist to get the Koch Bros. and Adelson to pay for his campaign, so the President needs a lot of money, if he is going to have a chance to get his message across.

  14. ChernobylSoup

    To be fair, it was a bicycle factory. Being Alabama, though, the finished product always came out with three wheels.

  15. Millennial Malaise

    Mitt Rmoney is a piece of shit. A Vampire Squid of the highest Moroni order.

    I want to sit on Matt Taibbi's face.

    100% snark free

      1. bitchincamaro2

        In violation of all tenets of commenting on Wonkette, I've been paying attention to work. Now that Mittens will be the next POTUS, I'll be spending all my time managing my government mandated off-shore accounts.

        Thanks for caring.

  16. actor212

    Also, from last week's Time (pay wall):

    Even to ask the question in ethical terms strikes many of Romney's former partners as naive, although none of them care to say so on the record. The purpose of a business is to earn a profit. Paying union workers at inefficient factories for work that can be done more cheaply somewhere else is, by pure capitalist standards, simply irrational. Romney may even have had a fiduciary duty to take harsh measures in the companies he owned in order to advance the interests of his investors. "The job was not creating jobs," says MIT's Anderson. "That was not the goal. The job was to increase the investment that he made … The by-product may have been in some cases creating jobs. The by-product sometimes was bringing efficiency, which would be not keeping jobs."

    1. actor212

      Re-reading, I'm struck by how angry this quote makes me.

      Professor Richard Wolff (an admitted Marxist) makes the case that in capitalist entities that the workers themselves own (he's careful not to call them socialist entities, altho this is what Marx wrote about), the decision to cut jobs or move them overseas would seldom, if ever, be made and if they were, they'd be made under extreme duress.

      After all, these are the people you live with in your community. How could you look your neighbors in the eye after "firing" them?

      1. BerkeleyBear

        Yeah, but that's basically the tectonic shift that happened in the 70s – everything became about corporate profits, which are fungible and don't give two shits about little things like community. Even dividends became seen as too slow and small of a return, so there was no point in running a business on a conservative footing, much less suffering short term losses to keep people employed. Couple that to ever greater automation of manufacturing (allowing for less skilled labor) and you get a piece of why there are so few good stable jobs that pay a living wage in this country.

        Wall Street has not only embraced a utilitarian economic model (which my econ 1 professors derided as simple minded and foolish in the long term) they've been very successful in manipulating the entire economy into following it. Which is why, unlike in 29 when the crash impacted a narrow class of people and it took other massive body blows to bring the real economy down, we've all suffered for the last several years at the hands of a really small number of decision makers.

    2. tessiee

      "Paying union workers at inefficient factories for work that can be done more cheaply somewhere else is, by pure capitalist standards, simply irrational."

      Yeah, that's what Henry Ford thought, too; until someone pointed out to him that robots wouldn't buy his cars.

      1. HistoriCat

        Good thing the Paul disciples are still in mourning – they would be in whole-hearted agreement with that statement.

  17. sbj1964

    Has anyone ever noticed Mitt always has that uncomfortable grin on his face where it looks likes he's asking himself" So do you think their buying it?" Suckers!

  18. FNMA

    And this is why, when Mitt was talking about the guy who lost his $20-an-hour job and now had to work two $9-an-hour jobs to support his family, I thought I was never going to stop vomiting and yelled at the TV, "Fucking greedhead. The reason that guy lost his $20-an-hour job is because of shitheel grifters like you, motherfucker."
    My wife said, "You know, he can't hear you."

    1. walterhwhite

      That's why I couldnt' watch his speech. I knew I'd start screaming at him and scare my cat.

      1. FNMA

        My wife did say I was upsetting the dog and made me stop watching it. But Jeebus Fucking Christ, for that fucking smug, entitled, dickheaded cocksucker to express any kind of empathy for a person that his entire fucking career and accumulation of vast wealth was based on fucking over…

        OK, calm down…It's almost time to go home and start drinking…Everything will be fine….Go to your happy place…

    2. 1stNewtontheMoon

      you know if they eliminated the minimum wage our lowest paying jobs would be $20/hour. it's a fact.

  19. mavenmaven

    Mitt figures he has four years to strip mine the country's finances for himself and his buddies, and do enough damage with drilling, etc, to keep his gang wealthy for a long long time.

    1. tessiee

      Four years?
      Pffffft.
      Lightweight.
      It won't take Diebold all of four years to make sure the voting machines work their way.

    2. 1stNewtontheMoon

      he just got 8 years of that from 2001-09 (plus a bonus of the last three thanks to congressional inertia). they're like heroin addicts now asking the american people to let them plunge the needle in our collective dick because every other avenue is shut down.

  20. Callyson

    "I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there," he claimed years after the war. To a different audience, he said, "I was not planning on signing up for the military. It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam."

    I'm sure the disabled veterans will love hearing about this…

    I'm only on page 2 of 5 and a ragefest is already simmering…

    1. SorosBot

      Hey, trying to convince the French to join a weird cult religion that won't let them drink alcohol or coffee is hard work!

      1. Generation[redacted]

        The prospect of living in France without tasting wine or coffeee? I wonder how many converts he got.

    1. AbandonHope_

      Actually, Willy going over there and doing what Bain Capital did over here could ironically be a very good thing.

      Until China realizes what he's done and nukes the shit out of us.

      1. HistoriCat

        I think China really does believe in personal responsibility – and they would make Willard take it, without votes.

  21. Poindexter718

    Leveraged buyouts are unquestionably dangerous for companies and the ink stained wretches of the media have been remiss in calling Bain a "venture capital" firm, when LBOs were clearly its bread & butter. But the dear Wonketter's conclusion that Taibbi's article "… does underscore the fact that Mitt’s primary private sector experience has been in an industry where he takes none of the risks and reaps all of the gains" is sorta off. The $20m that Bain puts up in the example is equity and is the first thing to get wiped out when one of these companies goes pear shaped.
    Jes sayin'… Maybe go back to moar buttseks coverage?

    1. BerkeleyBear

      Only Bain didn't risk their capital on the speculative bets. They risked other people's money. The money managers had almost nothing at stake in the initial rounds of financing.

      Plus, with any sort of mass behind it, a fund should be able to pick enough winners to make money in most circumstances. It is like the house at a casino – it is possible for it to lose, but it takes a series of unlikely reversals and/or a loss of controls for failure to occur. Even then, moreover, the fund manager types normally are fine. Corzine lost a bunch of people's money, but he's not going to be eating at soup kitchens anytime soon.

      1. Poindexter718

        It's not shooting fish in a barrel: There are plenty of private equity funds that make sucky investments, are unable to raise Fund II and go away, particularly if they make their investment in the wrong vintage year. The guys at Bain are good at what they do–firing workers & outsourcing, looting pension plans, leveraging gov't loan guarantees etc (all the shit Mittens pretends not to have done, basically). And all the partners, including Mittbot, put substantial money into the funds though you are right, they benefit from the success of their own investment in the funds, but also that of their LPs.

    2. miss_grundy

      I'm sorry but did you read the entire article? The first thing Bain Capital did when it took over a company was to take its cut from management fees and returns on its investment to the tune of multiples of what it actually put in to begin with. Bain never lost; it made lots of money for Rmoney, his colleagues, and its investors. The company in question was left holding the bag for millions in debt.

  22. BarackMyWorld

    The ill will I have towards Mitt doesn't so much come from what he's done, but things he's said you can easily demonstrate with other things he's said or done that he obviously doesn't believe.

    The most recent examples are from last night's speech:
    If Mitt really believed that only people who have worked in business should be president, he wouldn't have taken 7-term congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate;
    If he had really wanted Obama to be successful, he wouldn't have been campaigning for president since the day after the last election.

    1. 1stNewtontheMoon

      in fairness, he never stop campaigning to be president after failing in his own 2008 bid. he didn't wait for Obama to win.

  23. thefrontpage

    EXCLUSIVE TO WONKETTE!

    The Republican National Committee has provided to Wonkette, exclusively, the rest of the Eastwood speech, the portion that was not delivered because of time and sanity constraints:

    Uh. Er. Ah. You know. Um. Bacon. Cheese. Chocolate covered bacon. This country needs to eat more bacon and cheese! We have to support the pig and daily industries. War is bad. Jobs good. Um. Betty White is hot! I love Geritol and Ben-Gay. I'm not making any more westerns, dammit! You kids! You kids don't know anything! I ate dinner today at 4:30 p.m. No, I don't wear adult diapers. Life begins at 90! Where's my pants–oh, I'm wearing them! I asked for Twix bars in the green room, dammit, and they were not there! Who do I talk to! What? Speak up! Get off my lawn! Get off my damn lawn, you commies! Vote Obama-Biden, 2012! Thank you.

  24. BaldarTFlagass

    "Matt Taibbi Explains Why You Should Hate Mitt Romney Even More Than You May Have Hated Him Yesterday"

    That's gonna be quite a trick, since I already hated him with the heat of 10,000 supernovas (novae?) yesterday.

  25. Peckerwood_Pete

    I'm not sure what the worst part of the speech was..

    The horrible acting job he did, while talking about his mother….

    OR..

    The fact that he only seemed hyped up and energized while talking about a potential war with Iran.

  26. PsycWench

    I'm beginning to think that the only way Obama could have made the miraculous change to the economy that wingnuts demand would have either involved a time machine or putting a lot of CEOs and the like on a large boat and then sinking it.

    With votes.

    1. vtxmcrider

      Good thing you added that last line. Otherwise our Editrix would have come after you for advocating murder.

  27. Lot_49

    I liked this part near the end:

    Romney is a man from nowhere…Romney…is a perfect representative of one side of the ominous cultural divide that will define the next generation, not just here in America but all over the world. Forget about the Southern strategy, blue versus red, swing states and swing voters – all of those political clichés are quaint relics of a less threatening era that is now part of our past, or soon will be. The next conflict defining us all is much more unnerving.

    That conflict will be between people who live somewhere, and people who live nowhere. It will be between people who consider themselves citizens of actual countries, to which they have patriotic allegiance, and people to whom nations are meaningless, who live in a stateless global archipelago of privilege – a collection of private schools, tax havens and gated residential communities with little or no connection to the outside world.

    If you can fly your Gulfstream to your house on a private beach in Aruba, you don't care about pollution in Pittsburgh. If you send your kids to Cranbrook and Stanford and Harvard, you don't care about public schools in Chicago or Birmingham. If your house has a sprinkler system and a security guard, you don't care about fire fighters in Atlanta or cops in Seattle.

    So why should you be asked to pay for any of these things? It's just not fair!

    1. AbandonHope_

      And what you say with wit and snark, they say with deadpan conviction.

      Taibbi hit the whole "man who lives nowhere" nail on the head. If you have no roots anywhere, you care about nothing but yourself.

  28. Callyson

    One former Bain employee said that Romney would screw around with bonuses in small amounts, just to mess with people: He would give $3 million to one, $3.1 million to another and $2.9 million to a third, just to keep those below him on edge.

    Just what we need–another junior high schooler in the White House.

    FFS…

  29. Callyson

    Romney biographer and Wall Street Journal reporter Brett Arends, who analyzed Bain's performance between 1984 and 1998, concludes that the firm's returns were likely less than 30 percent per year, which happened to track more or less with the stock market's average during that time. "That's how much money you could have made by issuing company bonds and then spending the money picking stocks out of the paper at random," Arends observes. So for all the destruction Romney wreaked on Middle America in the name of "trying to make money," investors could have just plunked their money into traditional stocks and gotten pretty much the same returns.

    Oooh, Mittens won't like that…

  30. tessiee

    "But here’s the catch. When Bain borrows all of that money from the bank, it’s the target company that ends up on the hook for all of the debt. Now your troubled firm – let’s say you make tricycles in Alabama – has been taken over by a bunch of slick Wall Street dudes who kicked in as little as five percent as a down payment. So in addition to whatever problems you had before, Tricycle Inc. now owes Goldman or Citigroup $350 million."

    I chose to have an extremely marketable English major, so math and finance are not my best subject… But do I read this correctly as meaning that Mitt not only *bought the company* but *made the company pay to buy itself, and then sign the title over to him*?

    1. larrykat

      That is exactly the case. Because "corporations are people" only when it benefits the parasitic PE firm. Otherwise the corporation is a separate entity. Bain didn't make the companies do this, most of them were private – they probably made large deals with the CEO and the CFO or the family owners in order to buy the place. Those execs who owned or ran the target company wouldn't give a damn what happened as long as they got their own millions.

    2. FNMA

      That's pretty much how it works. Taibbi equates it to the mob. But hell, even the mob has a code of ethical behavior.

    3. Lot_49

      Bain would shower "bonuses" on senior management to induce them to take the deal. Not too hard to imagine successful men of a certain age being susceptible to the temptations of a big payday. They could probably be further persuaded by carefully-lawyered Power Points from Mittens, showing how these Boston geniuses would make the company grow and prosper. Look at what they did for Staples!

      Lot_49
      BA, English

  31. larrykat

    I know this to be true. Our company was bought out by PE firms twice. Both times they loaded us up with hundreds of millions in debt so they could "take their money off the table" and rely on a future sale to pay it back. If we had tanked as a company before that sale and become worthless, they still had their money and we all would have been fucked. We also had that 2% "management fee" we paid these parasites – and they did nothing to earn it except ask for shit-loads of reports.
    People need to understand what kind of slime runs these PE firms.. I've dealt with a lot of these guys and let me tell you, Romney is a perfect example of one of them. Their arrogance knows no bounds.

  32. Studebaker Hawk

    Thanks, but I already saw the movie version:

    Now the guy's got Paulie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Paulie. Trouble with a bill, he can go to Paulie. Trouble with the cops, deliveries, Tommy, he can call Paulie. But now the guy's got to come up with Paulie's money every week. No matter what. Business bad? Fuck you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? Fuck you, pay me. The place got hit by lightning, huh? Fuck you, pay me. Also, Paulie could do anything. Especially run up bills on the joint's credit. And why not? Nobody's gonna pay for it anyway. And as soon as the deliveries are made in the front door, you move the stuff out the back and sell it at a discount. You take a two hundred dollar case of booze and you sell it for a hundred. It doesn't matter. It's all profit. And then finally, when there's nothing left, when you can't borrow another buck from the bank or buy another case of booze, you bust the joint out. You light a match.

    1. GeorgiaBurning

      Between "Goodfellas", "Ocean's Thirteen" and the Wall Street films you can get a good grasp of leveraged buy-out capitalism. Job creation it ain't.

  33. AbandonHope_

    Seriously, we, the DNC, and every left-leaning SuperPAC out there should be calling him "Presidential Candidate Gordon Gekko". Every. Single. Time.

  34. billy_reuben

    Wow, I was doubtful that it was even possible, but you're right: I really *do* hate Romney more than yesterday. Guess it shows how wrong you can be.

  35. Wadisay

    I hope Matt's next article is on the Romneys' philanthropy. Do they have any record of supporting on a sustained basis anything that wasn't basically like them: rich, white and Mormon, the souless fucks?

  36. Serfville

    Matt Taibbi is a genius & one of my heros. Thank you for showcasing him here. He deserves a Pulitzer Prize for calling out by name, & in great detail Wall St. BS, & crimes against humanity.

  37. Abernathy

    "destroyed several companies by loading them up with debt"

    Like Tony Soprano and that sports equipment store? So gangster!

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