Newt says Mitt “looted” companies, but the Wall Street Journal provides a comprehensive analysis that rebuts the former Speaker’s incendiary charges.
Politico calls it “The Bain Bomb,” and I wrote at length five years ago on how Romney’s opponents would use Bain against him again and again just as they have done since Ted Kennedy used Bain against Romney in their1994 Senate race. The Journal article is comprehensive and thus long and it is complicated but its conclusion isn’t surprising or original: The investment firm which Romney headed for 15 years until he left to lead the Salt Lake City Olympic Games was very, very successful, but many of its investments didn’t produce great returns and some of the companies Bain invested in failed completely or went through bankruptcy.
The former Speaker can call the invest-and-turn-around business “looting” –Obama and Axelrod certainly will– but it is in fact the free market at its incredibly efficient and powerful best, and attacking investment firms that specialize in turnarounds is attacking a core feature of the free market: capital seeking opportunities to grow and in the process creating jobs and opportunities for others. From Obama and the Chicago gang an attack on this process is to be expected, but it cannot appeal to many voters in Republican primaries.