One of the biggest pushes the Romney camp has made regarding Mitt’s tenure at Bain & Company is the fact that he supposedly left the company to return to Bain Capital in early 1992. After filing for documents through the Freedom of Information Act, Rolling Stone Magazine has uncovered a very different reality than the smoke and mirrors presented by Romney.
Although Romney has publicly stated that he left Bain & Company in early 1992, the documents uncovered by RS (Rolling Stone) prove that Romney was still at the helm of Bain & Company until at least March 23, 1993. This evidence is key to discrediting the story that Romney has released. Romney’s refusal to disclose his income tax returns for the past ten years also appears to support this information. If the income tax returns show that he was actually on the payroll at Bain & Company, his political career would be over.
Bain Capital put Romney in charge of the spinoff company Bain & Company in 1984. In order to fund the new endeavor, the owners cashed out $200,000,000 in stock. The reputation of Bain & Company took a hit following a scandal involving accusations of illegal stock manipulation made by one of Bain’s consultants. Bain & Company continued its’ downward path toward financial ruin as the 1989 recession began to set in. It was at this time that Romney was put in charge. Expectations were high and Bill Bain, founder of Bain Capital, left the company in the hands of Mitt Romney. Romney had a huge stake, both financial as well as personal, and he knew he had to save the company.
Rolling Stone reports, “In fact, Romney had a direct stake in the survival of Bain & Company: He had been working to build the Bain brand his entire career, and felt he had to save the firm at all costs. After all, Bain sold top-dollar strategic advice to big businesses about how to protect them from going bust. If Bain & Company went bankrupt, recalls [a] Romney deputy, "anyone associated with them would have looked clownish." Indeed, when a banker from Goldman Sachs urged Bain to consider bankruptcy as the obvious solution to the firm's woes, Romney's desperation began to show. He flatly refused to discuss it – and in the ensuing argument, one witness says, Romney almost ended up in a brawl when the Goldman banker advised him to "go fuck yourself." For the sake of Romney's career and fortune, bankruptcy was simply not an option – no matter who got screwed in the process.”
By making threats to raid the cash that Bain & Company had in its’ coffers, Romney told its’ creditors that if they did not forgive approximately 30% of its’ debt he would pay out bonuses to the highest paid executives in the company and the company would not be able to pay any of its’ debt. This is, in essence, holding a debt owed to lenders for ransom. Although the FDIC did not fall for the threats the first time, after Romney did go through with paying out bonuses and depleting bank accounts significantly, the FDIC finally gave in. They took $5 million dollars for the $14 million owed.
This story continues forward and Mitt Romney has emphasized that he left Bain & Company in early 1992. The documents obtained by RS, however, tell a different tale. Two documents show that Romney was at the helm of Bain & Company as late as March 23, 1993. Romney is not able to provide evidence that shows otherwise. Furthermore, his refusal to present his tax returns is seen as evidence to support the fact that he was still in the drivers’ seat of Bain & Company in 1993.
Leadership is viewed in many ways by many people. But one trait that everyone values highly is honesty. Voters may be willing to overlook unethical behavior in lieu of attaining a goal they support. But no one should be willing to overlook lies. Compound the lies with the fact that Romney did not exhibit a leadership style that saved Bain & Company, instead it left the FDIC in the lurch for $10 million and you have a situation where Romney is touting one version of reality and the evidence shows something totally different.
Heading toward the election in November, it is essential for voters to have access to information. That information needs to be true, verifiable and valid. In this situation the evidence shows that Mitt Romney lied, exhibited unethical behavior by making threats to lenders and now he is hiding the truth by refusing to disclose his tax returns.
Your vote will be cast for the type of leader you want to run your nation. Cast that vote carefully.