Monday, January 9, 2012

Romney and Economic Rape

If you want to understand how Mitt Romney made his money and how he fits among many of the rapacious buyout fund operators you'll need a little lesson in how such funds take over companies.

A standard approach to taking over a business by a hedge or buyout fund is to borrow money that is combined with investor money to pay for the purchase. This immediately adds debt to the company's balance sheet. The operators of these funds make sure that they borrow enough that they can pay themselves back almost immediately, replacing what they invested. Frequently a 20% return to investors for these funds is not unusual. So the actual investment by people who put money into these funds (and the businesses they bought)  becomes much smaller.

When you add to the company's debt burden you have to do something to make the balance sheet look more attractive. That's done by getting rid of workers and thinning the company's labor costs. In other words the investors get money out of the company, while many employees lose their jobs.

Is this good for companies? Does acquiring a company using debt that injures the company's balance sheet  provide a way of building a better America? Four out of ten companies Romney invested in went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Romney built a fortune for himself.

Wall Street has played with America since the Clinton administration, making deals that did not add value to the American economy, but made Financial Ubermensch rich.

To those of you reading this who are unemployed, I'm telling you it has nothing to do with your ability to work hard and contribute to our country. You are just a victim of 20 years of economic rape.

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