Almost 13 years ago, Mitt Romney left Bain Capital, the successful private equity firm he had helped start, and moved to Utah to rescue the Salt Lake City Olympic Games and begin a second career in public life.
Yet when it came to his considerable personal wealth, Mr. Romney never really left Bain.
In what would be the final deal of his private equity career, he negotiated a retirement agreement with his former partners that has paid him a share of Bain’s profits ever since, bringing the Romney family millions of dollars in income each year and bolstering the fortune that has helped finance Mr. Romney’s political aspirations.
The arrangement allowed Mr. Romney to pursue his career in public life while enjoying much of the financial upside of being a Bain partner as the company grew into a global investing behemoth.
In the process, Bain continued to buy and restructure companies, potentially leaving Mr. Romney exposed to further criticism that he has grown wealthier over the last decade partly as a result of layoffs. Moreover, much of his income from the arrangement has probably qualified for a lower tax rate than ordinary income under a tax provision favorable to hedge fund and private equity managers, which has become a point of contention in the battle over economic inequality.
An examination of Mr. Romney’s public financial disclosures, as well as interviews with former Bain partners, business associates and counselors to his campaign, reveals the extent of his financial relationship with Bain Capital and how it has allowed him to continue amassing a personal fortune while building a political career.
Now remember, Bain Capital is the company that Romney helped "save" by laying off hundreds of employees and securing a federal bailout of $10 million in taxpayer money.
And guess what? It gets better: Bain Capital, the company which still pays Mitt Romney to be a career politician (his claims to the contrary notwithstanding), owns the company, that owns the company, that maintains a close relationship as a vendor for the company, that owns the Des Moines Register, which made a glowing, leg-tingling endorsement of Mitt Romney this weekend. (Hat tip: Faith, at Smart Girl Politics) You know what they say: Follow the money.
Editor in Chief, THL
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