Monday, January 9, 2012

Capital Crimes

Three cheers for Bain Capital.  I'm already sick and tired of the political attacks about the role of private equity firms in American enterprise. And it's only January......yeesh, I only have one tongue and it's already half chewed off....

Let's face it, money touches everything in 21st century American politics; unfortunately, it touches and defines almost all aspects of American life.  Greed is not good, but self-interested entrepreneurship and unlocking low performing assets for the purpose of maximizing financial returns to the owners of those assets are among the engines that drive forward momentum in the system as we know it... (excerpted from our Harvard Business School pledge of allegiance :) ).

Seriously, friends, are we going to let Hollywood's vision of corporate capitalism, such as Michael Douglas's Gordon Gekko and Danny DeVito's Lawrence Garfield, be the touchstones for the public debate about whether or not Mittens created or destroyed jobs and enriched himself at the expense of others?  There's a lot wrong with the 'engulf and devour' formula that private equity firms promulgate, and BobOnARoll has proposed solutions for some of the excesses, including:

1. education, training, relocation, and placement investments for displaced workers in a public/private partnership funded by the proceeds of private equity transactions and taxes on those proceeds

2. corporate compensation formulas which conform to a relatively fixed ratio of highest paid to lowest paid workers in acquired or reorganized companies

Mittens needs to come forward with a cogent, forward-thinking, and clear explanation of how he made his money and initiate a public discussion of the virtues and excesses of the system as we know it.  Mittens, if they aren't willing to 'get it', then just say it in French and wish everyone a nice day.

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