Monday, January 23, 2012

Is Newt Gingrich Really attacking Capitalism?

A new blog, Newtonian Capitalists, defends Newt's criticism of Romney's private equity dealings. I must confess that I have been guilty of thinking in generalities on the subject, and buying into the "Newt's attacking from the left" meme. But there are two sides to every story.

I have a fair grasp of free-market economics, but I do not understand venture capitalism or private equity or high finance. If I did, I'm sure I would not be such a poor, struggling, business owner.

The following defense makes Newt's criticism far more palatable than I originally thought. The elite media / establishment political machine tends to distort things in such a way as to serve their own interests. They can sometimes fool the best of us.

...private equity in many cases does NOT act as venture capitalists or turnaround specialists, but in fact engages in a conscious business plan of immense borrowing, immediate capital withdrawal, and little or no re-investment, followed shortly by bankruptcy or sale of the hobbled shell of a company that is left behind.

This puts a different spin on things. Did Mitt Romney buy into companies with the intent of running up massive debt only to take the money and run just before filing bankruptcy? If that is the case, it doesn't make him much better than your average serial bankruptcy-filing street hustler. The only difference being that Romney protects his name by serially bankrupting corporations. Who is left holding the debt in this shell game? I suspect that, in many instances, it is the taxpayer.

... the histories of Dade Behring, Ampad, KayBee Toys, and others – a total of 6 companies that were bankrupted under the influence of Bain – fit this pattern.

H/T Legal Insurrection

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