In the discussion thread: Bain Says Romney Kept Ownership After Leaving in 1999 [View all]
Response to mysuzuki2 (Reply #14)
Thu Jul 12, 2012, 07:14 PM
Igel (23,161 posts)
18. Actually, only slightly.
In 1999 he said he had no active involvement with Bain. It doesn't say he was never going to return to it. Just that he had no active involvement.
The only break was when in 2002 he said it wasn't a "permanent departure" but a "leave of absence". By then the paperwork was clearing so, yeah, it *was* a permanent departure so you have to have to understand "intent" versus "objective fact."
I assume Romney left Bain in 1999 and retained his legal interest in it because he intended to return to it or at least wanted to keep his options open, so it wasn't necessarily intended to be a permanent departure. It turned out that he never did return to it, so it was a permanent departure.
Seen from 2012, this sounds odd. But if you're there in 2000 the way he describes it makes sense. You have a decent gig, and you can take off for a couple of years. Things are set up to function okay without you if authority's delegated and shared to some extent. Then when it's clear your absence isn't just a couple of years, you formally leave. After all, telling potential investors that the CEO really is hands-off and has no say gets old after a while, and might even raise questions.
In 2006 all that matters is that your departure in 1999 was, in the end, permanent.
What gets a bit iffy is when in 2012 Bain says that it was a matter of getting clear ownership established prior to transfering the ownership. It sounds like they're skipping a year or two when nobody much cared about transferring ownership wedged in there and trying to say that Romney's departure was always intended to be permanent. Or, perhaps, they're covering over that Romney simply walked away while keeping ownership over the shell company that gave him control of Bain, and they were pissed that they couldn't wrest control away to people that were actively involved. Can't tell.
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Actually, only slightly.
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