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Gender: Female
Hometown: Upstate NY
Home country: USA
Current location: Houston Area TX
Member since: Mon Nov 10, 2003, 05:30 PM
Number of posts: 135,060

Journal Archives

Romney "Goes for the Gold" in Libor Village


Romney kept reins, bargained hard on severance

Source: The Boston Globe


The Palm Beach meeting, which has not been previously reported, demonstrates the duality of Romney’s role as he parted ways with Bain, an issue that has sparked controversy in his presidential campaign. Romney has said in financial disclosure statements that he “was not involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way” after Feb. 11, 1999. But he was still legally the CEO, with numerous duties and obligations that were his alone, until early 2002.

Interviews with a half-dozen of Romney’s former partners and associates, as well as public records, show that he was not merely an absentee owner during this period. He signed dozens of company documents, including filings with regulators on a vast array of Bain’s investment entities. And he drove the complex negotiations over his own large severance package, a deal that was critical to the firm’s future without him, according to his former associates.

Indeed, by remaining CEO and sole shareholder, Romney held on to his leverage in the talks that resulted in his generous 10-year retirement package, according to former associates.

“The elephant in the room was not whether Mitt was involved in investment decisions but Mitt’s retention of control of the firm and therefore his ability to extract a huge economic benefit by delaying his giving up of that control,” said one former associate, who, like some other Romney associates, spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for the company.

Read more: http://www.boston.com/news/politics/articles/2012/07/20/romney_kept_reins_bargained_hard_on_severance/

New Questions About Timing Of Romney's Bain Departure


"When a candidate is speaking in the technical language of a specific kind of business enterprise, the public is going to have difficulty understanding what he's saying," she says.

Romney's challenge is made harder because he didn't officially retire from Bain until 2001. That was after negotiating a severance package that continued to pay Romney for a decade after he'd left for Salt Lake City.

"When one uses a word such as retroactive retirement, or when one is explaining how one continues to get income, even though one is not actually managing day-to-day operations, one is dealing in a universe that most of us have no experience with," Jamieson says.

In contrast, President Obama's argument about Romney is straightforward.

"I think most Americans figure if you're the chairman, CEO and president of a company, that you are responsible for what that company does," Obama said last week in an interview with Washington, D.C., television station WJLA.

more: http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/07/20/157127103/new-questions-about-timing-of-romneys-bain-departure

What Could Mitt Romney's Pre-2010 Filings Tell Us?

Hopefully, the release of Romney’s tax and reporting information for several years prior to 2010 would confirm what we already know. That is, Romney is a rich guy who is taxed at a low rate because of the preferential income (tax exempt income, capital gains, qualified dividends, etc.) he receives. Further, without an audit of his specific activity, it appears Romney is taking advantage of planning allowed under federal tax law. By allowed I mean loopholes and even gray areas of the law where his tax advisors determined that no special disclosure to the IRS was required. Just like his 2010 and 2011 returns, this information could tell us of foreign interests that could be in conflict with his position as president. Although Romney may not think this is so, it is for the voters (not Romney) to decide whether a conflict exists.

It is possible more is going on in years prior to 2010. I would want to know whether and when he fully disclosed foreign account information for the tax years since such filings were required. I raised this issue in January when I thought more filing information was forthcoming. Please see my article, Does the IRS Have its Mitts on Romney’s Foreign Accounts? Federal banking law requires US citizens and residents to annually disclose information regarding foreign bank and financial accounts they own, or have signature or other authority over. This filing is done each year on form TD F 90-22.1, commonly referred to as the FBAR. Failure to disclose foreign account information can result in severe civil penalties, as well as criminal penalties including prison. Is it possible Romney was not in compliance during a period when the federal government was not actively pursuing foreign accounts? Did Romney “quietly” catch up with the FBAR filings, or did he participate in an IRS’s voluntary program, so as to avoid the government discovering his noncompliance first? Is it possible that Romney did not report all of his foreign source income for years when an FBAR was not filed or complete? As I said in my prior article, substantial noncompliance could end his run for president. Romney should be able to resolve these questions by fully disclosing his FBAR filings along with his tax returns for prior years.

Prior year returns may also reveal that what was thought to be a gray area in the law was actually black, such as certain basis generating transactions used to shelter capital gains. This would mean Romney may have substantially underpaid taxes in prior years. Again, these issues could be resolved if Romney discloses information for prior years.


Mitt Romney’s Tax Plan Reveals His Core Vulnerability

Sahil Kapur-July 19, 2012, 5:38 AM12197

Under persistent pressure from the right during the GOP primary, Romney released a revised tax plan late in February pledging to reduce all tax rates by 20 percent, establishing a top individual rate of 28 percent. A campaign spokesperson tells TPM the plan remains current.

The presumptive Republican nominee’s chief economic adviser Glenn Hubbard told CNBC the plan would slash each of the six tax brackets from their Bush-era rates — 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, and 35 percent — down to 8, 12, 20, 22.4, 26.4, and 28 percent, respectively. He also wants to cut the corporate tax rate to 25 percent.

At the same time, he claims his plan will be deficit neutral, and that he’ll close out longer-term deficits by cutting unspecified federal programs over time.

On the surface, that difference lets Romney present himself as a tax-cutter and call the president a tax hiker. It even allows him to claim he’d provide the middle class a tax cut that Obama’s not offering. But on a deeper level it exposes Romney’s core vulnerability — not merely because, as liberals have claimed, he stands to benefit financially from his own plan, but because his numbers do not add up. And that brings the entire proposal into question.

Extending the existing top marginal rate would cost $800 billion over 10 years. Romney’s proposal to slash rates by an additional 20 percent would add $3.4 trillion more to the deficit, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

That alone would be a huge blow to the federal budget.


and watch this Romney surrogate avoid any direct answers.

Mitt’s Other Secret: Time to Disclose Romney’s Campaign Bundlers

On Tuesday, Mitt Romney sounded a clarion call for renewed economic freedom and an end to the kind of Washington cronyism that funnels taxpayer money to friends and donors. The speech, which was delivered in Irwin, Pa., is being hailed as one of his best of this campaign.

But slowing down the velocity of Romney’s message is the fact that his team has refused to release the names of all of his bundlers—those valued fundraisers who round up the maximum allowable contributions from individuals ($2,500) and can bring hundreds of thousands of dollars into a campaign. Indeed, on Monday, Romney senior campaign adviser Ed Gillespie said they have no plans to ever reveal the names of the candidate’s bundlers.

While we don’t know all of Romney’s big-dollar fundraisers, we do know some of them through news reports and because election laws require lobbyists who fundraise to publicly disclose their activities. For example, Robert Diamond is a Romney bundler. Diamond, who is the former CEO of Barclays, resigned earlier this month amid the growing LIBOR scandal and has since pulled out of a July 28 London fundraising event he was to co-host.

If Romney released all of the names of his bundlers, voters and watchdog groups would gain a clearer picture of where the candidate’s alliances lie and which corporate interests feel they have something to gain from a Romney presidency.

Another event to be hosted in London involves Romney bundler Patrick Durkin, a registered lobbyist for Barclays. Durkin, who has raised $1.1 million for the Romney campaign, is one of 13 co-chairs for the dinner, which includes a $25,000 to $75,000 private dinner with Romney.

more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/07/19/mitt-s-other-secret-time-to-disclose-romney-s-campaign-bundlers.html

Bain Capital started with help of offshore investors


WASHINGTON — When Mitt Romney launched Bain Capital in 1984, he struggled at first to raise enough money for the untested venture. Old-money families like the Rothschilds turned down the young Boston consultant.

So he and his partners tapped an eclectic roster of investors, raising more than a third of their first $37-million investment fund from wealthy foreigners.

Most of the foreign investors' money came through corporations registered in Panama, then known for tax advantages and unusual banking secrecy.


The first outside investor in Bain was a leading London financier, Sir Jack Lyons, who made a $2.5-million investment through a Panama shell company set up by a Swiss money manager, further shielding his identity. Years later, Lyons was convicted in an unrelated stock fraud scandal.


Other early investors included Robert Maxwell, the British publishing baron, who invested $2 million. After his drowning death in 1991, investigators discovered Maxwell had stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from his company's pension funds.

more; http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-bain-creation-20120719,0,192124.story?page=2&utm_medium=feed&track=rss&utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20latimes%2Fnews%2Fnationworld%2Fnation%20%28L.A.%20Times%20-%20National%20News%29&utm_content=Google%20Feedfetcher&utm_source=feedburner

The roots of Bain Capital in El Salvador’s civil war

Romney tapped El Salvador's wealthy families, including one linked to right-wing death squads

A significant portion of the seed money that created Mitt Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital, was provided by wealthy oligarchs from El Salvador, including members of a family with a relative who allegedly financed rightist groups that used death squads during the country’s bloody civil war in the 1980s

Bain, the source of Romney’s fabulous personal wealth, has been the subject of recent attacks in the Republican primary over allegations that Romney and the firm behaved like, in Rick Perry’s words, “vulture capitalists.”One TV spot denounced Romney for relying on “foreign seed money from Latin America” but did not say where the money came from. In fact, Romney recruited as investors wealthy Central Americans who were seeking a safe haven for their capital during a tumultuous and violent period in the region.

Like so much about Bain, which is known for secrecy and has been dubbed a “black box,” all the names of the investors who put up the money for the initial fund in 1984 are not known. Much of what we do know was first reported by the Boston Globe in 1994 when Romney ran for U.S. Senate against Ted Kennedy.

In 1984, Romney had been tapped by his boss at Bain & Co, a consulting firm, to create a spin-off venture capital fund, Bain Capital.

A Costa Rica-born Bain official named Harry Strachan invited friends and former clients in Central America to a presentation about the fund with Romney in Miami. The group was impressed and “signed up for 20% of the fund,” according to Strachan’s memoir. That was about $6.5 million, according to the Globe. Bain partners themselves were putting up half the money, according to Strachan. Thus the Central American investors had contributed 40 percent of the outside capital.
more: http://www.salon.com/2012/01/20/the_roots_of_bain_capital_in_el_salvador/

Romney Says Shareholders Have No Influence Over Corporations. Where Are Our Conservative Economists?


So, Romney is alleging that he is a super-capitalist who owned 100 percent of a company -- and had no influence over it whatsoever.

Conservative economic guru Milton Friedman must be spinning in his grave.

Friedman -- and conservative economists generally -- believe that it is the role of the shareholder, not government, to oversee business to reach optimal results -- both economically and socially. It is the shareholder, they argue, who holds corporate management accountable to achieve this goal. It is the shareholder who has the opportunity to do the right thing -- as the shareholders define it.

Obviously, Romney claiming no influence over corporate policy when he is the sole owner of the corporation runs directly counter to this conservative economic commandment.

So much for conservative economic principle. On the practical side, the situation is even more ridiculous.

Every CEO knows that he has to please his shareholders. One can argue what this means in a large, publicly-traded corporation. But when one shareholder owns 100 percent of the corporation, guess what: management will check with that shareholder on every major corporate decision to assure that that shareholder is happy.

More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mitch-rofsky/mitt-romney-bain-capital_b_1681795.html

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm - Romney and Bain Didn't Become Successful "On Their Own" Either!

I'd been trying to figure out just what bugged me so much when Mitt Romney said these words about "free stuff": "If you're looking for free stuff, if you're looking for free stuff you don't have to pay for, vote for the other guy. That's what he's all about, OK? That's not what I'm about."

It wasn't just the apparent pander to his conservative crowd... something else was bugging me. And then I saw the clip below from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart this week, and it hit me.

It's that Romney is taking advantage of the government's "free stuff," too, and has been profiting from it handsomely for a long, long time -- even as he rails about the "free stuff" that the government provides other people.

Bain also asked Kansas City for a $3 million tax break. The Bain executives were taking home $36 million in borrowed funds and were asking Kansas City to forfeit $3 million in public money for police officers, roads and schools? More free stuff!

Then, when GST Steel filed for bankruptcy and laid off 750 people, we learned that Bain had consciously underfunded its pension obligations to those employees. The company simply decided not to meet its legal responsibilities. The end result: the federal government's pension benefit guarantee corporation was stuck with a $44 million bill.

more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-m-granholm/romney-and-bain-got-milli_b_1683775.html

Mitt Romney Never Thought He'd Have To Release Tax Returns: Bain Sources

Source: HuffPost

WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney has been determined to resist releasing his tax returns at least since his bid for Massachusetts governor in 2002 and has been confident that he will never be forced to do so, several current and former Bain executives tell The Huffington Post. Had he thought otherwise, say the sources based on their longtime understanding of Romney, he never would have gone forward with his run for president.

Bain executives say they've been instructed to keep company and Romney-specific information completely confidential, tightening the lockdown on an already closed company.

But pressure has been building on the presumptive GOP nominee. On Tuesday, the conservative National Review added its voice to a chorus of Republicans pushing him to disclose his returns from the years before 2010.

The Obama campaign has been hammering Romney for the past few weeks over his time at Bain, which Romney claims ended in February 1999, but which documents and his own testimony show lasted much longer. The ultimate prize for the Obama campaign would be a trove of Romney's tax returns.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/18/mitt-romney-tax-returns_n_1682539.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

Romney to accuse Obama of putting his re-election above creating new jobs

AKRON, Ohio—Mitt Romney will continue his assault on President Barack Obama's economic record during an appearance in Ohio on Wednesday, accusing the president of putting his re-election above efforts to create jobs.

In a memo to reporters previewing Romney's remarks at a rally in Bowling Green on Wednesday afternoon, the campaign called the nation's jobless rate "a real emergency."

"Yet President Obama seems to have just given up on the economy," the Romney campaign memo says. "He hasn't convened a meeting with his jobs counsel in six months, but has held more than a hundred fundraisers for his campaign. The only job he is interested in saving is his own."

While Romney may not use those exact words, a Romney aide tells Yahoo News the GOP nominee will touch on that "general theme." Romney's remarks in Ohio come a day after he unveiled a tougher, more aggressive stump speech lambasting Obama's record and ties to political donors.

more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/romney-accuse-obama-putting-election-creating-jobs/story?id=16803173

I believe the facts are on our side:

Dem governors: GOP hurting economy to aid Romney

By By JOSH LEDERMAN – 23 minutes ago

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — Democratic governors are accusing House Republicans of deliberately sabotaging the economy to help Mitt Romney oust President Barack Obama.

"There's not a doubt in my mind that in their calculations, that they are hoping for the economy to slow before the election," Gov. Martin O'Malley, D-Md., said in an interview Friday. "They think that's their best shot at unseating the president."

Democrats have grumbled for months that Republicans have obstructed legislation to deny Obama the election-year victories he needs to make the case for his economic record.

But on Friday, some Democratic governors pointed to the GOP-controlled House's efforts to withhold support for the stimulus and block Democratic jobs legislation, and said — in interviews with The Associated Press on the sidelines of the National Governors Association's annual meeting — that the only rational conclusion is that Republicans are sacrificing the economic recovery to bolster their argument that Obama has failed to create jobs.

Read more: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j-K8tYPZAp81Y8UrOqA1Rb1z4KPg?

The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.

-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, quoted in National Journal, November 4, 2010

Their story line is that there must be some villain out there who’s keeping this administration from succeeding.

-McConnell, appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," October 23, 2011

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