Thu August 23, 2012
Gawker Releases 950 Pages Of What It Says Are Internal Bain Documents
This afternoon, the website Gawker published 950 pages of what it says are internal documents from Bain Capital.
Bain is the private equity firm founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Now what the documents tell us, is up for debate. And it's worth noting that NPR has not independently verified their authenticity.
Forbes, for one, isn't impressed. Dan Primack, a senior editor at the magazine, says they've had the documents for months after he requested them from a Bain investor. He says the documents are "worthless" and don't tell us anything we didn't already know.
Gawker, along with other media have started dissecting the documents., however. If you start thumbing through them and find something interesting, tell us in the comments.
For now, here are a few highlights from what others have found:
-- Gawker says the documents show Romney was involved in Bain capital long after his 1999 retirement. If you remember, the date of his retirement became an issue earlier in the campaign. Romney went on the defensive, trying to distance himself from Bain, because investments made after 1999 resulted in bankrupt companies and job losses.
For evidence, Gawker points to Sankaty Credit Opportunities L.P. They report:
"... What's interesting about Sankaty Credit Opportunities is that, according to his 2012 financial disclosure, Romney's interest in the entity was part of his retirement package: It was made 'pursuant to an agreement with Bain Capital regarding Mr. Romney's retirement' in 1999. But according to its audited financial statement, Sankaty Credit Opportunities didn't exist yet when Romney retired."
-- Over at Salon, they focus on the fact that a Bain fund lent "GOP mega donor Sheldon Adelson's company $3 million."
The fund lent the money to Las Vegas Sands, a casino owned by Adelson.
-- The Daily Beast has a very nice wrap-up that's worth a read. One highlight:
"We've already reported on how Romney's offshore investments delay his tax burden, letting him pay Uncle Sam later and on more favorable terms: a natural strategy for any international investor hoping to attract foreign capital. According to these latest documents, Romney's Cayman funds have established scores of alternative investment vehicles (AIVs), holding companies designed to do just that. One Bain Capital fund diverted $1.5 billion into as many as eighteen of these AIVs."
-- Business Insider sides with Forbes on this one, saying there is nothing new. For example, Gawker gloms on to the fact that Bain used "exotic financial instruments" like credit default swaps to make money. But "you didn't need internal documents to know this," Business Insider says.
The website says the biggest mystery about Romney — his tax records — remain a mystery despite this release.