With due respect to somervilletom’s plea for positive posts … don’t miss this blockbuster in yesterday’s Washington Post that pretty much undercuts everything Mitt Romney has been saying for months, if not years, about his job creation record at Bain Capital.
Mitt Romney’s financial company, Bain Capital, invested in a series of firms that specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India.
During the nearly 15 years that Romney was actively involved in running Bain, a private equity firm that he founded, it owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Why is this such a big deal? Here’s why:
For years, Romney’s political opponents have tried to tie him to the practice of outsourcing American jobs. These political attacks have often focused on Bain’s involvement in specific business deals that resulted in job losses.
But a Washington Post examination of securities filings shows the extent of Bain’s investment in firms that specialized in helping other companies move or expand operations overseas. While Bain was not the largest player in the outsourcing field, the private equity firm was involved early on, at a time when the departure of jobs from the United States was beginning to accelerate and new companies were emerging as handmaidens to this outflow of employment.
Bain played several roles in helping these outsourcing companies, such as investing venture capital so they could grow and providing management and strategic business advice as they navigated this rapidly developing field.
The fact that Bain was actively involved in businesses that were not just shipping their own jobs overseas, but whose entire business model was to help other companies do so – well, that speaks volumes.
So here’s the thing about Bain: it was never about creating jobs. Sometimes jobs were created, sometimes they were destroyed, and sometimes they were shipped overseas. It was always about exactly one thing: making money for Bain and its investors. That is not, in itself, a bad thing. But if Bain’s work did sometimes create American jobs, it was a happy accident, not by design. That doesn’t exactly qualify Romney to claim he knows how to create jobs.
Or, as Americablog put it,
Romney is claiming that this experience proves he’s a job creator. And in fact, we now know that he was a job creator.
In India and China.