… they came up with a worthless report on the “Bain Files”, which Dan Primack had already studied,
Let me save you some time: There is nothing in there that will inform your opinion of Mitt Romney.
How do I know? Because I saw many of the exact same documents months ago, after requesting them from a Bain Capital investor. What I quickly learned was that there was little of interest, except perhaps for private equity geeks who want to know exactly how much Bain paid for a particular company back in 2006. Sure I would have loved the pageviews, but not at the expense of tricking readers into clicking on something of so little value.
Let’s go over what Gawker believes it found:
“Mitt Romney’s $250 million fortune is largely a black hole: Aside from the meager and vague disclosures he has filed under federal and Massachusetts laws, and the two years of partial tax returns (one filed and another provisional) he has released, there is almost no data on precisely what his vast holdings consist of, or what vehicles he has used to escape taxes on his income.”
There actually is plenty of data on Romney’s Bain-related holdings. For example, Bain’s own website lists most of its active private equity portfolio companies. Then there are third-party databases operated by such organizations as Dow Jones, Thomson Reuters and CapitalIQ — each one of which includes searchable lists of past Bain Capital deals (often with detailed financial information). And, finally, Bain isn’t really in the business of doing tiny purchases of unknown family businesses. When it buys something, there is almost always a press release and/or media coverage. Perhaps Gawker hasn’t yet discovered the magic of Lexis-Nexis. Maybe it should sign up for the daily Term Sheet email.
“Today, we are publishing more than 950 pages of internal audits, financial statements, and private investor letters for 21 cryptically named entities in which Romney had invested… Many of them are offshore funds based in the Cayman Islands.”
I get it. “Cayman Islands” is supposed to be code for tax avoidance or shady dealings. But the reality is that most private equity firms form Cayman-domiciled funds to accommodate investors based outside of the United States (particularly when those funds also are making some non-U.S. investments). One private equity fund formation attorney I spoke with says that the Caymans structure usually doesn’t have real tax benefit for the non-U.S. investors, but that they nonetheless feel more comfortable. He added that, for most U.S. private equity executives, the Cayman structure has little to zero impact in terms of personal taxes.
Primack has a lot more on “the Bain Files”, but Roger L. Simon looked at Gawker and the Caiman Islands,
Owner of Liberal Outlet Attacking Romney for “Cayman Islands” Accounts Based in… Cayman Islands.
Gawker Media has been going through a big corporate revamp over the past year or so. The ultimate parent company has never been in the U.S.: it used to be Blogwire in Hungary, but now Blogwire Hungary has become a subsidiary of a Cayman Islands entity called Gawker Media Group Inc, which also owns various U.S. operations like Gawker Media LLC, Gawker Entertainment LLC, Gawker Technology LLC, and Gawker Sales LLC.
Then there’s this little tidbit of information; something regarding obscene profits, untaxed revenue, and side-stepping the IRS…
The Hungarian companies get all of Gawker’s international income, which flows in from 13 different salespeople in ten different countries and which, since it’s international income flowing to a Hungarian company owned by a Cayman Islands parent, is basically pure profit which never comes close to being taxed in the U.S. The result is a company where 130 U.S. employees eat up the lion’s share of the U.S. revenues, resulting in little if any taxable income, while the international income, the franchise value of the brands, and the value of the technology all stays permanently overseas, untouched by the IRS.
As Rusty says, “This is weapons-grade hypocrisy…” but what else can you expect?
Mitt Romney: What I Learned at Bain Capital
My business experience taught me how to help companies grow—and what to do when trouble arises. When you see a problem, run toward it before the problem gets worse.
Paul Ryan was on Kudlow
President Obama turned down a chance to have Timothy Cardinal Dolan deliver a prayer at the Democratic National Convention after Dolan told Democrats he would be “grateful” to deliver a blessing in Charlotte.
Obama doesn’t know his Navy from his Army or Marines – the Daily Mail shows that Biden ‘s “gaffes” aren’t the only ones.
The Dems may try to run their convention agenda on Todd Aiken,
an issue that registers at less than 1 percent in Gallup’s poll asking about voters’ most important issues
while Anderson Cooper obliterates DNC Chair over her lies about Romney’s stance on abortion. The Right Scoop has the video. And, Oops — Looks Like That Pro-Obama Joe Soptic Ad Backfired.
Romney, however, is running on the economy, and is committed to making America energy independent by 2020. You can read his white paper below the fold,
(Post re-edited to correct HTML on links.)