Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Stock Market in DANGER of Strangling the Bears to Death - Nadeem_Walayat
2. Germany Pivoting East, Exit US Dollar, Enter Gold Standard - Jim_Willie_CB
3.Flight MH17 – Kiev Flash Mob's Last False Flag? - Andrew_McKillop
4.Stock Market Crash Nightmare! - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Gold - The Million DOLLAR Question... - Rambus_Chartology
6.Gold And Silver – BRICS And Germany Will Pave The Way - Michael_Noonan
7.The Jewish Selfish Gene, People Chosen by God, Everyone Else is Goyim to Kill - Nadeem_Walayat
8.The Israeli Promised Land Dream - The Criminal Roadmap Towards “Greater Israel”? - Felicity Arbuthnot
9.Which Way is Inflation Blowing? Watch Commodities - Gary_Dorsch
10.U.S. Economy Quarterly Review and Implications for 2014-2015 - Lacy Hunt
Last 5 days
Gold’s Seasonal Sweet Spot - Strongest Months Are August, September, November And January - 1st Aug 14 - GoldCore
Flagrant Rush To War In The Ukraine Crisis - 1st Aug 14
What Russian Sanctions Mean for Your Money - 1st Aug 14
The West's Reckless Rush Towards War with Russia - 1st Aug 14
Gold Price Advance Capped by the Dead Cat Dollar’s Recovery - 1st Aug 14
Big Banks Shift to Lower Gear Banking Operations - 1st Aug 14
Africa: New Land of Investor Opportunity? Pointing to the Positives - 1st Aug 14
Turning a Clinical Eye on Biotech Stocks with High Potential Investor Reward - 1st Aug 14
Gaza Death Cloud Hangs Over Sheffield Eid Festival 2014 at Millhouses Park - 1st Aug 14
Israels Final Solution of Turning Gaza Concentration Camp into a Grave Yard - 31st July 14
US Failure: Unintended Consequence - 31st July 14
Stock Market Breakdown! - 31st July 14
Echoes Of The Great War – Only An Echo In The Elite Mind - 31st July 14
This is Bad News for U.S. Economy and Stock Markets - 31st July 14
The Important Impact of This “Secret” Gold Agreement - 31st July 14
The Something For Nothing Society Death Spiral - 31st July 14
The Social Memory Dump, Shredding Society - 31st July 14
How Safe Are Unallocated Gold Bullion Accounts? - 31st July 14
USDJPY Big Bear Market - 31st July 14
No More School in Gaza Because All the Children are Dead Chant Israel's Jewish Fundementalists - 31st July 14
The Iron Dome Inside The Heads of Israel’s Leaders - 31st July 14
You Know a Politician or Talking Head is Clueless When….. - 31st July 14
Don't Get Married to Your Gold Stocks—It's a Performance-Based Relationship - 31st July 14
Stock Market Parabolic Collapse - Sowing the Seeds of the Next Depression - 30th July 14
How to Profit from the Russia Ukraine Conflict - 30th July 14
Greenspan: U.S. Economy Running Out of Buffer; Stock Market to See Significant Correction - 30th July 14
Rogue States And Loony Tunes - 30th July 14
Anne Elk’s Theory On Brontosauruses - 30th July 14
Our Totalitarian Future - Totalitarianism NOW! - 30th July 14
Stocks Bear Market Formation Revealed - 30th July 14
We Just Found “The Future” - 30th July 14
What the “Steak Bandit” Says About Asset Values - 30th July 14
Designer War By Default - Seven Types of Elite Madness - 30th July 14
Death of the U.S. Dollar? Gold an Inflation Hedge? Really? - 29th July 14
We’re Ready to Profit in the Coming Gold Price Correction—Are You? - 29th July 14
Their Economy Will Collapse, Including Ours - 29th July 14
Silver Prices – Megaphone Patterns - 29th July 14
Real U.S. Interest Rates - Fed Exit a Blue Pill? - 29th July 14
Why Israel Should NOT Exist, Just Like Any Other Rogue State - 29th July 14
Gold Still Looking Good - 29th July 14
Silver Price Set To Star - 29th July 14
Our Population Growth Totalitarian Future - 29th July 14
World War 1 Cause and Consequences - The Planned Destruction of Christendom - 29th July 14
Will Crashing Commodities Crash the Stock Market? - 29th July 14
Ukraine MH17 - Washington Thinks Americans Are Fools - 29th July 14
Stock Market Bubble Warning - 29th July 14
Gold Price and U.S. Dollar’s July Rally - 28th July 14
Second Quarter Corporate Earnings: Marching Toward a Strong Economic Recovery - 28th July 14
Time to Put a New Economic Tool in the Box - 28th July 14
Mossad in Gaza, Ukraine and the Cult Of The All-Powerful Elite - 28th July 14
Elliott Wave Gold Price Projection Since 1970 - 28th July 14
Investors Remain Uncertain As Stock Fluctuate Near Long-Term Highs - Will The Uptrend Extend? - 28th July 14
The Mass Psychology Of Decline - 28th July 14
Will the US Destroy the World? - Don’t Expect to Live Much Longer - 28th July 14
GDM and GDXJ Gold Stocks In-depth Look - 28th July 14
Stock Market One FINAL High? - 28th July 14
What It Means - Paradigm Collapse And Culture Crisis - 27th July 14
Wall Street Shadow Banking: You Can’t Taper a Ponzi Scheme: “Time to Reboot” - 27th July 14
6 Tips for Picking Winning Gold Mining Stocks - 27th July 14
Israel's War on Children, Exterminating the Palestinians Future - 27th July 14
Guilt By Insinuation - How American Propaganda Works - 26th July 14
Surprise Nuclear Attack On Russia To Liberate Ukraine - 26th July 14
Use "Magic" Of Gold/Silver Ratio To Greatly Increase Your Physical Holdings - 26th July 14
Derivatives Market Species Origins - Abuse, Props and Risks - 26th July 14
Stock Market Manipulation and Technical Analysis - 26th July 14
China’s Stock Market Finally Looks Like A Buy - 26th July 14
Ed Milliband Fears Israel Jewish Fundamentalist Gaza War Massacres Backlash - 26th July 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

The Biggest lie in Stock Market History Revealed

How Mitt Romney's Bain Career Will Inflame the Class Warfare Debate

ElectionOracle / US Presidential Election 2012 Jan 19, 2012 - 06:27 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

ElectionOracle

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleShah Gilani writes: Last Wednesday a Pew Research Center poll revealed that 66% of respondents think class conflict in American society is "strong" to "very strong."

Now that Mitt Romney is increasingly likely to be the Republican challenger to Democrat Barack Obama this November, that same divide is likely to become even more inflamed.


In fact, Romney's career as the CEO of private equity company Bain Capital ensures the class warfare debate will only get uglier.

That's why it's important to understand what private equity companies really do, what role Romney played at Bain, and how class warfare combatants will size each other up.

The Truth Behind Private Equity
Bain Capital is a private equity shop. What you need to know is that "private equity" is a rebranded name. Private equity companies used to be known as leveraged buyout shops.

But, leveraged buyouts (LBOs) have a bad reputation, so the industry -- or club, which it more closely resembles -- began referring to itself as private equity. It's the same as junk bonds being rebranded as "high yield debt."

A leveraged buyout is really nothing more than a financing technique.

Typically, a public company, a division of a public company, or a closely held non-public company is taken "private" by a group of investors who put up some equity to demonstrate they have skin in the game, and who then hypothecate the target company's assets as collateral for debt they pile onto the target company.

Sometimes borrowed money is raised in the junk bond market. Since the acquirers are leveraging the target company's balance sheet by borrowing a lot of money against the company's assets, lenders demand high rates of return knowing the company is being "leveraged."

The borrowed money is then used to pay shareholders, or as is more often the case, to pay off the "mezzanine" lenders who float enough cash for the acquirers to buy the company initially, and whose short-term loans are paid off from the issuance of junk bonds.

Not all the debt is junk. Sometimes debt issues are better quality. It's all a matter of how much leverage is necessary to make the deal happen and to make it profitable for the acquirers.

Once the target is acquired it's up to management, which often includes existing executives who are part of the buyout team, to streamline the company and make it profitable.

Loaded Down With Debt
Since the target company is now buried in debt, expenses are cut as judiciously and quickly as possible.

For instance, maybe the acquired company has too many corporate jets that are a balance sheet drag. Or, maybe they have too many employees that add to expenses.

Usually it means laying off workers, which is what gave leveraged buyouts their bad reputation.

But, that's not all that creates controversy. LBO shops charge the target company all kinds of fees.

There are investment banking fees for doing the deal, financing fees for leveraging the company, and other fees that go directly to the LBO shop.

Sometimes, the company takes on even more debt to pay a dividend to its new owners. That's a way for the LBO shop to get its equity back quickly. So much for skin in the game.

The LBO shops also pay themselves a 2% management fee out of the capital that their backers, investors like pension funds, endowments and high net worth individuals put into them so they can scour the planet for target companies to leverage up and buy.

And, they take at least 20% of the profits they make, too. It's a nice club to be a member of.

But while leveraged buyouts are the bread and butter of private equity shops, they can also dabble in venture capital financing of start-ups and other capital raising and financing opportunities.

Mitt Romney's Bain Capital Problem
Mitt Romney was a founder of Bain Capital, which grew out of Boston-based global management and consulting giant Bain & Co. He ran the LBO shop from 1984 to 1999.

Romney was very successful running Bain Capital and amassed an estimated fortune of over $250 million.

Needless to say, as Romney gets closer to becoming the Republican nominee, his role at Bain and his claim to have created 100,000 jobs are going to be heavily scrutinized.

Now personally, I'm not against leveraged buyouts.

However, I do think it's fair game to question LBOs that end up turning to bankruptcy protection to shed themselves of their pensions (which are often taken over by the taxpayer funded Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation) so they can re-emerge under the guise of becoming streamlined companies.

This class warfare debate will find fertile ground in the rich rewards bestowed upon LBO kings who claim to create jobs while simultaneously eradicating others through creative destruction.

In the real world, c reative destruction is just part of the natural and organic birth and death cycle of businesses.

But to claim that layering mountains of debt on the shoulders of companies (companies are people too, you know) to pay private equity companies fat fees so they can generate generous returns for themselves and their investors (many of whom are public sector pension plans) seems inordinately lopsided and more destructive than creative.

Not only will Romney be cast in that dark light, he's also going to have to face the added knock that private equity managers' earnings from their operations isn't ordinary income (obviously not based on how many mega-millionaires and billionaires there are in the PE club), but are taxed at the much lower capital gains rate.

Private equity guys are bankers. So, Romney will be the poster child for everything bad that bankers have been blamed for since time immemorial. Not that he's going to be the first or last banker ever to run for the presidency of the United States.

But, given the politically charged atmosphere in Washington and around America, drawing class warfare lines to make the case for political candidates will be front and center this year.

So far, President Obama and the Democrats haven't had to weigh-in for the fight. Republican candidates are doing a good job on their own bashing each other's capitalist credentials and throwing stones from inside their glass house to the dismay of traditionally stalwart pro-business Grand Old Party regulars.

According to the Pew poll, 55% of Republican respondents, 68% of Independent respondents and 73% of Democrat respondents think class conflicts are strong, or very strong.

You can expect that these political lines will only darken as Romney emerges.
[Editor's Note: If you're fed up with the rampant corruption, double-dealing, and protection of Wall Street by Washington (at the expense of the taxpayers on America's Main Street), then you need to read Shah Gilani's Wall Street Insights & Indictments newsletter. As a retired hedge-fund manager, Gilani is a former Wall Street insider who knows where all the bodies are buried. But unlike most insiders, he's not afraid to tell you where they are. He's also got some pretty good ideas how to fix this mess - and how to protect yourself until the cleanup takes place. Please click here to find out more. The newsletter is free.]

Source http://moneymorning.com/2012/01/19/...

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2012 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive



© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014