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The Bain Files: Gawker has obtained Bain documents related to Romney's Bain income

The Bain Files: The Documents
John Cook

Gawker has obtained a large cache of confidential internal financial documents from more than 20 secretive hedge funds and other investment vehicles in which Mitt Romney has stashed his considerable wealth. All told, the partnerships and limited liability corporations detailed below accounted for, at minimum, $10,069,000 of Romney's assets in 2011 and yielded $913,300 in income, according to his 2012 financial disclosure (those figures are derived from adding up the low end of ranges Romney disclosed; the actual numbers could be astronomically higher).

Most of the entities are affiliated in one way or another with Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney ran from 1984 through 1999. According to his financial disclosures, the investments "were made pursuant to an agreement with Bain Capital regarding Romney's retirement.... The agreement has expired but [Romney] retain[s] certain investments...made prior to the expiration of the agreement." In other words, they are his retirement package from more than a decade ago, and continue to make him nearly a million (at minimum) dollars per year.

Gawker is asking readers with financiaLand tax law acumen to go over these documents and report findings."> has written about this as well, but there is precious little reaction so far the the lefty blogs (afaik) and none that I saw from the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) -- at least from a search on Bing. Google turned up more links, with the business press seeming to say it's probably a nothing burger.

Boston Business Journal's article has a list of business blog and writers' reviews of the cache.

I heard about it on NYC's Pacifica station WBAI last evening, on Counterspin, iirc. However, the Listen To link didn't work just now. The report mentioned that what Romney has done costs a bundle and is way, way, way beyond the ability of any non-wealthy tax payer to untlize. The advisers cost a bundle. Dakinikat noted that it was so expensive it almost seemed Romney's main goal was to keep money from the government, not to just find tax free havens and avoidance strategies. Also, Romney's retirement income keeps increasing, as it appears he kept the right to, as I understood it, any profits Bain makes going forward, plus what he put off shore.

I'd appreciate learning what our readers think about this info, what they've found on the web about it.

If this is a repeat, I apologize as my search wouldn't work.


Submitted by jawbone on

Plus, the write-up for the segment was so scant it didn't mention any details from the report! Which is a bit unusual, unless there are cutbacks in their copy group.

The best tidbit was "The Wall Street Rule," meaning that if enough firms or hedgies take a very aggressive stand on how to treat their income, as in treating it as carried interest for a 15% tax rate, then the IRS is loathe to take them on. Because if they found illegality among so many firms, with so many billions or more at risk of blowing up, then they leave them alone to do what they want to do.

If that's accurate, we are so screwed.

Audio available now and transcript should be up tomorrow. If NPR hasn't cut back on that as well.

Submitted by jawbone on

practices as revealed by The Bain Files, in his blog, A Taxing Blog. He continues in following post to look at other aspects of Bain comp practices. He's one of the first people quoted.

No links were provided by NPR....

Lee Sheppard, of Tax Notes at Tax Analysts, was also quoted in the NPR story. This came up when I googled: Your Mitt Romney Tax Issues Cheat Sheet. Interesting listing.

I keep wondering if Romney believes deeply that he is annointed by god or the brethren to not have to follow the normal rules of living and paying taxes. He was given dispensation to lie about his core beliefs by the church elders in order to be an acceptable candidate for MA voters; maybe they told him to make as money as possible and just forget about those pesky taxation requirements?

Yikes, what a miserable choice we have election. Jill Stein is looking a lot better the more I learn about her.