Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Private Equity Investing and Mitt Romney

The harsh truth is that capitalism is not altruistic. Those that manage private equity investing or venture capital firms are not responsible for the average worker in their firm's portfolio. Their mandate is to maximize the return for the investors.

The average American cannot relate to having a surfeit of money. They cannot relate to finding help with identifying investment opportunities for their millions. But there are those that can and do.

Newt Gingrich and "his" PAC are bent on a new form of class warfare. They are trying to build points by attack Romney for the negatives that occurred during his Bain Capital days. As part of its effort to maximize investor wealth, for all the good Bain Capital did, it also shuttered American factories and outsourcing workers’ jobs overseas.

In a competitive world, right or wrong, financial decisions are frequently made without the emotional baggage of worker feelings. Just about every bankrupt business has great, competent workers that get caught up in harsh realities.

Jimmy Stewart made employees and community work in "It's A Wonderful Life." But real life is sometimes not as Hollywood portrays it.

In private equity and venture capital investing, their are more losers than winners. More companies do not make it than do. It is probably 10-20% that actually make money.

If an investment firm has as it objective to maximize investor wealth without the loss of one job, I would bet that firm is not a very profitable one.

Few like the fact the the rich get richer. Few like the fact that when everyone seems to be losing money, others are making it. Few like it when one person loses his job while another gets one (especially if it is in another country).

It will be challenging for Romney to defend his record at Bain Capital because it is not something most Americans can understand and relate to.

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