Stories You Should Be Reading, August 23, 2012

readingGawker releases over 950 pages of Bain Capital financial records:

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.

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.

Bain isn’t a company so much as an intricate suite of steadily proliferating inter-related holding companies and limited partnerships, some based in Delaware and others in the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, and elsewhere, designed to collectively house roughly $66 billion in wealth in its many crevices and chambers. When Romney left in 1999, he and his wife retained significant investments in many of those Bain vehicles—he claims they are “passive investments” and that they are managed in a blind trust (though the trustee isn’t blind enough to meet federal standards of independence). But aside from disparate snippets of information contained in his federal and Massachusetts financial disclosure forms, his 2010 tax returns, and SEC filings, the nature of those investments has been obfuscated by design. – The Bain Files: Inside Mitt Romney’s Tax-Dodging Cayman Schemes – Gawker


For the contrarian view on the Gawker “Bain Files” release:

Gawker today published what it’s calling The Bain Files, hundreds of pages of audited financials and private placement memoranda for old Bain Capital funds. 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. – Gawker’s worthless ‘Bain Files’ – Fortune/CNN Money


Robert Reich tells us why Paul Ryan is a fraud when it comes to entitlement reform:

Ryan “reforms” Medicaid by destroying it – cutting the federal contribution by some $800 billion and then continuing the cuts after the first ten years until federal spending is a small fraction of what it is today, and handing it over to the states, which can’t possibly keep the program going.

Ryan “reforms” food stamps by slashing them – reducing the federal contribution by around $125 billion and then, beyond the first decade, essentially ending the program altogether.

He “reforms” Medicare by substituting vouchers that can’t possibly keep up with the rising costs of health care. – Ryan Isn’t an Entitlement Reformer, He’s an Entitlement Destroyer – Robert Reich


And finally, the DOJ and FCC approve Verizon’s deal with major cable companies that is anything but good for consumers:

Thursday, in a move denounced by both consumer and labor advocates, the Department of Justice and the FCC gave approval for Verizon to pair up with Time Warner, Cox, Comcast and Bright House to offer a “quadruple play.” The four-way deal will allow Verizon to package cable, internet, landline service and wireless cell service into one bill. The plan will likely appeal to consumers by letting them pay bills in one go–but it will not necessarily be good for their pocketbooks, or for labor.

“By dampening competition, you are stopping the market from disciplining prices, leading to high costs for consumers,” says Joel Kelsey of media policy institute Free Press.

The deal will also be bad for workers. The ability of Verizon to package its wireless service with cable will give Verizon less incentive to expand out its own Verizon FiOS high-speed Internet service, which currently employs several thousand workers. – Consumers, Workers Upset Over New Verizon Deal – Truthout

photo by Antonio Mantero

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#Bain Capital#CNN Money#FiOS#Fortune#Gawker#medicare#Mitt Romney#Paul Ryan#Robert Reich#social security#Truthout#Verizon