• Let’s Take a Peek at Some of Mitt Romney’s Investments

    By | August 23, 2012

    Earlier today, Gawker's John Cook dumped nearly 1,000 pages of "internal audits, financial statements, and private investor letters for 21 cryptically named entities in which Romney had invested" for all of the Internet's viewing and dissecting pleasure. It's quite a lot to digest and he's looking for help digging through all of it but it's pretty unlikely that there's anything nefarious in all these documents (Fortune's Dan Primack has basically already Tweeted as much and Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal isn't that impressed either). So, no, these won't take Romney down like Nixon but there may be interesting tidbits here and there.

    For many of you (including yours truly) that have provided exemplary professional services to alternative investment clients in the past (or doing so as we speak), these documents will look very familiar. It's run-of-the-mill stuff for the most part – balance sheets, income statements, partners' capital, cash flows, schedules of investments, and notes that accompany all those things. 

    We'll just mention a few things that we found:

    Most firms similar to Bain like to stick with one accounting shop for their audit services and it looks like Bain's choice is Papa Whiskey Tango because PwC is all over these documents. They were the auditors for all the Bain and Sankaty funds that were dumped. They were also the auditors for Absolute Return Capital Partners and Prospect Harbor Credit Partners and Viking Global Equities (a holding of Goldman Sachs funds of funds). Ernst & Young is the auditor of the Taconic funds and Karsch Capital II, Ltd. (both are also held by GS fof) whose financials were dumped, so there is a twist of Black & Yellow in there.

    As for the investments these funds made, here are just a few notable ones (all as of December 31, 2009):

    Bain Capital Fund VII, L.P. held positions in Burger King and Warner Music Group. In other words, the type of food that is culpable in the nation's rising obesity rate and and the music label that brought you Nickelback.! 

    Bain Capital Fund VIII, L.P. had some interesting holdings as well, including Burlington Coat Factory (a hipster's paradiesparadise), Dollorama (Canada's Dollar Store), and Dunkin' Brands (again, helping us get fat, but the coffee is pretty great).

    The rest of the funds have a variety of investments – partnership interests, international equities, bonds, notes, etc. – and they also utilize various derivatives, master-feeder structures, and coinvestment funds as well. Pretty typical stuff for the private equity world. 

    So, as we said,  not much to write home about, but if you like, take a gander at the Bain Files and let us know if you see anything else semi-interesting. And, of course, if you worked on any of these entities, particularly the Bain funds or Romney's tax returns, we'd love to hear from you.

    • ObamaBFF

      You’re such a shill.

      Also…*paradise

    • NotAnotherRomneyStory

      Can you also do some posts on the hidden taxes in ObamaCare? I know you’re bent over for Obama but this is getting ridiculous. Every day it’s another jab at Romney. Take a look at your own candidate for a minute? You’re going to crucify Romney for his past but give Obama a complete pass? What has Obama done in his entire life that qualifies him for anything? Nothing, he’s a former pot head professor and hipster douches like you just eat that crap up.

      • Barry Profit

        you mad bro?

      • Guest

        We still get stories about Obama’s citizenship even after he provided his birth certificate.

        What has any DC politician every done in their entire life that qualifies them for anything?

        The real people that actually make a difference to America are the teachers, policemen, nurses, daycare providers, AUDITORS (rolls eyes), etc that are shouldering the US tax burden.  Mr. Romney maybe you can pass a bill that gives us a 13% effective tax rate if you’re elected.

      • Guest

        If you’re upset that Obama was a pot head, you must really have been bothered by Bush’s coke habit at Yale.

        • BlameBushBecauseObamaSucksa

          I didn’t realize Bush was running this year. Funny, it’s been 4 years and that man is still your go to excuse for everything.

          • Guest

            When did I say it was Bush’s fault that Obama got high?  I’m just pointing out your double standards.

            • BlameBushBecauseObamaSucks

              I don’t have double standards, I didn’t vote for Bush. You brought him up…

            • Guest

              Ok, so who did you vote for in 2000 and ’04?

            • BlameBushBecauseObamaSucks

              I didn’t vote, I was politically apathetic. My position evolved…

      • Guest Extraordinaire

        The first part of your post is fine, but the end is not necessary.  No need to slur Caleb.  Romney posts, while ridiculous, gets up the ire of folks like Big4Vet and attract tons of comments in this forum, so that is most likely reason why Caleb keeps posting on the topic.

        Just a point regarding Romney’s effective tax rate.  Effective tax rate is tax calculated divided by TAXABLE income.  The widely quoted 13% figure is Romney’s tax divided into AGI.  He gives a ton of money to charity which reduces his taxable income, but does not affect his AGI.

        For 2010, the Mittster reported $21,646,507 of AGI, $17,120,067 of taxable income and his tax after the AMT hit was $3,106,043.  That makes his effective tax rate 18.1%.  His tax to AGI percentage for 2010 was 14.3%.

        He gave almost $3 million to charity, over 13% of his AGI went to charity. He donated about as much to charity as he paid in taxes.  That’s quite generous, but no one seems to talk about this.

        • Bean Counter

          Dude. Come on. Another misleading post.

          Is the Mormon church a “charity” in the usual sense of the word? No.

          Donations to churches happen to be tax deductible as “charitable donations”. We all know donations to religious organizations generally go toward advancement of the religion, not specifically to the aid of the sick and hungry (unless they are willing to convert of course). Also, he is “required” to donate 10% of his gross income to the church. Not so charitable now is it?

          About 80% of Mitt’s charitable donations are to the Mormon church. But once again, don’t take my word for it. Here is some fresh press:

          http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2012-08-23/romney-tax-returns-church/57250860/1?csp=34news

          Anyway, I’d like to disclaim this by saying I don’t give a shit what Mitt’s effective tax rate is, as long as he is operating within the law (the law is the problem, not Mitt’s apparent compliance).

          So far there is no evidence that he has done anything illegal, so I will reserve any judgment until that is proven otherwise.

          • PutYourMoneyWhereYourMouthIs

            My church (not Mormon) gives away hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. No strings attached, just things to help people (mosquito nets, water purifiers, etc). What good do you do? I’m guessing you don’t give anything to charity and then you bad mouth churches so you don’t feel like such a greedy jerk. Even if you hate religion, a lot of churches are doing a lot of good around the world. A lot more than pretentious pricks like you.

            • Bean Counter

              You talk to your Priest/Pastor with that mouth?

              Way to declare you aren’t Mormon, as if that matters.

              I have an automatic, after-tax deduction from my paycheck that goes to a charity that I chose.

              With loans, I can’t afford to give as much as some, but it’s a decent % of my AGI. So I put my money where my mouth is on the 15th and 30th of every month.

          • Guest Extraordinaire

            Bean – why is that a misleading post?  It’s all fact.  Fact – he gave 13% of his AGI to charity.  That’s very nice and generous.  Churches are charities.

            • Bean Counter

              You (and the tax code) and I define charity (and charitable) differently.

              I don’t consider a required donation, mandated by your chosen faith and for the benefit of your chosen faith, charitable.

            • $19577774

              Romney said he gave 13% of his AGI to charity. That does not make it fact. As I think we can all agree, when Romney speaks it is wise to apply skepticism regarding the factual accuracy of the statement. You show me one truthful thing Mitt has said in the last year, and I’ll show you 10 lies.

        • Former Examinee

          Romney himself provided that 13% effective tax rate (as in, he never paid less than a 13% effective rate)

          • Guest Extraordinaire

            Yes, I know.  He also said his effective tax rate is low because of high charitable contributions.  He may not understand that he is comparing apples to oranges, and it’s to his detriment.

          • $19577774

            Romney’s statement has not been verified. So we are just to take Romney’s word for it? What evidence do you have from Romney’s entire adult life leads you to conclude that he is a man of his word?

        • Guest

          He gave $1.5M in cash to the Mormon Church, and $1.4M worth of shares to the Tyler Foundation, which in turn has granted most of it’s funds to CJDS and BYU (Forbes 5/17/12).

          What a swell guy.

        • $19577774

          1. His name is not Caleb. It is Colin.

          2. Is it really charity if you are required to give it? Anyone who says the tithing is optional clearly doesn’t know shit about the Mormon church.

          3. Romney posts are not ridiculous just because Guest Extraordinaire says so (although you have a right to your opinion). Many Americans actually want to vet this man who may become our president. Just like many Americans (myself included) wanted to vet Obama in 2008. And I once again remind you that this whole issue would completely go away if Mitt would just release his motherfucking tax returns!

          4. While this may surprise you, I don’t give a shit about Mitt’s effective tax rate. I do believe that his tax rate is too low, but that’s not his fault. Mitt doesn’t have any obligation to pay one cent more than what he owes according to the law, just like you and me.

          5. I don’t understand why the Republicans are putting so much effort into defending Romney, especially because most Republicans can’t stand that douchebag. Most Republicans would vote for a vacuum cleaner over Obama. So why not direct the anger where it truly lies…the black man squatting in the White House.

          • Guest Extraordinaire

            1.  Noted
            2.  Yes
            3.  I care more about how the next administration is going to reduce this incredible level of debt we have.  Mitt’s tax returns or Obama’s college records for that matter are very low priority for me.
            4.  We agree!  As noted above in “3”, I don’t give a crap either.
            5.  Not the biggest Mittster fan here either, like Ryan though mainly because he has a serious plan out there.  Would be nice if we can get a plan from the D’s to examine.  Obama and his debt machine must either go, or put out a serious plan to reduce government spending and the national debt that is getting all but impossible to pay back.

            Enjoy the evening.

            • Bean Counter

              Although I don’t like the way you present factual information (not in proper context), I like that you keep things civil and want to get this country out of debt, so I’m hitting “like” on your post.

              Enjoy your evening as well.

            • $19577774

              What is Ryan’s serious plan? I love it how a crazy right-winger can put out a ridiculous manifesto that has zero chance of actually becoming law, but successfully gets the base all riled up, and it gets called a “serious plan”. I think a serious plan would be something that has a chance of actually passing, as opposed to just being a fundraising tool and endless discussion topic for Fox News. On that note, I assert that Ryan doesn’t really have a “serious plan”. And Mitt sure as hell doesn’t have a serious plan (or any plan really).

              So bag on Obama all you want about not having a clearly articulated plan (I tend to agree with you on that point), but your guys doesn’t have a serious plan either. So you’re going all out to replace Obama with a man who has absolutely no principles or backbone. I wonder how that will turn out.

            • Guest Extraordinaire

              Bean Counter – thanks.  “Liked” your post back.

              Even though it’s easy enough to hide anonymously behind a keyboard and say things without repercussions, I’d still rather argue facts and figures in a civil and respectful manner without insulting my counterparts.

            • $19577774

              Bean Counter, when someone presents statistics and “factual information” out of context, I do not consider that to be keeping things civil, especially on a topic such as this. Partisan spin? Yes. Civil? Not so much.

              Also, I’m not convinced that the primary objective of these people is to get this country out of debt. If it was, they would have done just that when they had control of the House, Senate, White House and Supreme Court a few years ago. I believe this is more about the differing political philosophies of whether we are a society that cares for its disadvantaged, or a society of every man for himself. It’s “I earned my money all by myself. The government shouldn’t take it from me and give it to poor (black, Mexican, etc.) people who don’t work as hard as me.”

            • Guest

               B4V, while I usually am annoyed by Guest Extraordinaire, I have to agree with him this time.  Ryan has put forward a plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program to help control its spiraling costs.  While you may not like it and may not think it would pass Congress, it is an actual plan (which is far more than I can say about anything Romney has proposed).  Obama has no right to criticize Ryan’s plan until he puts forward a comprehensive plan of his own.

              Frankly, Obama is acting a lot like the GOP during the healthcare debate- he’s opposed to what’s on the table, yet he offers no alternative to it whatsoever.

            • $19577774

              Again, I’m just trying to be pragmatic about the politics of this. I think that for any plan to be considered serious it needs to have some chance of actually passing. This means there needs to be some compromise. There is no compromise in Ryan’s plan. It is really just a checklist of right-wing fantasies that is geared more towards rallying the base than actually reaching across the aisle to solve problems. You may love every single point of Ryan’s plan, but his plan ain’t ever going anywhere other than campaign ads. Republicans refuse to compromise on anything, which is why nothing big can get done these days. And that is not Obama’s fault.

            • $19577774

              By the way, several people in this forum have stated that Obama has offered no plan, which is another lie (its hard to keep track of all the Republican lies). During the debt ceiling debacle last year Obama offered a grand bargain which included spending cuts to tax increases on a four to one ratio. The tax increases would have just affected the wealthy, not the middle class. It was a compromise where everyone had to give up something they wanted, but the Dems would have given up much more than the Republicans. But the Republicans are fucking crazy and turned down the deal. In fact, during one of the Republican debates the moderator asked the candidates if they would agree to a deal with the Dems which included $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases. Ten to one! And every single candidate raised their hand saying they would not agree to such a deal. Now that’s fucking crazy, and I think any rational person would agree.

            • Dextrin

              But the current Ryan plan is als cosponsored by a Congressional Democrat from Oklahoma (can’t remember his name). It puts forth policies that were pushed hard by Democrats in the past (premium support), it means tests Medicare so that the poor people will get more and the better-offs get less, which makes perfect sense to me. I think this is a better alternative to the Affordable Care Act (i.e Obamacare) which creates a new entitlement program on the backs of the elderly, by reducing future funding to Medicare. Let’s fix what we have now without piling on more government programs and spending. 

      • Former Examinee

        Well, Obama went to Harvard Law School, I’m sure that ‘qualifies’ him for more stuff than your alma mater would, whatever Podunk State University that may be

        • FootInMouthDisease

          I feel sorry for you if you think Harvard grads are some sort of higher being. You do realize that W graduated from Harvard AND Yale. How did that work out?

        • BeezNeezCPAMBA

          These schools feed each other’s egos because there are a few higher institutions that have a revolving door with the Ivy League so that they can maintain that they’re better than everybody else when really they’ve just been around longer than everybody else.  The only benefit of Ivy League is rich people put their rich kids to meet more rich people to make them all more rich.  The secret is out.

      • guest

        Anyone who has a problem with pot heads has not dealt with big 4 accounting staff. I mean, honestly, one of the few industries that does not drug test? And yet you’re complaining and someone who smoked YEARS ago?

        The paragraph above just shows how incapable of common reason and discussion you are.

        • Guest

           Most industries do not test their office employees unless maybe it’s a traveling salesman who drives a company vehicle.

          • Guest

            I had to take a drug test to work for UBS. I turned down the offer for Pdub tho. But hey handing thousands of peoples SSNs seems a drug test would be required.

        • BeezNeezCPAMBA

          Only government and healthcare tests for drugs.  No one else wants to know what their employees are on.

          The shit story is that their are people with felonies who got caught and went to jail who would make a better president than Obama.  But he didn’t get caught until he ran for President, so that’s different.

    • Guest

      /popcorn

    • Guest

      Burlington Coat Factory is a hipster’s paradise? The one near my office has a clientele that is 95% morbidly obese Latinas, and it absolutely reeks of despair. All three times I’ve visited, there’s been at least one employee sobbing outside the men’s room.

      • Guest

        Thank you for confirming, pencil pushers suck at sarcasm.

    • Enjoyment

      I enjoy the fact that we akready spend 10 hrs/day doing this stuff at the office and then when we take a brief internet break, we read… this website so we can read more of the same.  Romney’s investments are the mental break for us!  It’s hilarious and cute.  (and no not sad)

      Keep up these types of post, Caleb.  The links give us some good meat to chew.  Plus, who could get tired of the Papa Whisky Chocolate or Black & Yellow cracks?  No one.  We all live for this stuff!!

    • Guest

      Ok, I could handle the taxes thing, the abortion thing, the evil hedge fund plutocrat thing, the flip flopping, romneycare, anti-romneycare, the foreign policy blunders, and almost all the other stupidity.
      But, that’s it.  Now Romney’s crossed a line that just CANNOT be forgiven.

      Nickelback.  Fucking Nickelback.  Not even Adolf Hitler was involved in Nickelback.

      /s

      and, a pox on both candidates. 

    • Pinkerton

      I doubt anyone read the links. Read the discussion. It’s the same old shit that populates any other thread dealing with Romney. 

    • Guest

      I’d like to see Romney’s FBAR reports for the last couple of years.  Who cares about his tax rate, it’s no different than any other Private Equity General Partner.  The FBAR report should show how much money he holds overseas.  As Warren Buffett said, there is only one reason for holding your money offshore…