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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 08:47 PM

6. Two points.

The first is trivial, but usually overlooked.

Romney was there and helped get Bain started. Around 2000 it had 400+ employees. Building a company, any company, with 400 employees isn't something to sneeze at. In this case, he was interested in every part of it: He produced a product investors wanted, found a well to sell the product, kept people in his employ, and managed to make his company turn a profit that lasted for more than a few quarters.

His product was investment. Not steel, notepads, or anything else.

Everybody gets hung up on the 2nd point, but only hear the last few weeks of a nearly 10-year story.

When Bain bought all or part of a company, it got slots on the board of directors. And it appointed Bain-folk. Romney was one of them. Bain folk appointed managers and turnaround men in the companies. GST Steel is one company whose board Romney was on, but there were a flock of related companies or, rather, companies with related products that were merged into one corporation. Like the others, the steel products company wasn't broke, but it was heading that way. Bain buys companies cheap, and if GST Steel had been in good shape it wouldn't have bought it. The early '90s were hard on a lot of companies. The GST Steel union representative at the time blamed "politicians" for allowing cheap imports to ruin the business and nearly drive the company into bankruptcy, and it's not like that's the only union rep to do so. Recession, cheap overseas imports, and they blamed Bush I for it.

GST Steel was turned around. Bain invested a pile of cash in the company, investment that made the company competitive. It was more than profitable for a few years. Around 2000 it started to crash, as did a lot of steel companies (thank you, recession; thank you, China). My mother's old employer finally bit the dust then--a steel company that had gone belly up in '93 (bought out) and which finally was fully liquidated and the pension obligations turned over to the US government. Note that a few other companies in that corporation also went under. The rest survived with decent revenues and profits, but don't know about offshoring in them. The little steel company had an okay 8-year run with Bain before things went sour, which is probably 8 more years than it would have had, and then a bad year or two before it was liquidated.

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
WCGreen Jul 2012 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Jul 2012 #1
WCGreen Jul 2012 #2
dkf Jul 2012 #3
WCGreen Jul 2012 #4
Igel Jul 2012 #5
LineNew Reply Two points.
Igel Jul 2012 #6
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