I just want to clarify again that the title of my original post, “Breaking news: Bain Capital wanted to lend money to GM and Chrysler for managed bankruptcies,” was intended as facetious, and that I had no idea that there was a recent report, rescinded as it turns out, that Bain Capital had been involved somehow in discussions with the Obama administration about the auto bailouts in early 2009. Much less did I know that Bain Consulting apparently did advise the Obama administration concerning whether to go forward with the auto bailouts that the Bush administration had set in motion. (Formally advised the Obama administration? At the request of the Obama administration? I have no idea.)
The point of that first post was to highlight that while Romney apparently has been claiming that Chrysler and GM could, have found private funding for “managed” bankruptcies (and that this somehow would have resulted in no layoffs, or fewer layoffs, or something), the absolutely clear truth, as both the Bush administration official and the Obama administration officials involved in the auto bailouts, have said all along, there was no private funding available to finance these huge restructurings, and so without the government bailouts these bankruptcies would have been liquidations. Bain Capital is a venture capital operation, yet it did not offer to fund managed bankruptcies for these companies. Either did any other private-investment company.
The title of that post was supposed to highlight that Romney’s claim is false. There was no private capital available, from Bain Capital or Goldman Sachs or any other firm, for “managed” bankruptcies of these companies—bankruptcies that would have allowed these companies to remain operational and recover. My second post, “BREAKING NEWS: Bain Capital Really, Really, REALLY Did Not Want to Lend GM and Chrysler Money For Their Managed Bankruptcies!*”, which discussed Bain Capital’s PR agent’s email to Dan, explained this. Or tried to.
But here’s another clarification: As several commenters to my posts have pointed out, Bain Capital and Bain Consulting are not as unrelated as Bain PR agent Lusk wants y’all to think. They’re separate legal entities, and Bain Consulting, unlike Bain Capital, does not actually buy companies, in highly-leveraged purchases or otherwise, and restructure them. Instead, they just sorta, I guess, arrange for others to do that. Still, these two companies are … oh, I don’t know …second cousins, once removed?
Meanwhile, on the other subject of my posts of the last few days: Romney’s weird ad playing on the local evening news shows here in Michigan, in which he incoherently attacks Obama, as per “the liberals’” demands, he says, for negotiating with the UAW and obtaining only those union concessions necessary to allow these companies to emerge from bankruptcy and become profitable again? According to an article in yesterday’s Washington Post, Which I read last night, Romney’s been making virulently anti-organized-labor, and especially anti-UW, statements a regular part of his speeches at campaign stops throughout Michigan in the last week or so, because he thinks Tea Partiers are anti-labor and, in Michigan, are especially anti-UAW.
Ooookay. So this guy, who made more than $200 million running a “restructuring” venture capital company, thinks a virulently anti-organized-labor stance will help him get elected president, when his chosen Exhibit A is a union whose members made large concessions in order to keep their employer companies afloat and whose employer companies are now very profitable under the revised union agreements.
My only fear is that in the general election, Obama won’t point this out. Although the unions will. And if news coverage of the primary campaign in Michigan this week is any indication, so will the news media.