Looks like Mitt Romney isn’t being honest. Or forthcoming. One of the best investigative reporters in the country, Greg Palast, has revealed how Mitt Romney made millions while outsourcing thousands of American jobs to China. His report, Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza, published in the Nation describes in detail how it happened and the extent of Romney’s deceptions to hide his involvement.
Mitt Romney’s opposition to the auto bailout has haunted him on the campaign trail, especially in Rust Belt states like Ohio. There, in September, the Obama campaign launched television ads blasting Romney’s November 2008 New York Times op-ed, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” But Romney has done a good job of concealing, until now, the fact that he and his wife, Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment.
What was the price to society and family supporting jobs in exhange for Romney’s millions?
Romney has slammed the bailout as a payoff to the auto workers union. But that certainly wasn’t true for the bailout of Delphi. Once the hedge funders, including Singer—a deep-pocketed right-wing donor and activist who serves as chair of the conservative, anti-union Manhattan Institute—took control of the firm, they rid Delphi of every single one of its 25,200 unionized workers.
How many millions and will we ever know?
That leaves one final question: Exactly how much did the Romneys make off the auto bailout? Queries to the campaign and the Romneys’ trustee have gone unanswered. And Romney has yet to disclose the crucial year of his tax returns, 2009. But whatever the tally, it was one sweet deal. The Romneys were invested with Elliott Management by the end of 2010, before Delphi was publicly traded. So, in effect, they got Delphi stock at Singer’s initial dirt-cheap price. When Delphi’s owners took the company public in November 2011, the Romneys were in—and they hit the jackpot.
In their 2011 and 2012 Federal Financial Disclosure filing, Ann Romney’s trust lists “more than $1 million” invested with Elliott. This is the description for all of her big investments—the minimal disclosure required by law. (Had Romney kept the holding in his own name, he would have had to reveal if his investment with Singer had made more than $50 million.)
It is reasonable to assume that Singer treated the Romneys the same as his other investors, with a third of their portfolio invested in Delphi by the time of the 2011 initial public offering. This means that with an investment of at least $1 million, their smallest possible gain when Delphi went public would have been $10.2 million, plus another $10.2 million for each million handed to Singer—all gains made possible by the auto bailout.
But that’s just the beginning. Since the November 2011 IPO, Delphi’s stock has roared upward, boosting the Romneys’ Delphi windfall from $10.2 million to $15.3 million for each million they invested with Singer.
But what if the Romneys invested a bit more with Singer: let’s say a mere 3 percent of their reported net worth, or ?$7.5 million? (After all, ABC News reported—and Romney didn’t deny—that he invested “a huge chunk of his vast wealth” with Singer.) Then their take from the auto bailout so far would reach a stunning $115 million.
The Romneys’ exact gain, however, remains nearly ?invisible—and untaxed—because Singer cashed out only a fragment of the windfall in 2011. And the Singer-led hedge funds have been able to keep almost all of Delphi’s profits untaxed ?by moving Delphi’s incorporation from Troy, Michigan, to the Isle of Jersey, a tax haven off the coast of France.
What a coincidence. The millions in wealth, the low tax rate paid by the Romney’s, the outsourcing of American jobs, the foreign bank accounts, all tied together by and brought to life by the still undisclosed and secret tax returns. No wonder Ann Romney said ” We’ve given you people all you need to know.”
I disagree. The American people deserve to know the truth and nothing but the whole truth about a man that wants to be President. Thanks to Greg Palast and a few minutes reading we know a lot more.