DemocracyNow! discusses a major new exposé on the cover of The Nation magazine called "Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza: How He Made Millions from the Rescue of Detroit." Investigative reporter Greg Palast reveals how Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made some $15 million on the auto bailout and that three of Romney’s top donors made more than $4 billion for their hedge funds from the bailout. Palast’s report is part of a film-in-progress called "Romney’s Bailout Bonanza." Palast is the author of several books, including recently released New York Times bestseller, "Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps."
"Corporations are people, my friends": In advance of Wednesday's presidential debate, Obama for America has released a new web video to lay out the facts about Mitt Romney's private sector experience. As Valerie Burton, who lost her job to Bain’s business practices explains, “I really feel in my heart people ought to know what Mitt Romney did.”
At Bain, Romney did not work to create jobs, but instead to create wealth for himself and his partners. As a corporate buyout specialist, Romney led Bain Capital to load companies up with debt, driving several into bankruptcy. Thousands of American workers lost their jobs while Mitt Romney and his investors walked away with millions.
It is these men and women, who lost their jobs because of Bain, who can best express what Mitt Romney is referring to when he talks about his business experience, and, just a few days out from the first presidential debate, why he must not be president.
As some Americans decide who to cast their vote for in November because some still mistakenly believe that because Mitt Romney is a wealthy businessman, that he would know how to create jobs and return us all to prosperity more rapidly. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Romney is a job destroyer who picks the wealth from prospering companies and leaves nothing behind.
Mitt Romney is what's wrong with America, and he must not become president.
We are the Invisible Army of Defaulters. We are your neighbors. We are your family, your friends. We are millions. We are everywhere. We are going to bring the system to its knees. We can, because we wield the one power that all the armies of the world can never defeat: The power of refusal. This power has destroyed the mightest empires. The same fate awaits the current system of mafia capitalism in America, an economic system driven by Wall Street CEOs who produce nothing, contribute nothing, who have bought our government and reduced it into a criminal enterprise whose main purpose is to support loan-sharking, gambling, extortion, and the slow reduction of American citizens into debt peons. Every dollar we take from a subprime mortgage speculator, every dollar we save from a collection agency is a tiny piece of our own lives and freedom that we can give back to our communities. To be able to take care of our children, our friends, our families is a value that no accountant can ever measure, that no government, loan administrator, or hedge fund manager can ever have the right to take away from us. We are an army of lovers who cannot be defeated. We are laying the groundwork for another world. Strike debt.
Resist. Insist. Stand together. Build. Never give up. #S17.
C-Span: Mitt Romney is introduced as the CEO of Bain Capital in 2000.
Many say that Mitt Romney's tax plan, or his refusal to release his personal income tax forms will be what will ruin his chances of becoming president in 2012. What I believe will do him in are these stories that come straight from the mouths of Americans who are or have worked for Romney's Bain owned corporations. There are millions who can relate to the tragedy of having worked at a job for years, only to see their jobs shipped overseas, with no real prospects of another job on the horizon. Beautiful, friendly little towns that turn into ghost towns as people who never missed paying their debts fall behind on their mortgages and watch their homes fall to foreclosure.
The employees of Bain owned corporations seem to have to endure more than the usual share of tragedy that comes with the shuttering of their place of work. There was the paper plant in Marion, Indiana where the workers (Workers who had no idea what was about to happen to them.) were ordered to stop what they were doing and build a stage. The stage was used the next day by men in suits from Bain to tell them all that they no longer had a job. One man likened building the stage to "building my own coffin."
At the Bain owned Sensata plant in Freeport, Illinois, employees are personally training their Chinese replacements, and watching the plant being shipped overseas piece by piece. The Guardianinterviewed several of the workers, and city officials in Freeport. Their stories are as heartbreaking as you would expect:
The shock of losing a precious job in a town afflicted by high unemployment is always hard. A foundation for a stable family life and secure home instantly disappears, replaced with a future filled with fears over health insurance, missed mortgage payments and the potential for a slip below the breadline.
But for Bonnie Borman – and 170 other men and women in Freeport, Illinois – there is a brutal twist to the torture. Borman, 52, and the other workers of a soon-to-be-shuttered car parts plant are personally training the Chinese workers who will replace them.
It's a surreal experience, they say. For months they have watched their plant being dismantled and shipped to China, piece by piece, as they show teams of Chinese workers how to do the jobs they have dedicated their lives to.
. . . Sensata (the plant where they work) is majority-owned by Bain Capital, the private equity firm once led by Mitt Romney, that has become a hugely controversial symbol of how the modern globalised American economy works. Indeed, Romney still owns millions of dollars of shares in the Bain funds that own Sensata.
Bain has declined to comment. But it has made a lot of money from owning Sensata, quadrupling its initial 2006 investment . . .
The anger towards Bain and Romney is palpable. Romney has become the target for the emotions of a community who built lives based on the idea of a steady manufacturing job: a concept out of place in the sort of fluid buy-and-sell world from which Bain prospers. "I didn't have a clue what Bain was before this happened," said Cheryl Randecker, 52. "Now when I hear Romney speak it makes me sick to my stomach."
Right this moment, Romney may not be the CEO at Bain, but he does still profit as Bain continues to destroy people's lives. Can you imagine vulture capitalist Mitt Romney holding the highest office in the land while working-class people all over the nation can't bring themselves to look at him, or hear his voice because he upsets them so that it would cause them to vomit? And that's on top of how he has already destroyed their lives and their communities.
I can't imagine it. Mitt Romney is counting on voters being ignorant come election day. We've all watched too many Mitt Romneys steal our jobs, and destroy our towns. We've all been forced to learn a lot, the hard way, and I believe we'll all remember come November. Our memories aren't that short.
One year after the Spanish M15 movement inspired the world with their peaceful city-square occupations, millions have flooded the Spanish streets again. Their message: we’re still there, and more powerful than ever.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein's compensation increased 14.5 percent to $16.2 million in 2011 despite a sharp decline in profits and share price during the year, leaving the bank open to more attacks on its pay policies.
Others at Goldman Sachs weren't so lucky. Since 2011, the financial giant has terminated at least 3,500 employees as well as reduced pay of others to cut expenses.