Mitt’s Lucrative Severance from Bain Capital

Although this Boston Globe story on Mitt’s departure and severance negotations from Bain Capital was likely overshadowed today by the tragic shootings in Colorado, there are important revelations in it and it should be widely read. The reporting establishes that even while Romney wangled the most lucrative possible deal he could get for himself from the managers remaining at the company, he continued to be involved in many Bain duties. The last three paragraphs of the article make this clear:

“While Romney continued negotiating the terms of the severance deal, he referred to himself as CEO. In July 1999, five months after he had left for Utah, he provided a quote for a press release issued by Rehnert and Wolpow, who had left Bain to start their own firm, Audax. He was referred to as “Bain Capital CEO W. Mitt Romney, currently on a part-time leave of absence.”
In that release, Romney said of the departing partners, ‘While we will miss them, we wish them well and look forward to working with them as they build their firm.’
Those did not sound like the words of someone who had severed his ties to Bain Capital. To the contrary, it implied that Romney was still a part of Bain and its future. Two and a half years after leaving to run the Olympics, Romney finally signed his severance agreement in August 2001. Still, Romney’s name continued to appear as CEO and owner on dozens of Bain fund documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission until January 2002. No one would succeed Romney as CEO of Bain Capital. To this day, Bain is run by a management committee.”

Another aspect of this story that has gotten less attention than it should is the fact that while the Romney camp claims to have released one year’s full tax returns, for 2010, and that they supposedly plan to release the 2011 return at some point–a paltry response to the growing demand that he release his returns for a substantial number of years–there is a key element missing from even the 2010 paperwork. This was reported by Zach Carter and Ryan Grim in a Huffington Post story earlier this week, and then analyzed insightfully by Josh Marshall at TPM. The missing item is a report on the value of Mitt’s Swiss bank account. It is very likely that he did file it with the IRS–to have included the Swiss bank account on his tax return and then fail to submit the foreign holdings form, known as an FBAR, would have likely led to a hefty IRS fine. However, the release of tax documents the campaign made reluctantly during the Republican primary did not include the FBAR, and Josh Marshall wonders why so few news organizations have been asking the campaign about this missing element.

Josh also speculates on the possibility that Romney may have in 2009 taken advantage of a tax amnesty program whereby UBS account holders were offered the chance to pay their back income taxes and all penalties owed, without criminal sanction. This could explain their reluctance to share the FBAR, but until the media begin asking about this more aggressively, we aren’t going to learn more even about 2010, the year that Mitt had supposedly with the press and the public.

 

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