Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bain's Profits ... The "Invisible Hand" of Free Markets at Work ... And Some of the "Unintended" Beneficiaries Thereof

The Obama's Bain Connections well describes the invisible hand of the marketplace at work, including many of the "unintended" beneficiaries thereof:

"Among the ironies of President Obama's attack on Bain Capital is that the investment firm has spent much of its 28 years enriching Mr. Obama's voters. Bain clients tend to be government-employee pension funds, foundations, trusts and elite universities. According to Dow Jones LP Source, investors in Bain funds have included both Mr. Obama's alma mater, Columbia, as well as Michelle Obama's Princeton. A 2008 Journal story noted that Harvard, where the Obamas received their law degrees, has also invested with Bain. All three schools decline to discuss their investments in detail.

Dow Jones LP Source collects data on the limited partners (investors) in various private-equity funds and has data on Bain funds going back to the 1990s. Since then, Dow Jones finds that Bain partners have included not just the Obamas' favorite universities, but also pension funds for government workers in their home state of Illinois, as well as in Iowa, Maryland and elsewhere.

Mr. Obama likes to say on the campaign trail that entrepreneurs owe their success to teachers, and it turns out that Bain has been making money for teachers, too. Teacher retirement funds in California, Indiana and Ohio have also been limited partners in Bain funds, according to Dow Jones.

It seems unlikely that Mitt Romney founded Bain with the goal of enriching public-school teachers or the faculty at private colleges favored by the Obamas. But government workers and Ivy League professors aren't the only beneficiaries of Bain's success. Think how much deeper the taxpayer hole would be at America's pension funds if Bain and other private-equity funds hadn't been delivering market-beating returns on behalf of state and municipal retirees.

As for Mr. Obama's political attack on Bain, if he really believes that Bain made its money by firing people and destroying businesses, it raises an interesting question. Does the president believe that universities and public-school teachers should give back their Bain money? "

My Take

Our nation's prosperity depends on private sector profitability.

So do individual retirement benefits through successful retirement fund investments in profitable endeavors.

Without a healthy and prosperous private sector, the government simply will have no money to operate nor will U.S. citizens be employed and earning salaries as well as receiving retirement benefits from stable and well paying jobs.

All this is obvious, of course. Yet it's largely ignored, taken for granted or even vilified by many politicians and some of our fellow citizens as well. They condemn business leaders in the name of "greed."

When will we all come to accept that the key to an improved standard of living and a relaxing retirement is a solidly performing private sector?

And that the private sector involves both risks and rewards for investors and other participants, including employees?

Sometimes I wonder. I'll bet that you do, too.

Thanks. Bob.

1 comment:

  1. in the same breath a lot of Roomney's wealth was a direct result of public money -- the endowments of public colleges and the pension plans of public employees. Thus as the president pointed out everyone -- even Mitt Roomney -- owes a portion of his success to the investment we (ie the goverment) has made in society. I agree with you we need a solidly preforming private sector. But things like running water and highways and goverment loans for education and public education and investment in infracture even when it migh not make economic sense (ie running electricity to every home in this country) and a bank system and an army and oversite of financial markets, etc etc etc are also need to help the private sector preform.