51
   

AMERICAN CONSERVATISM IN 2008 AND BEYOND

 
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 11:08 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
More creative or efficient competitors are always threatening to take their place. For companies it's a matter of efficiency, creativity and adaptability, ... or death. It shouldn't surprise anyone that, in these conditions, unions behave in such self-serving, shortsighted, and irresponsible ways.


I think that this distinction you are trying to make here ignores the very real fact that the owners of many corporations profit quite handsomely off of the death of their companies. It's the PE model - exactly what Bain capital does, and what the owners of Hostess are trying to do now. And it's entirely akin to what you described earlier as 'mafia-esque' actions: buying up a company, saddling the company with the debt you used to buy it, extracting as much wealth as possible before the company fails, sell off the failed company in pieces and walk away laughing.

Let's not pretend this isn't a very common practice in our modern business world. It is. In terms of health of the company, it's as short-sighted and irresponsible as anything any union has ever done; I can't see any real distinction between the behaviors of some management groups and some unions leaders.

Quote:
Once unions were a necessity in forcing needed workplace reforms, but now most of these reforms are codified in law and part of our social fabric. Unions today are parasites that produce nothing but move from host to host.


That's exactly what management of companies said about the unions back then. The truth is that the 'needed workplace reforms' are not yet finished, and the job of unions is also not yet finished. However inconvenient that may be for management...

Cycloptichorn
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 11:35 am
@Cycloptichorn,
And we also have the CEO's like at HP who buys another failing company for $11 billion dollars - all while cutting back on jobs in the US.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 12:31 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
You are now retreating to your well-rehearsed polemics; evading points in which your assertions are proved to be wrong; and distracting the argument to onproven new issues . So much for reasonable discussions, based on facts, and seeking a synthesis of perspectives. You don't even approach the standard you, yourself, proposed for the discussion.

It is a fact that labor unions operate under government sanctioned monopolies, and that without them (i.e. in RTW states) , by your own admissions, unions fail to attract members. Companies may seek such monopolies in their business practices, but they face severe penalties (triple damages in court and other administratively determined fines and mandatory divestitures) ) under the law if they are found to have created a monopolistic situation . In stark contrast unions are increasingly nationwide, extending their local monopolies to nationwide ones wherever they can, enjoying substantial support from the Federal Government as they proceed.

You are retreating to unfounded prejudices when you assert that;
Cycloptichorn wrote:
the very real fact that the owners of many corporations profit quite handsomely off of the death of their companies. It's the PE model - exactly what Bain capital does, and what the owners of Hostess are trying to do now. And it's entirely akin to what you described earlier as 'mafia-esque' actions: buying up a company, saddling the company with the debt you used to buy it, extracting as much wealth as possible before the company fails, sell off the failed company in pieces and walk away laughing.
Companies are liquidated when their value (i.e. the current assets of the shareholders) has declined to an unsustainable basis and the expected future returns (profits) from operation promise only continued losses. That means the owners have already lost a lot of money when the process begins - there are no profits involved here - only losses.

What Baine Capitol and other at risk restructuring firms do is to use their own money to buy the stock of failing companies; replace the existing management (they lose their jobs) ; and institute changes required to make the company profitable. They then sell their iunvestment at a higher price, and thereby earn their profits. Failing companies often have debt they casn no longer service and are otherwise close to bankrupcy. Part of the recovery process also involves settling these and other obligations usually involving additional infusions of capital by Bain or other like investors. When the company turnaround is compllete and earnings are restored, company debt levels are renegotiated and returned to normal levels (the ideal or most efficient economic capital structure for a company (in normal times - today's conditions are not normal) involves about 50% of csapitsalization in terms of long-term debt. In this way Bain finally sells out, recovering its invested capital and a profit for their work.

In the event that the restructured company still fails, everyone losses, Bain included - it is their cash and capital that evaporates in the second failure. There's nothing at all short-sighted about this process as you foolishly claim. The alternative, after all, to it is the death of the company; the loss of the jobs of all its employees and the loss of all the capital of the companie's owners. The turnaround of the company causes the loss of some jobs and some of the capital of the previous owners, but it also saves a good deal more. You and others merely repeat the distorted myths you are fed about this very important process in rescuing something out of the debris of dying companies. It, of course is done for a fee, just as is all investment and even hourly labor. Moreover, with the government "rescue" of GM in mind, it is pretty clear that Bain does a better job than our government, and does it at a much lower cost.

What you are doing is blaming Bain for the earnings they get from a successful turnarounf and, at the sametime, positing that the turnaround didn't occur. That kind of assertion is usually called a lie.


Evidently you believe the "unions job in reforming workplaces" is not yet finished. I can see damn little reform going on, but would still like to know what additional "reforms" are needed in your view.

You asked for a fact-based reasonable debate. So far I have seen damn little of it from you - instead only the tiresome repetion of shopworn myths and class prejudice. This disappoints me..

Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 12:44 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Companies are liquidated when their value (i.e. the current assets of the shareholders) has declined to an unsustainable basis and the expected future returns (profits) from operation promise only continued losses. That means the owners have already lost a lot of money when the process begins - there are no profits involved here - only losses.


100% and totally false. When a PE firm uses a leveraged buyout to purchase a company (say, Hostess) they quite often then saddle the company itself with the vast majority of the debt incurred when buying it. Bain, for example, specialized in doing exactly this. They then use the new debts the company has to remove the vast majority of the tax burden of the company (robbing money from the taxpayers) and install themselves or their friends as highly-paid 'executives' who are there as much to manage the decline of the company as they are to improve the place. When the inevitable happens, and the company goes under, the ownership has long ago recouped their relatively small initial investment, and the liquidated assets go to pay off the banks to whom the debt is owed to.

The management of these PE/LBO firms run very little to no risk of losing money. I'm sort of surprised that you aren't more familiar with how this element of our economy works. You write:

Quote:
What Baine Capitol and other at risk restructuring firms do is to use their own money to buy the stock of failing companies


Totally wrong. They use a only a small of their own money and quite a large amount of loans they get against the value of the company itself. It's how their model of business works. By the time the company fails, they've already recouped their initial investment in almost every case. It's win-win vulture capitalism.

Not only that, in many cases the companies they buy out aren't failing at all - they simply aren't growing or moving forward at the rate that other companies in their industry are. In many cases, these companies would have survived for many more years WITHOUT the PE investment than they end up surviving with it.

Quote:
In the event that the restructured company still fails, everyone losses, Bain included - it is their cash and capital that evaporates in the second failure.


Wrong again. Bain Capital lost money on almost none of their LBO deals, no matter how the company eventually performed. And those that they did lose money on occurred early in Bain C's existence, before they got really good at it -

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/bain_capital/index.html

It goes without saying that in almost every instance possible, Bain took every move they could to screw the workers of the companies they bought, as well as the taxpayers in the states the companies were in. They quite regularly raided pension funds and used them to fund executive pay, laid of thousands with no noticeable improvement to the bottom line of the company, and plotted on how to break up the companies they bought for a profit - no matter the fact that it led to a huge amount of job losses for those who worked there. There's no loyalty to a company that you buy and ride like a horse...

These are not 'shopworn myths' - this is how private equity based LBO's work. It's the fundamental way they make money. And it's behavior far worse than any union engages in, actively ruining the lives of thousands and harming the fiscal health of every state they do business in, all in the name of concentrating profits in the hands of a few wealthy people.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/why-private-equity-firms-like-bain-really-are-the-worst-of-capitalism-20120523

Cycloptichorn
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 02:08 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I'm afraid your understanding of how businesses and equity markets operate and, even of some basic economic facts, is very seriously deficient.

The companies that are targets of Bain investments usually are already saddled with nore debt than they can repay, and have zero ability, on their own, to acquire more debt. Bankers, to use a common phrase, lend money only to businesses that can prove they don't need it. Existing debt must be repaid and the company's performance restored, in the restructuring by Bain, BEFORE any new debt can be taken on. Bain has to prove, to very skeptical banks, that the restructured company can, with a very high confidence, repay the new debt it is taking on - and their starting estimate is usually not good. (There are no government insured or mandated loans in the business market as there are in that for housing: it is a hard-nosed process.)

Bain specializes in the creation of specific investment funds for such turnaround aquisitions. i.e. they announce their intent and join with other investors to create the investment group that, under Bain leadership, does the aquisition and turnaround.

Bain then buys all or a controlling interest in the target company using its capital (i.e. money) and that of other investors in its team. Thus the new team has a serious stake in the game. If their effort fails, they stand to lose all or most of their investment in a controlling stake in the company.

Your blythe accusations of "management" notwithstanding, the existing management of the target company is usually tossed out after the change of control, and a new one specified by the new owners is installed. It's true that Bain often installs members of its own team, well-experienced in these restructurings, in the new management. However this is no different than seeking a well-qualified and expert surgeon to perform a difficult and unusual operation on a seriously injured patient. (It appears to me that you imagine that managing a company is an easy thing, requiring no skills or experience.)

Following the turnaround, the successfully restructured company is again sold to other investors. They are generally not fools and are willing to pay only a price based on the reasonable expectations of the future returns of the restructured company. If most of Bain's restructurings didn't work (as you imply), that would be very quickly reflected in the future resale value of all the restructured companies it sells. In such a case Bain would be unable to attract investment partners to begin with. In particular, if it looks to proficient and seasoned investors, that the restructured company in question will still fail, then the resale will surely not recover the Bain investment. All of this contradicts the unproven assumptions on which your wildly inaccurate diatribe is based. It is a market-based effort to salvage value (and jobs) in failing companies. Like any business it involves risk of failure, and it is not successful 100% of the time, but it is a market-driven process all the way.

In all of this , you are here merely reciting highly distorted and deceptively assembled snippets of disjoint, mutually inconsistent, facts extracted from a large body of such investments and turnarounds, some of which lose money foe Bain and its partners - and all of which ignore the central tendency of Bain investments. There are two possible explanations for this;
1. You are merely reciting propaganda you have read in the blogs and progressive opinion pieces you frequent, and lack either the knowledge & understanding (or perhaps just the inclination) to detect the many obvuious distortions of truth in them.
2. You do understand, but are lying for purposes of argument.

In either event you very much appear to lack a basic understanding of how equity markets work. No transactions, neither sales nor loans, can be done unilaterally. There is always a partner in every transaction, the buyers and lenders, in the cases at hand, are also seasoned and experienced at what they do. Bain or any other like firm can't simply add debt to a company or sell it without the willing consent and participation of their opposite numbers whose motives, like Bain's, are to make a profit on the deal. The systematic deceptions you postulate (but for which you offer no concrete evidence at all) simply aren't possible. One may get away with that (to a small degree) once or twice, but once the pattern is seen the market will adjust.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 02:41 pm
I said this earlier, but it bears repeating:

I suspect George is behaving like the Republicans in the House. Conservative apparently feel obligated to be do the "conservative thing" no matter what. For the House members it is "no increase in taxes on the wealthy"...even though many of the wealthy are now saying, "Jesus Christ, let it go. Tax us more and get on with it."

Conservatives claim that unions are bad...and George is going to stick with that no matter what.

Hey...whatever makes them happy.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 02:54 pm
@Frank Apisa,
I won't put any label on you Frank, but I do note that you appear to be behaving on this matter with precisely the same consistency of which you accuse me. What theories can you offer to explain that?

You also very badly misconstrue the expressed concerns of the House Republicans. They are, by their own many statements, chiefly worried about the accelerating growth of our national debt; the growing entitlements that are behind it; and the (known) adverse economic consequences of higher marginal tax rates and greater labor market inflexibility. In today's world, with the near collapse of the Greek and Spanish economies, and dangerously worstening economic situations of France and Italy - all resulting from precisely the same economic factors listed above - this should not come as a great surprise to you. Indeed it is about what was forecast by the Simpson-Bowles Commission if no constructive action was taken.

Your contrived expression of it is consistent with that of the current administration, but wildly diverges from the obvious facts and frequent statements by the Republican leaders.

But, hey, whatever makes you happy ....
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 03:08 pm
@georgeob1,
Let me deal with the first part of that response, George.

Quote:
I won't put any label on you Frank, but I do note that you appear to be behaving on this matter with precisely the same consistency of which you accuse me. What theories can you offer to explain that?


I'm not even sure what that means. What consistency of ideology do you see me exhibiting that corresponds precisely with what I suggested about you?

The only theory I can offer with the information I have now...is that you wanted to make a "same goes for you" comeback...even though it is inappropriate. I most assuredly am not ideologically driven, George, which probably accounts for the "I won't put any label on you" comment.

If you explain what you mean here, I will respond as accurately as I can. And I will do it respectfully and reasonably.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 03:12 pm
@georgeob1,
Are you willing to admit that the function of the LBO, specifically, is to buy a company using the assets of the company itself as the collateral of the loan to purchase said company? And then saddle the company with the debt from that purchase? I have yet to see you write Anything about that at all, and that's the heart of any discussion of how PE/LBO firms operate. You instead posit that it is only investor funds which are used to purchase the companies, which simply isn't true (unless, for some reason, you're counting the bank as an 'investor').

Instead, you seem to believe that firms like Bain operate solely in a VC capacity. It's easy to make anyone look good when you concentrate only on the best aspects of their business. I can't see any difference between what you write here and anything I could read in an editorial by the WSJ.

re: Bain and it's partners, it works out very simply in practice:

- the current ownership of companies profit by selling their company to the bank, and, as you say, these often aren't growing or terribly well-ran companies to begin with, it's usually a good deal for the,.
- Bain and their 'partners' put up a small stake of money (millions, but small in terms of the total value of the company) and use this to attract financing from their banker friends, who pony up the rest of the money to purchase the company, using the assets of the company (including patents and brand rights) as collateral for their end of the loan. The bank is happy, as they will profit if the loan is repaid and almost always at least recoup their investment through the sale of the company in pieces later on - as is exactly about to happen with Hostess, for example
- Bain charges lots of money in 'fees' to manage the company and installs what you claim are more competent managers than the ones who are being replaced, usually paying them a great deal of money. There exists quite a difference of opinion as to whether this new management is no better than the old at actually running the company, however.
- The fees and management salaries paid over a few years is usually enough to cover the initial investment by Bain, even if the company folds just a few years later. Bain quite often pays large dividends to itself and it's investors over this time period to increase that profit.
- if the company goes on to be successful, Bain and there investors do quite well. If it fails, they still do well. This is evidenced by the fact that they managed to turn quite handsome profits on the companies they invested in that failed. If, as you posit, the failure of these companies led to losses for Bain, why was that not reflected in their actual balance sheets?

So, who exactly loses here? The workers at the companies Bain targets and the states that should be collecting tax revenue, but cannot thanks to the accounting tricks Bain uses to describe their own purchase of the company as a loss for the company.

Referring to something as a 'progressive opinion piece' doesn't make it untrue. It merely means you are either unwilling or incapable of actually responding to the data they provide. I don't think that most here are convinced by that.

Cycloptichorn
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 04:45 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

No. There was instead a referendum in Michigan proposed by the unions, calling for an amendment of the state constitution protecting the current status of union contracts, and thereby taking the issue out of the Legislature's hands. It failed by a substantial margin. I left Ohio out precisely because the RTW legislation was overturned in a fairly close vote in a similar referendum. Do you fault my methods here?

The UAW is indeed threatening continued action on the matter, but so far their prospects don't look any better than they did in Wisconsin a year ago. Michigan is hurting economically and is, outside of Detroit, traditionally a Republican state. Given the sad history of Detroit governance under Mayor Coleman Young and the earlier activities of Mayor Kwame Kennedy, and the current state of dissary in the city (despite the good efforts of its rather impressive current mayor Bing) , Detroit is not a very potent or respected example of good governance, and it's political stroke in the state (along with its population) is greatly diminished (indeed the city employee unions are preventing a negotiated solution to the city's disastrous financial situation - and that doesn't help either).

I think RTW is here to stay in Michigan.


Perhaps, perhaps not -

http://s3.amazonaws.com/dk-production/images/12567/large/Screen_Shot_2012-12-14_at_12.39.32_PM.png?1355517759

PPP was the most accurate pollster this past election.

My guess is that his, and the legislatures, ramming through of many highly unpopular bills this week isn't doing much to engender public support for him or any of his positions. Consider the fact that the public there recently overturned MI's 'emergency manager' law by referendum, only to see the Legislature just pass the exact same law (with a few cosmetic changes) just 5 weeks later. It shows a great amount of disrespect for your own citizens to engage in actions like that.

Cycloptichorn
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 05:16 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
You continue to reveal your ignorance of business operations and corporate financial structure. This ignorance makes you an easy target for the deceptions in the very biased blogs you appear to frequent.

In a well operating corporation the market value of the company is much higher than the value of its real assets (or book value as it is termed). The difference reflects the market's perceptions of the future earning capability of the company. Any company whose market value is near its book value is a candidate for near-term collapse. That situation is readily detectable in the financial reports of a publicly traded firm.

Such failing companys are very often paralyzed by earlier failures to adapt to changed market conditions or failure to meet the efficiency and quality standards of their competitors. Whatever has caused or permitted these failures must be changed if the company is to survive, continue paying its employees and the taxes you so dearly love.

If such a company fails to take such needed action, its market value will fall to the point where more enlightened and agile enterprises conclude that they could turn it around, restore it to health and thereby raise its market value. The only assets left to the firm for leverage in such a situation that could be used to save it are its fixed assets. There's nothing wrong with doing that, in that the alternative is the impending collapse of the firm and a liquidation that would lose everything; the jobs of the employees; the owner's capital; and the future taxes that would be paid. New managmnent focused on reinvigorating the company for lon-term survival will naturally use this lever, and there is nothing at all wrong or illegal with doing so. Moreover everyone will benefit if it succeeds.

Moreover, contrary to your assertions, Bain and other like companies do indeed normally add their own substantial risk capital to the restoration of the dying firm. Such a restoration, if it occurs benefits everyone from employees to the restructuring firms and the governemnts that tax it. The only losers are the original management team which is usually quickly replaced.

I suspect you are merely repeating words you have read in this area, but without much understanding of the context or of the words, facts, and ideas you have left out of your highly distorted descriptions.

Finally, I note the complete absence of any verifiable facts in your one-sided criticisms, something you insist is so dear to your heart. Nothing at all to address the ratio of successes to failures of Bain restructurings, or to compare the results achieved to what would otherwise have inevitably occurred. Without that you are just spouting propaganda you, yourself don't understand.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 05:20 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
With respect to RTW in Michigan
Cycloptichorn wrote:

My guess is that his, and the legislatures, ramming through of many highly unpopular bills this week isn't doing much to engender public support for him or any of his positions. Consider the fact that the public there recently overturned MI's 'emergency manager' law by referendum, only to see the Legislature just pass the exact same law (with a few cosmetic changes) just 5 weeks later. It shows a great amount of disrespect for your own citizens to engage in actions like that.

Cycloptichorn


There's an interesting article in today's WSJ on these subjects. The Detroit government isn't doing well and it appear the appoiuntment of a state administrator is near. The decades of political corruption and irresponsible financial management that have brought the city to this point are pretty well known to Michigan voters. Thisnd don't now appear to be going your way.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 05:21 pm
@georgeob1,
This despite the fact that the polling evidence seems to point the other direction? And that the people of the state just repealed the very 'emergency manager' law that you are referring to?

Well, believe what you like, we'll see how it ends up.

Cycloptichorn
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 05:26 pm
@georgeob1,
So, you are not even willing to say out loud the most basic facts of how a leveraged buy-out works. Gotcha. I think that makes your position in this argument pretty clear: ignore elements that don't support your position as if they don't exist.

The truth is that LBO's work exactly as I described them, and they are performed for the reasons I described: it's just another way for wolves to prey upon sheep. If you believe that LBO's don't operate the way I described, provide some evidence of it - not rambling about your opinion of valuation of companies or how the equity market works.

Only one of us has even attempted to link to or present any 'verifiable facts' about Bain's operation methods and techniques, and it isn't you, George.

Cycloptichorn
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 05:43 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
What Bain generally does are not leveraged buyouts. They certainly use whatever leverage is available from the fixed assets of a company to increase its capitalization AFTER they have purchased a controlling share of its (usually depressed) stock. As the new controlling owner they have the right and the fiducary obligation to do this to enhance the company's survival and growth. However, as outsiders, they don't have the ability or standing to use the company's assets for anything. In some cases they may buy minority interests in the company and then use alliances with other existing stockholders to create a board majority which in turn can authorize a leveraged buyout. However, in either case, the first step is a real and significant investment in the company by Bain and its team of investors.

The first law of holes is "when you're in one, stop digging". You are in one and your ignorance in this area is showing - more with each succeeding post.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 05:53 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
What Bain generally does are not leveraged buyouts.


For your edification:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bain_Capital

Quote:
Beginning in 1989, the firm, which began as a venture capital source investing in start-up companies, adjusted its strategy to focus on leveraged buyouts and growth capital investments in more mature companies.[35] Their model was to buy existing firms with money mostly borrowed against their assets, partner with existing management to apply Bain methodology to their operations (rather than the hostile takeovers practiced in other leverage buyout scenarios), and sell them off in a few years.


Extensive supporting documentation and links at the source. And they are still engaging in the exact same business practices today.

Quote:
The first law of holes is "when you're in one, stop digging".


Indeed. On one hand we have the quite commonly accepted fact that Bain does indeed pursue a strategy of leveraged buyout, with several sources describing exactly how they went about it. On the other hand, we have your assertions. I leave it up to the reader of the thread to draw their own conclusions about which is more accurate.

Cycloptichorn
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 05:59 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:

This despite the fact that the polling evidence seems to point the other direction? And that the people of the state just repealed the very 'emergency manager' law that you are referring to?

Well, believe what you like, we'll see how it ends up.

Cycloptichorn


Polling on what? What is the other direction?

The Detroit City Council will not agree to implement the mayor's(reasonable, I think) proposals - apparently because the city employee unions who control the Council are opposed to the settlement terms. No one has stepped forward with the needed billion or so to save the situation, and the sentiment among state voters measured in previous polls was very much against the state picking up the tab for the city's long term corruption and mismanagement. The article suggested that Gov. Snyder is likely to go forward with the appointment of an administrator to take control, but is also investigating the bankrupcy option. What other courses or direction is available? None that I can see.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 06:01 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:

This despite the fact that the polling evidence seems to point the other direction? And that the people of the state just repealed the very 'emergency manager' law that you are referring to?

Well, believe what you like, we'll see how it ends up.

Cycloptichorn


Polling on what? What is the other direction?


Perhaps you missed or misunderstood the graphic I posted in the response:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/dk-production/images/12567/large/Screen_Shot_2012-12-14_at_12.39.32_PM.png?1355517759

PPP is teasing the results of their poll which shows that a vote today on a referendum to defeat the recent RTW law would be a successful one; and their same poll shows that the popularity of the governor has plummeted since their last poll.

As I said, PPP was the most accurate pollster this election cycle - by a long shot.

Cycloptichorn
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 06:13 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
You are introducing an entirely new subject here, probably as yet another distraction . We have been talking about the rescuing of failing companies, not LBOs undertaken by existing stockholders to get control of a company.

Even so the first step in a leveraged buyout is the purchase of enough stock (I.E. INVESTMENT OF CASH) to get standing on the board. As for the rest, takeovers of companies by minority or majority stockholders is a common enough thing done for many purposes, though chiefly to raise the profitability of the company involved. Most involve some degree of LBO. That certainly does include the restructuring of the firm's capital to reduce net costs, including the costs of interest and taxes. It is merely the governments misfortune to have set corporate tax levels far higher than interest levels, and thereby create rewarding financial incentives for added debt. That's why companies do it. Do you blame them? (do you take credit for the personal exemption in your tax returns or claim anyof the many California tax credits in it?) Some LBOs are good: some not. Bain had nothing whatever to do with the failure of Hostess, and I'm not aware of any evidence suggesting that LBOs, with which they were associated, have led to subsequent corporate failures above the normaly occurring rate. There are many players in this game of which Bain is merely one of the crowd. To characterize that aspect of the businees as all that they do is yet another lie.

You have merely put forward an indictment of the entire LBO process based on your prefabricated assumptions about its purpose, without ANY facual information to demonstrate adverse results. Mere propaganda repeated from your favored blogs.

You can prattle on all you want about features of the investment world you don't like. They all seem to involve the rights attendant to ownership of property, something it increasingly appears you oppose. That's OK with me but don't be surprised that many (including our constitution) don't agree with you.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 06:16 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Well, you must be right. Very likely we'll see the Governor resign in fright tomorrow. I believe I recall you writing something very similar about a year ago concerning Governor Walker of Wisconsin.

We shall see.

Still, I think the path ahead for Detroit is pretty clear, and that won't do the UAW any good either.

Enough of this: I'm off to the gym.

0 Replies
 
 

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