Mitt Romney: Serial Job Killer

By my count, this is the third such story of a steel mill run into the ground after being acquired by Mitt Romney's Bain Capital. It probably won't be the last either

From McClatchy:

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Boston-based Bain Capital LLC more than doubled its money on GS Industries Inc. — the former parent company of Georgetown Steel — under Mitt Romney's leadership in the 1990s, even as the steel manufacturer went on to cut more than 1,750 jobs, shuttered a division that had been around for 100 years and eventually sank into bankruptcy.

Bain Capital spent $24.5 million to acquire GS Industries in 1993, according to an investment prospectus for the company that was obtained by the Los Angeles Times and reviewed by McClatchy Newspapers. By the end of that decade, Bain Capital estimated its partners had made $58.4 million off its investment in GS Industries, according to the prospectus.

Bain Capital's partners also earned multimillion-dollar dividends from GS Industries and annual management fees of about $900,000. But by the time GS Industries filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001, it owed $553.9 million in debts against assets valued at $395.2 million. [...]

Mitt Romney left the helm of Bain Capital in 1999, 6 years after acquiring Georgetown Steel. Georgetown Steel filed for bankruptcy 2 years later.

Bain Capital emerged smelling sweeter than ever, however. Mitt Romney and his henchmen made $58.4 million while GS Industries Inc. ended up $553.9 million in debt. And according to the report from McClatchy, GS Industries Inc. employed 3,800 people when Bain Capital took over and at least half were laid off by the time the company filed for bankruptcy.

Mitt Romney blames China for the serial bankruptcy of steel mills Bain Capital assumed control over, however it seems increasingly clear the steel industry's demise was hastened by vulture capitalists like Romney putting profit ahead of human beings.

"We were doing well and then Bain Capital bought us and they took everything they could out of the company without making the investments we needed to stay competitive," said James Sanderson, who has been with the mill since 1974 and served as its union president since 1988. "They ran the company into bankruptcy." [...]

Sanderson said Bain Capital replaced longtime managers who had built Georgetown Steel with bean counters looking for ways to cut costs. They demanded increasing financial performance with little idea of how the daily operations were run, he said.

There is yet another nugget contained in this report from McClatchy which South Carolina voters who are going to the polls next week may not be aware of.

In addition to GS Industries, Bain Capital paid $10 million to buy another South Carolina company - Holson Burnes Group, a photo-album maker based in Gaffney. The prospectus shows Bain Capital's partners made more than twice their investment - earning $22.6 million, according to the prospectus - between 1986 and 1992, when Holson Burnes Group went out of business and 150 people lost their jobs.

How many jobs did Mitt Romney create? 100,000? 10,000? 1,000? He's not sure.

Maybe we should start looking for a tally of jobs killed rather than jobs created.

We all know the economy goes through ups and downs, and sometimes people are laid off for reasons beyond our control, however in every single one of these cases, Bain Capital was doubling or tripling their money while each company was laying off workers and going out of business. And what each of these businesses has in common is that they were all vulnerable. They were large enough companies to turn a profit for Bain, but did not have the leverage needed to survive Bain's wrath.