Bain Capital Experience

Ken AshfordEconomy & Jobs & Deficit, Election 2012, Obama & Administration, Obama OppositionLeave a Comment

It took him a while, but Obama is on message.  His point?  It's that the role of a President bears no resemblance to the role of a business leader, particularly a private equity or leveraged buyout specialist. One should have a concern on how to create jobs and the other has what amounts to a fiduciary duty to create profit. And those simply aren’t always compatible.

I don't know where it comes from, but over the last 20 years, we keep hearing the axiom that government "should be run like a business".  You would think that would have died, given that the only president with an MBA is George Bush Jr., and look how well that ended up.

But Obama needs keep hammering this point — working for Bain doesn't translate into presidential skills.  Reagan budget director David Stockman made this point better and more succinctly when he went off the reservation on Fox Business Channel:


Stockman: I don’t think Mitt Romney can legitimately say that he learned anything about how to create jobs in the LBO (leveraged buyout) business. The LBO business is about how to strip cash out of old, long-in-the-tooth companies and how to make short-term profits for…


Q: But he had so many new jobs created for all the jobs that were lost, it was a net gain, no?

Stockman: I don’t think so. All the jobs that he talks about came from Staples. That was a very early venture stage deal, that they got out of long before it got to its current size.

Fortunately, the polls now show, correctly, that most people believe Mitt Romney was concerned about profits at Bain Capital, not jobs.