Analysis

Romney Got Mixed Results at Bain

A Wall Street Journal investigation into Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital has something for everyone. For his opponents, the report finds that 22 percent of the 77 businesses the Journal looked at went bankrupt by the end of the eighth year after Bain first invested, and an additional 8 percent ran into so much economic trouble that they lost all the money Bain put in. However, the report also gives evidence for Romney's business skill, finding that he reaped tremendous returns for his investors. But yet another point for his critics, a majority of those gains came from deals with a mere 10 businesses—four of which later landed in bankruptcy court. The fact that Bain's biggest winners later went under “is potentially damning evidence" that the firm left its companies in bad shape, says Per Stromberg, an academic who studies buyouts.