Mitt Romney, The Washington Post says, has, “Taken advantage of an obscure exception in federal ethics laws to avoid disclosing the nature and extent of his holdings.” The Post may be referring to Romney’s ties to the reserved and reticent Bain Capital investment firm. The firm, which invests money for the super wealthy, was founded in 1984 by Romney and three others. Bain invests private equity funds from pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, high net-worth individuals, and other sources. Bain investments include AMC Entertainment, Burger King, Clear Channel Communications, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), and several other well known businesses. Clear Channel, we note, owns 850 radio stations hosting Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck, among others. Clear Channel is said to own conservative talk radio in the United States.
As a major player at Bain, Romney is in a rare category which exempts him from the rules of transparency applying to most candidates. Bain investment accounts have a legally binding confidentiality agreement which provides considerable nondisclosure of income sources.
In an article in The Washington Post, a Twitter posting attributed to the Obama administration accuses Romney of, “...Taking advantage of an obscure exception in federal ethics laws to avoid disclosing the nature and extent of his holdings… By offering a limited description of his assets, Romney has made it difficult to know precisely where his money is invested, whether it is offshore or in controversial companies.” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina has released a statement saying Romney, “Exploited a loophole in order to shield his assets and investments from public review… Mitt Romney has put his personal financial assets in a black box and hid the key, attempting to play by a different set of rules than any candidate in recent history.”
A great part of Mitt Romney’s financial picture was slow coming forth in the current campaign for the presidency. That picture was made available via government filings, and on the internet. Many of Romney’s assets remain undisclosed owing to the contractual confidentially agreement. Romney’s assets include a family trust valued at $100M, nine overseas holdings, and 12 partnership interests.