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Archive for April 5th, 2012

By , Updated: Thursday, April 5, 11:10 AM

The Washington Post

Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, whose wealth has become a central issue in the 2012 campaign, has taken 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, or whether those holdings could affect his policies or present any conflicts of interest.

In 48 accounts from Bain Capital, the private equity firm he founded in Boston, Romney declined on his financial disclosure forms to identify the underlying assets, including his holdings in a company that moved U.S. jobs to China and a California firm once owned by Bain that filed for bankruptcy years ago and laid off more than 1,000 workers.

Those are known only because Bain publicly disclosed them in government filings and on the Internet. But most of the underlying assets — the specific investments  of Bain funds— are not known because Romney is covered by a confidentiality agreement with the company.

Several of Romney’s assets — including a large family trust valued at roughly $100 million, nine overseas holdings and 12 partnership interests—  were not named initially on his disclosure forms,  emerging months later when he agreed to release his tax returns.

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