February 14, 2011 source: this article was a guest post at
I was heartened this month to see that the private equity Growth Capital Council launched a multi-million-dollar education and public affairs campaign on the Internet highlighting the basics of private equity. Hopefully, this will address a general lack of understanding about private equity, which, among other things, is too often confused with venture capital.
This misperception was in the spotlight last month, when Republican and Democratic attacks focused on Mitt Romney's time as the head of private equity firm Bain Capital. The message was that Romney was a “vulture capitalist,” defined as an investor consumed with maximizing profit, often by terminating hundreds, sometimes thousands of jobs. Romney is not and was not a vulture capitalist, a mean-spirited, derogatory term sometimes used to describe venture capitalists (VCs). Romney was a private equity investor, one who specialized mostly in leveraged buyouts…
Read the full post and comments at Xconomy
David Eastman, CEO, Gamma Therapeutics says
Your assessment of Mitt Romney as an thoughtful equity investor versus an evil vulture capitalist is not lost on those of us who support, work hard and reap the financial rewards of a capitalist-based economy. However, you know as well as the rest of us, that vulture capitalist will be the tag given to Romney whenever the political discourse turns to job creation–or in Mitt’s case, job destruction–how best to grow the economy and the small role government should play in empowering the economy, not managing or controlling it.
The Romney campaign has done a poor job of forming the discussion around who job creators truly are, allowing progressives to portray any one–from small business owners, to CEOs, to entrepreneurs like myself trying to launch a venture–as evil and greedy. Hopefully, as the campaign drags on these talking points will emerge to the benefit of Romney in winning the presidency. They he can make bold statements such as mine, “Rather than give $800 B to bail out banks, although we cannot let them fail, it would have been money better spent to give 800,000 small start-up entreprenurial ventures, $1 M start-up grants which no doubt would have easily stimulated
4 million new jobs.
Keep on writing. David Eastman, CEO, Portland, Oregon