The danger of corporate secrecy.

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The current debate about Mitt Romney, the Republican hopeful in the US presidential race, and his former company Bain Capital, currently dominates the US news and the fight for the White House may be decided by the lack of transparency in Bain Capital.
 
There is no doubt that Mitt Romney headed Bain Capital until 1999 with spectacular success, also using tax avoidance strategies and offshore accounts; however, now this mysterious success is disseminated. In his blog on “Reuters” Felix Salmon asks how Romney could amass close to US$ 102 mn in his retirement account. Anthony Luzzano Gardner from “Bloomberg” details the business deals of Bain Capital labeling them as “casino capitalism”. Just 10 out of 67 deals produced about 70% of the firm’s profits and four of these companies later went bankrupt. Currently there is a hot debate going on about when Romney actually left Bain, was it in 1999 or 2002? The “mysteries” and “black holes” of Bain Capital have elicited intense curiosity. The term “Bain Capital” entered the top 10 list of search words in the USA last week. Gallup speculates that his wealth may lose Romney one in five voters.
 
Historically, the Americans do not mind if their president is wealthy. If they do in this case it is most probably because of the mysteries surrounding the source of this wealth, and that there are mysteries at all. Bain Capital shares the fate of other companies famed for their confidentiality about internal processes and operational procedures. If problems arise, press and public eagerly exploit the opportunity to have a look into a formerly “forbidden city”. Of course companies must guard internal communication and operational processes, but “secretiveness” is not a compliment anymore.