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Mitt Romney’s Federal Bailout: The Documents

Highlights from the records of the FDIC’s rescue of Bain & Company

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To uncover the true story behind the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's $10 million bailout of Mitt Romney and Bain & Company, Rolling Stone made a Freedom of Information Act request that forced the FDIC to release more than 500 of pages of records. (The government, which was owed more than $30 million in all, had become a creditor to Bain when it took over the failed Bank of New England in early 1991.)

Prior to releasing the documents, the FDIC allowed Bain & Company to scour and redact the records. Dozens of pages were blacked out entirely, on Bain's claim that these nearly two-decade-old records contain secret "commercial or financial information." Most pages looked something like the image at left.

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The FDIC ultimately agreed to give Bain & Company a $10 million bailout (in the form of "debt forgiveness"). The reason: analysts working for the agency — through a company called RECOLL — believed that Romney's firm would otherwise "fail," and the government would see very little money from the firm's dissolution after Romney doled out the final round of bonus pay.

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To secure his bailout, Romney wrote a personal appeal on Bain & Company letterhead dated March 23, 1993, assuring balky creditors that his latest scheme would lead  the firm back to "long term financial stability."

The government records show that Bain & Company's final agreement with the FDIC was signed just a week later, on March 31, 1993.

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