Mitt Romney has an amazing ability to make a profit on anything. He can make millions when a company goes bankrupt, reap huge returns off the 9/11 tragedies and profit from getting high schoolers hooked on tobacco. But his greatest trick off all was raking in millions from the auto rescue he opposed.
In a stunning exposé published Thursday in the The Nation — with support from The Investigative Fund — reporter Greg Palast reveals how key donors to Romney’s campaign made more than a billion dollars off the restructuring of General Motors by holding a key player in the supply chain hostage to their demands during the heart of America’s worst jobs crisis in 50 years.
Delphi Automotive is an auto parts maker that used to be part of General Motors and remains essential for auto production. Without Delphi, there would be no American automotive industry. And unfortunately for America, it ended up being controlled by Elliott Management.
Elliott Management is run by Paul Singer, a massive Republican donor and “defender of the 1 percent.” Ann Romney’s so-called blind trust invested at least a million dollars in Elliott before the fund began buying Delphi at vulture prices—about 20 cents on the dollar—during the worst of the Great Recession. When the hedge fund managers were told that they should save as many American jobs as they should, they refused and forced a judge to hold an auction for the company’s stock. Elliott eventually took over the entire company for 67 cents a share.
Two years later Delphi shares were selling at $22 each, an astounding profit even for Mitt Romney.
How did Delphi undergo such a remarkable turnaround? They took federal bailout funds, slashed worker pensions, fired union workers and sent American jobs overseas.
Greg Palast explains, “The bottom line: the hedge funds’ paydays were made possible by a generous donation of $12.9 billion from US taxpayers.”
We have no idea how much the Romneys made from the auto bailout, but knowing that he was the only national figure who opposed the rescue, saying that it would destroy the industry, it’s safe to say that even one cent would be too much.
Copyright 2012 The National Memo