Could-be U.S. President Willard Mitt Romney has played many roles in his life: Governor. Husband. Hairdresser. People-firer. Hoagie-lover.Previously:
But did you know that he has also been a hedge-fund manager?
We didn't either, until Fortune's Dan Primack did some splainin' this morning in his "Term Sheet" email newsletter. It seems Romney, in yet another one of his many roles, this time as Imperial High Potentate of the private equity firm Bain Capital, was hanging around the shop one day in 1996 when he and the Bain boys decided to engage in some of their typical hijinks. Just for a crazy mix-em-up, one of them said, why don't we go to the "stock market" and buy us some "stocks," as the rabble call them.
And so that's what those pranksters did. They bought some stocks and became a gosh darn hedge fund. They raised some money, named it Brookside Capital, slapped it on the rump and started buyin' stuff. They figured they could make a ton of money using their private-equity know-how in the public markets, because of synergies or Six Sigma or something.
All anybody knows is that it worked -- maybe because Mitt Romney knows business, that's why. The thing is still around and hasn't caused any black holes in anybody's money that we know of, though it did lose 17 percent before fees during the crisis, according to Bloomberg, which almost makes it sound like not much "hedging" was going on at old Brookside....MORE
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