The New York Times weighs in on the Bain controversy currently afflicting the Romney campaign:
Some of the filings reflect the complex nature of private equity funds: each Bain fund was run by a separate general partnership — one that included all of Bain’s executives — that in turn was legally controlled by Mr. Romney through his management entity.
“It’s a disconnect between the ownership interest and managerial functions,” said Harvey L. Pitt, who served as S.E.C. chairman under President George W. Bush. “When Bain takes positions in public companies, they’re required to show anyone who has an ownership interest that could be the effective equivalent of control. So Romney has to be shown on those filings. If they didn’t show them on those filings, they would have broken the law. But it has nothing to do with who’s actually running Bain Capital.”
Indeed, no evidence has yet emerged that Mr. Romney exercised his powers at Bain after February 1999 or directed the funds’ investments after he left, although his campaign has declined to say if he attended any meetings or had any other contact with Bain during the period. And financial disclosures filed with the Massachusetts ethics commission show that he drew at least $100,000 in 2001 from Bain Capital Inc. — effectively his own till — as a “former executive” and from other Bain entities as a passive general partner.