Watch out, there’s a new Vampire Squid in town, and it’s name is Bain Capital.
The private equity firm has taken a beating as Mitt Romney, one of the company's co-founders, has hit the campaign trail, and executives at a Wall Street firm with one of the worst reputations are taking notice.
“I’m glad Romney is from Bain Capital and not Goldman Sachs,” Richard Friedman, Goldman’s head of merchant banking recently joked at the Dow Jones Private Equity Analyst Conference, according to the Wall Street Journal.
That’s likely because Bain’s tactics -- both during and after Romney’s tenure at the firm -- have been the target of criticism since the Republican started running for president. Such critics allege Bain has put its own profits ahead of the good of the companies it tried to turnaround in the past. But while Goldman may be catching a brief respite from being the primary target of financial criticism because of Bain, it’s still taken quite a few hits in recent months.
Most notably, one of Goldman’s employees resigned publicly from the firm via a March op-ed in The New York Times, calling it a “toxic and destructive” environment on the way out.
Since then, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has started to fight back. Blankfein criticized a Washington's “gotchya” culture at the Clinton Global Initiative on Monday, saying financial reform would limit necessary Wall Street risk-taking, according to the WSJ. Blankfein isn’t alone in that opinion. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has argued in the past that Dood-Frank financial reform regulations are driving businesses away from America.