With the Republican primaries in full swing, speculating on our future president is no longer left to political junkies and talking heads. Our own Tom Rogers (Class of ‘72) recently joined the fray with a critical article in Politico questioning Mitt Romney’s background in venture capitalism.
But unlike some recent attacks, from both the left and the right, Tom isn’t concerned with the number of jobs that were created or lost, he points out that it is sometimes necessary to scale back a business so that it can survive at all. Instead, Tom is concerned with the amount of debt that Romney used in the process, and considering how much trouble debt is causing worldwide, it’s not hard to see why he’s concerned.
Tom sees a parallel between Romney’s willingness to leverage a company as much as the banks would allow (to protect his investors from risk) and the government’s willingness to run a deficit year after year to avoid raising taxes or making difficult budget cuts. In both cases, behavior that is dangerous in the long term continues because the immediate circumstances allow it.
Whatever your take on the presidential nominee, it’s impossible to call Tom Rogers anti-business (or unsuccessful, for that matter) as the current CEO of TiVo and former Executive Vice President of NBC, Tom was involved in the creation of the National Geographic Channel and the Independent Film Channel among other projects. Nor is he a political dilettante, having overseen the FCC in the 1980s before he went to NBC.
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