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The dirty little secret of private equity profits


Executives in private equity firms – such as Mitt Romney of Bain Capital and Henry Kravis of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts – tend to be peacocks who think quite highly of themselves.

Fanning their splendid tail feathers, they unabashedly claim to be the ultimate free-enterprise risk takers – worth every dime of the multimillion-dollar paychecks they award themselves each year. Excuse me, but the risks taken by these self-anointed "heroes of the market" are done with other people's money, not their own. But here's a revelation that really ruffles their feathers: 

They appear to have been gathering their riches not with bold...