Mitt Romney and “Harvesting” Companies

The latest thing going around is a video of Mitt Romney from 1985 saying (emphasis mine):

Bain Capital is an investment partnership which was formed to invest in startup companies and ongoing companies, then to take an active hand in managing them and hopefully, five to eight years later, to harvest them at a significant profit.

This video doesn’t actually have anything of importance in it. I know that people are saying (and will continue saying) that when Romney says he’s going to “harvest” companies for a significant profit that the implication is that he’s going to rip them up and sell them off. No doubt he did do that to some companies, but using “harvest” analogies is very common for investment lingo and we use it all the time simply to describe a Return on an Investment and not the destruction of an investment. So… move along. Nothing to see here.