A Wall Street financier who was the Obama administration’s Car Czar is apparently fighting a Security and Exchange Commission move to ban him from working in the financial industry for his part in a “pay to play” scheme.
According to numerous press reports, Steven Rattner, who masterminded the Treasury Department bankruptcy filings of General Motors and Chrysler last year, is under investigation by Andrew Cuomo, New York’s ambitious and Democratic attorney general.
Cuomo looked at his role as part of the Quadrangle Group in a kickback scheme that netted the firm millions of dollars of business from a New York State pension fund.
The problem in trying to sort out this controversy is that the source, or sources, are un-named in the stories claiming that a brouhaha is underway between the Obama Administration, a politically ambitious prosecutor and yet another federal regulatory agency that failed to do its regulatory job.
According to the gossip, the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission wants to ban Rattner from the business for several years because of Quadrangle’s conduct. Rattner resigned his Treasury position shortly after the auto bankruptcies and 363 sales were accomplished, but has since been harshly critical in a series of public appearances or written pieces of Detroit executives – including Rick Wagoner and Fritz Henderson of GM, who were fired by Treasury as part of the reorganizations that cost taxpayers billions.
Rattner’s former firm, Quadrangle, paid $12 million in fines last spring to settle the charges with state and federal officials. However, Rattner was not part of the plea-bargain deal with Quadrangle, where he was a founding partner- and where he made millions upon millions – because he, allegedly, resisted the proposed settlement requiring his exile.