The Securities and Exchange Commission has postponed – temporarily – a vote to approve a preliminary settlement with Steven Rattner, the Obama administration’s former “auto czar” who was instrumental in re-shaping Detroit through a massive bailout of bankrupt makers General Motors and Chrysler.
Since leaving Washington in the summer of 2009, Rattner has been swept up in a “pay-to-play” scandal involving New York State’s public pension fund. The SEC has been working on a settlement, but the financier remains under investigation by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
Under the proposed deal with the federal government, Rattner would pay $6 million and accept a two-year ban from the financial industry, according to The New York Times, where Rattner once worked as a reporter before launching a second career as a financier.
Such a settlement with the SEC would effectively end the 58-year-old Rattner’s career as a financier and make it doubtful he would ever hold a top political office.
It is unclear why the SEC settlement hearing was postponed, and the agency has not set a subsequent date. It is also uncertain whether a settlement deal might be in jeopardy due to the Cuomo investigation, which would not necessarily be impacted by a settlement between Rattner and the federal government.