Saturday, August 22, 2009

Steven Rattner Gets His Very Own Expose By New York Magazine

NY Mag's in-depth view into Steven Rattner's professional life is excellent, albeit perhaps not the way S-Ratt, as our hat tipped friend CM refers to him, would have penned about himself. After a career as journalist, BSD i-banker, private equity fund manager, and Car Czar with a disdain for contract law, S-Ratt seems caught in a pay to play scandal surrounding his days as head of Quadrangle (his PE Fund). These paragraphs from the NY Magazine article lay the groundwork for the rest of the story. Enjoy:
Six months after taking the job, Rattner (who declined to comment for this story) had helped to perform a seeming magic trick, rewriting the understanding between the car companies and the unions while bending the companies’ financiers—his friends and peers—to his will. With what seemed a cool, almost arrogant confidence—his casual dismissal of GM CEO Rick Wagoner reflected this quality—he had played a large role in restructuring the American car industry, accomplishing what few had thought possible a few months earlier, and in record time.

Then, on July 13, Rattner announced that he was stepping down. His resignation took most of Washington and New York by surprise. Though the work of the task force was winding down, Rattner had let friends know that he’d planned to stay in Washington, a financial samurai ready to attack the next problem the president set before him. The announcement was accompanied by praise for his performance, but the applause was almost drowned out by a scandal Rattner had left behind in New York. He hasn’t been accused of anything, yet Rattner had become ensnared in a “web of corruption,” as it was sometimes called, in order to get state pension money for his private-equity firm to manage.

In Rattner’s conception, money was necessary but not sufficient. He wanted to be useful, to give back—noblesse oblige, after all. But Rattner’s previous life pulled him back, and faced with the reality of politics, where appearances matter, Geithner and Summers didn’t push for him to stay. “If this thing gets worse, and it sounds like it might, if they jam him,” explains a Treasury source, reflecting the view at the top, “and [New York attorney general Andrew] Cuomo makes things hotter, it’s untenable. Everyone decided it was better for him to go.”
TILB already doesn't miss you Steve. Thanks for helping to destroy America.