The Times is reporting that Steven Rattner, the former car czar and private equity potentate, is settling the S.E.C.’s kickback charges connected to the gargantuan New York State pension fund scandal. He will have to pay over $5 million, but, no matter how big that sum ends up, the money won’t be nearly as damaging as the multi-year ban from the securities industry that the paper says he’s accepted. Mr. Rattner, who is not only a confidant of Mayor Bloomberg’s, but has helped guide his billion-dollar charitable foundation, will never quite be the same.
By all accounts, he had fiercely resisted similar settlement offers, because he didn’t want the stigma of a ban. It’s important to understand that he isn’t just an important person, he is a very specific kind of a very important New York person. He works for important clients at important banks, writes important books, throws important parties in important homes, keeps important friends, is called on to do important things in the capital, and has a wife that does important Democratic Party fundraising. That will all change depending on how long his ban is, and how Mr. Rattner settles the remaining charges with New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
Allegedly, Mr. Rattner paid the political operative Hank Morris more than $1 million in exchange for a $100 million investment from the state’s pension fund, and had a subsidiary of his firm pay $88,841 to buy up the DVD rights to a lowbrow comedy called Chooch, produced by state official David Loglisci and his brothers. Earlier this year, Mr. Loglisci pled guilty to a corruption charge.