When The Observer profiled the billionaire financier and ex–car czar Steven Rattner earlier this year, he was waddling in the unpleasant no man’s land of semi-disgrace: Stuck in the billion-dollar New York State pension fund scandal, he seemed faraway from both vindication and indictment.
Things have gotten worse.
In the spring, his old private-equity firm, Quadrangle, agreed to pay $12 million to settle the pay-to-play pension fund charges. But not only did the settlements explicitly leave him out, but Quadrangle released a statement declaring, “We wholly disavow the conduct engaged in by Steve Rattner.” In response, his attorney put out a statement saying that the financier looked “forward to the full resolution of this matter.”
This morning’s Times explains why that resolution has not happened. As part of any settlement, the S.E.C. wants Mr. Rattner barred “from working in the securities industry for up to three years,” the paper said, quoting three people told of the talks. That would be a brutal blow to Mr. Rattner, who is not only a former White House czar, but an essential power player in city Democrat circles, a confidant to Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, and one of the most important people in the strange world of Mayor Bloomberg’s money.
A message left with Mr. Rattner’s spokesperson was not returned.