Thursday, October 14, 2010

Steve Rattner Walks

Steve Rattner Walks: The Rich and Connected Never Face Justice

Steve Rattner Walks
The Rich and Connected Never Face Justice

The NYT had it right just the story and players were wrong. For the Rich, It’s Always Special Arrangements That NYT story was about designing flower bouquets for those who can afford anything.It should have been about the SEC deal with Steve Rattner. We understand that the publisher of the NYT Arthur Sulzberger Jr.,would never allow his friends to be written about in that way. He would not even allow his writer to talk about the connections of Steve Rattner and the NYT. How Ratter worked as financial advisor to the NYT and was very involved in the finance of the new building which those insiders know almost put the paper and company out of business. Rattner is also a financial advisor to Mort Zuckerman owner of the Daily News. Financier Is Said to Accept a Ban in Pension Case (NYT)

What the NYT story did not say was that Mr. Rattner along with Hank Morris were at the center of a nation wide pay-to-play probe, which has focused on allegations that state officials and others traded access to the billion dollar pension funds in exchange for kickbacks, political favors and personal benefits. NY PensionGate Explodes in New Mexico (True News)

Perhaps the NYT should have sent a reporter to asked those questions of Sulzberger last night when he hosted a book party for Rattner at the Four Seasons restaurant. That same reporter could have asked Bloomberg who co-hosted the book party what does he feel about his financier Rattner being bared from the financial industry. The mayor who suggested at Four Seasons that Rattner book should be made into a movie could have been asked by the same reporter when and if he will fire Ratter. We might have gotten a cryptic answer to Rattner staying on with Bloomberg in the NYT when they wrote this line in today story about Rattner, "Mr. Rattner may still be able to perform some roles in finance, even with that ban." Mike Bloomberg thinks that Matthew Broderick should play Rattner in the movie

NPR's Melissa Block talks to Times reporter Peter Lattman. (NPR)

Appears Rattner Trip Up By His Own Court Testimony

What the NYT says:
"Rattner was pulled into the movie financing business" They did not provide the name of the movie Chooch but described it in a private school high brow way, " A movie about Italian-Americans and their mishaps on a trip to Mexico." The movie poster which features a donkey describes the movie the following way, "There is more than one way to spell Jack Ass."Financier Is Said to Accept a Ban in Pension Case

The NYT says today: Mr. Rattner arranged for one of Quadrangle’s company’s to distribute the film, and notified Mr. Morris by e-mail that he had done so.The LA Times wrote on April 18, 2009 Pay-to-play inquiry snags Obama advisor A scandal links the New York state pension fund, a low-budget film called 'Chooch' and the financier's former private equity firm, Quadrangle Group. Rattners's Quadrangel Group acquired the DVD rights of Chooch for $88,841. A movie made by the brother of David Loglisci the chief budget director for Hevesi.

One of Loglisci's brothers put Rattner in touch with potential investors on the West Coast. These included Elliott Broidy, who sat on the board of the Los Angeles Fire & Police Pension Fund. LAFPPF committed $10 million to Quadrangle, and Broidy has since pled guilty to felony charges of rewarding official misconduct. Broidy payoff to Hevesi for trip overseas is what made the former comptroller plea guilty to Cuomo.

The 2004 movie grossed $31,015, according to

How Even the Connected Rattner Got Snagged
Mr. Rattner, was awarded some immunity from Mr. Cuomo’s office for his role in the pension kickbacks because information supplied indicated that he had not been involved with the movie Chooch.The NYT says "Mr. Rattner arranged for one of Quadrangle’s company’s to distribute the film, and notified Mr. Morris by e-mail that he had done so." Mr. Rattner could face a perjury charge because of that discrepancy, according to the people with knowledge of negotiations. His settlements with the S.E.C. and Mr. Cuomo’s office could reduce the chances of prosecution.

Democratic donor and former Obama “car czar” Steven Rattner is reportedly near a deal with the SEC that would temporarily ban him from the securities industry, but remains under investigation by AG Andrew Cuomo’s office. * Rattner wreck Ex-car czar near deal that ousts him from Wall St.(NYP) The settlement with the SEC calls for Rattner to pay a $6 million fine and agree to a multiyear ban from the securities industry. Such settlements usually block any future moves to refer a case to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution. (NYP) * Rattner Near Deal to Settle SEC Case (WSJ) * Steven Rattner Settles with S.E.C., Banned from Industry for Years, Fined Millions * President Obama's ex-car czar Steve Rattner to pay feds $5M in New York pension flapQuadrangle settled its role in the case in April, agreeing to pay the state a $7 million fine and the SEC another $5 million. The firm, which once handled Mayor Bloomberg's money, put the blame squarely on Rattner.(DN) * Rattner, Auto Czar and Hedge Funder, to Settle Pay-to-Play Claim (Bloomberg News) * Rattner settles Politico * NYT: Quadrangle Cofounder Steve Rattner Agrees To SEC Plea In Kickback Case

Why Does Rattner Hire Morris?
Quadrangle said Rattner hired Morris, who collected $1 million in kickbacks, but did little work.
Comptroller Thompson top aide Josh Wolf-Powers’ advisement that Steven Rattner’s private investment firm Quadrangle Group hired the now-indicted Hank Morris as its placement agent. Rattner badly wanted to gain access to investment from the State’s pension fund and according to the Times, “Wolf-Powers told Mr. Rattner that he could not think of any investment firm that had persuaded the city’s pension fund to invest without using a placement agent.”The Wolf at Thompson's Door

How Much Will Politically Connected Pension Fund Money Managers Cost the Tax Payer?

Members of Wall Street's elite toasted Mr. Rattner at a party at the Four Seasons restaurant. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin who helped Clinton appeal Glass Steagall which many believe lead to the criminal activity on Wall Street with the derivatives market. We know that Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac are full of worthless subprime mortgages derivatives. What has not been discussed is how much of those worthless investments which Wall Street firms like Goldman Sacks called "Dead Presidents wound up in the pension funds, put there by Rattner and other politically connected money managers.

We already know that New York tax payers are having to pump billions into the pension funds because they were not fully funded and they lost billions in the 2008 Wall Street cash caused by Rubin and his friends. Cops will be cut, firehouses closed and class size increased because of what money managers like Morris and Rattner did to our pension funds. What has not been fully disclosed was how much of the investments sitting in New York pension funds are worthless and will also need to be bailed out by the tax payer. Perhaps we should learn more about the investments before the SEC finishes the fines Rattner much pay. The anticipated fine for Mr. Rattner is more than $5 million. His net worth is in the hundreds of millions of dollars, according to government disclosure forms.

Old Media Blind Side
Rattner Shows Cuomo, SEC Justice Is Corrupt, Not Blind (Forbes)
"Wall Street and Washington power broker Steven Rattner appears on the verge of walking away from a multi-million bribery scandal with a wrist-slap. Former Obama Administration car czar Rattner’s apparent crimes: defrauding the people and public servants of New York State by bribing their admittedly easy-to-bribe pension officials and then perjuring himself to downplay his involvement." * Muck tracker - Rattner settles with SEC Muckety * Mr. Rattner, the bell tolls for thee (Fortune)

True News on Rattner
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