Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Car Czar Quits, Union Man Replaces Him

Car Czar Quits, Union Man Replaces Him

Announced today is the news that Steve Rattner, former investment banker who has led president Obama’s auto task force during the takeover of GM and the bankruptcy of Chrysler, has decided to quit his job. The Obama administration, not missing a beat, has slipped a union guy, Ron Bloom, in as his replacement.

Consistent with Obama's use of so-called "Czars" to obfuscate the links between the industries involved and the administration's machinations, we know very little about Bloom, but we are just now learning about the federal investigation into Rattner. Something was alleged about kickbacks sought by officials linked to government pension plans from Rattner's "former" venture capital firm:
Mr Rattner's brief tenure was not without controversy. The White House was accused of sidestepping the Senate's scrutiny of administration nominees by naming him a mere member of a taskforce - rather than the touted "car czar" - even though he assumed charge of one of the biggest state interventions in US industry.

After his move to Washington, his former private equity firm Quadrangle was caught up in an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into alleged kickbacks sought by people linked to the New York state comptroller's office.

Nothing to see here, just move along...