Monday, April 27, 2009

Whose Guarding the People's Pensions?

Nobody Asked Me, But ...

Whose Guarding the People's Pensions?

The Times covers Steven Rattner in an upbeat article today, saying the treasury officer saved his investment company, the one involved in pay to play investigations in several states, from an economic melt down Equity Firm in Spotlight Is Said to Win a Confidence Vote.

The news story puts Rattner in a positive spin and leaves out lots of interesting facts.

From the story:
“Neither Mr. Rattner nor Quadrangle has been charged with wrongdoing, but both remain under investigation. Quadrangle’s funds have suffered during the economic downturn but not as much as some other private equity funds.”

Good Stuff Left Out
What the Times story did not include is Rattner's connection to the pay to play investigation currently going on in New Mexico, which includes its governor who, for this reason, was rejected for a White House job. The Times story also did not look into Rattner's connection to a Los Angeles Pay to Play investigation - that involves both Rattner and his middleman Hank Morris, who was arrested by the AG Cuomo. N.M. Investment Adviser Caught Up in N.Y. Scandal: Case focuses on ..., Pension Fund Scandal Expands: Rattner's Ties To Bill Richardson , SEC Queries Los Angeles Fire, Police Pension Fund on Conflicts of ... *** Silobreaker: SEC Pension Probe Extended to L.A. Fund , Pay to Play? Firm Receives Government Contract after Donating to Bill Richardson.

The Times story did not talk about the money Rattner gave to Richardson and other pols. Embattled Obama exec Rattner gave $20K to Richardson campaigns ... The Times did not talk about all the high-roller Democratic Party fundraisers interconnected to these interlocking pension companies that did business with both Morris and Rattner. Pay-to-play pension probe: A left-coast edge (Spin Cycle ..., A Blog For All: NYS Pension Pay To Play Investigation Expands, Obama advisor Steven Rattner snagged in pay-to-play inquiry - Los ...

The Times said that Rattner manages the fortune of New York’s mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg. What the Times did not talk about was the friendship and business advisor relationship of Rattner and the publisher of the Times Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. and his role if any, on building the new Times HQ and ways to keep the paper alive and to carry its $1.3 Billion debt. D.N.C.'s Times Leaves Off Rattner's Friendship With NYT Publisher ..., Hello sweetheart, get me mergers and acquisitions: the rise of ... , Rattner Couldn't Save NY Times, How Will He Save Auto Industry?, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. relationship map -, The (Mostly) Charmed Life of Steve Rattner Newsweek Small ...

Are Rattner and His Investors too Big to Be Held Accountable? Non of the Bigs have been arrested yet

The Times article talks about an SEC complaint against Quadrangle but does not explain that the deal resembled the sort of crazy deal you would expect from Ari on the HBO series Entourage.

“A Securities and Exchange Commission complaint related to the matter says that a company owned by one of Quadrangle’s funds agreed to a movie distribution deal that benefited a state official, David Loglisci, who has also been indicted.”

David Loglisci's brother got money to produce a movie call Chooch. Nothing more has to be said about this film, paid for in part by pension funds, then the following movie review:

“The life of Queens resident Dino Condito is about to take a surprising turn. After letting down his softball team by striking out in the bottom of the ninth against Hoboken, his crew brands him the chooch. Trying to cheer up his cousin Dino, Jubilene Condito cashes in his savings from his first holy communion and springs for a vacation to Cancun. You mean leave Queens? asks Dino, as if the thought had never occurred to him. But there's a mix-up on the way to the airport involving a mysterious bag of money. As soon as Dino and Jube land in Mexico, they're abducted by a pair of thugs and left in the desert at the mercy of a trio of soldiers. It takes reuniting Dino's old Queens crew, including Dino's beloved pet dachsund, to save the two cousins. Only after a jail bust, donkey ride, chicken coop explosion, and a life-changing love affair at the local bordello does the crew finally arrive to save the day. Returning home in triumphant glory with his reunited crew and newfound love Ladonna, Dino discovers the meaning of family, friendship and neighborhood.”

Pay to Play CITY PENSION 'PIMP' JUNKETS AMID ME$$ The three-day junket, called "Super Return 2009," is a closed-door soiree at the swanky Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne that matches institutional investors, like pension funds, with private equity firms *** PROCEED WITH CAUTION The rapidly expanding scandal involving the New York state Common Retirement Fund is spurring calls for swift reform -- beginning with the way its investments are handled *** RATTNER RESCUE: PARTNERS VOTE TO KEEP DOUGH IN QUADRANGLE FUND *** Equity Firm in Spotlight Is Said to Win a Confidence Vote *** Investors Stick With Quadrangle *** Try Some Quid Pro Nil Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ethics agenda should include legislation to bar lawmakers from taking contributions from anyone who benefits from their budget earmarks, NYP Ed *** Former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno was in deep discussions about pending criminal charges when he announced he was leaving state government last June.

City's Economic Melt Down MIKE'S BUDGET LOSING THE WAR OF ATTRITION Bloomberg's hopes of avoiding city-worker layoffs are being jeopardized by the record-low number of employees quitting or retiring *** MTA DUMPS TRAIN TO BELMONT *** CHECK! (CAREFULLY!) EATERIES PUT H2O, BREAD ON YOUR BILL *** We're just gluttons for punishment From the Daily News insiders say, the Council may be tempted to do a half-point increase instead - bringing New York's sales tax up to almost 9% *** Fears About Child Safety in New York Budget Cuts *** In Flushing, a Subtle Decline city's other Chinatown is struggling with a subtle economic downturn *** Transit union slams MTA’s planned pay-raise cut *** Pending court case ties landlords in knots *** Construction unions agree to cut labor costs *** Mayor backs Con Ed *** Swine flu impact: Tourism industry could be big loser *** M.T.A. Forecasts $1 Billion Deficit 5:00 PM ET *** News gets worse for MTA, riders: $621 million deficit will remain even after fare hike, service cuts

The City HIGH HOPES MEATPACK TOWER UP FOR VOTE *** RESTAURANT TO GROW VEGGIES ON BOWERY ROOFTOPS *** HIDDEN TIES LINK RANDI'S REGIMENTS UNIONS FUND ANTI-MAYORAL-CONTROL GROUPS *** 'PICK'Y PARENTS REJOICE CHARTERS BOOST SCHOOL CHOICES FOR THEIR KIDS *** COLLEGIATE ATTITUDE IN W'BURG At Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School in Brooklyn, kids are expected to learn and to graduate college. They're well on their way *** RANDI'S CHARTER-SCHOOL REVELATION "We can use charter schools not only for experimentation with instructional practice, but also with labor-relations practice." *** Poor planning leads to school seat shortage From the Daily News *** Stim cash for housing elevators *** Fire and ambulance cuts keep on coming From the Times Newsweekly *** 3RD MTA MAN AT RAPE: MEMO *** $423M STIM FOR PUBLIC HOUSING *** 14 SHOT IN SINGLE DAY *** Related may develop on top of park From Crain's *** Flushing Airport a de facto nature preserve From the NY Times *** Balducci’s Makes a Quiet Exit From Manhattan *** Now Growing in Brooklyn, a Waterfront Pile of Salt *** Rolling Out From the Shack The days of covering crime from New York’s police headquarters, at “the shack,” are recalled with particular sadness now that the city will be closing the office doors *** Mayor Bloomberg was "furious" he wasn't told in advance an Air Force One lookalike would be buzzing the city - all for a photo-op *** White House Apologizes for Flyover *** Work Begins on World Trade Center Checkpoint *** Developers May Raze UES Playground for Another Bad Creation *** Mayor Says City Confirms 20 More Cases Of Swine Flu

Road to City Hall Paterson Receives Boost Of Support At Manhattan Rally *** Benjamin: Gov, WFP just not working *** DA candidate Snyder under fire for speech to conservatives *** Rev. Al Sharpton says there will not be a primary between Paterson and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Shapton challenges Giuliani to run for governor *** Paterson Hits the Airwaves, Eyes Matchup with Rudy *** Queens: The seat changes, the name remains?

Swine Flu World gov'ts race to contain swine flu outbreak *** US declares public health emergency for swine flu *** World Bank gives aid to Mexico for swine flu *** White House: No HHS secretary not problem *** JANET: EVENTS DO NOT WARRANT TESTING OF PLANE PASSENGERS FROM MEXICO... *** PÁNICO: 103 DEAD *** U.S. Declares Public Health Emergency Over Swine Flu *** Seeing Signs of Outbreak, School Nurse Set Response in Motion *** CDC Confirms Swine Flu Cases At Queens School *** St. Francis gets scrubbing following emergence of swine flu *** Swine Flu Fears Spark Global Triage

Albany MARCHI DEAD AT 87 *** TOP DEM: PATERSON 'SINKING' STATE Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith believes that Gov. Paterson's administration is "a sinking ship," as simmering tensions between two of the state's most powerful *** Marriage Bill Poses a Test of Loyalties: Church vs. State *** They shot the sheriff: Ethics enforcement is dead and buried in Albany DN Ed *** 'Giant of public life' is mourned Former state Sen. John Marchi *** Jim Odato writes about how some commissioners are undermining Gov. David Paterson’s call for 8,700 state layoffs *** The legislature will consider a trans-fat ban *** Senate Democrats are reportedly accusing Paterson of bailing out on MTA negotiations *** Paterson To Lawmakers: Quit 'Yer Whining (Updated) *** Senate Dems Pass 'Conversation Starter' MTA Bill *** Even after the fare hike and service cuts, the MTA will still end this year $621 million in the red.

President Obama 2 OUT OF 3 BACK BAM *** BAM'S BLOW TO PRESIDENTIAL POWER Obama released the "torture memos" exposing the CIA's enhanced interrogation tactics, taking advantage of his constitutional authority to disclose national-security information *** Holder tours historic torture site in London *** Reid says Obama told him, 'I have a gift' *** REPORTERS PASS THE TEST: GRADED 'A' BY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SPOKESMAN... *** VARIETY: President a saavy star in breakout role... *** Shortage of Doctors Proves Obstacle to Obama Goals *** Geithner Forged Close Ties to Finance Club - Geithner’s Calendar *** First 100 days: Obama on a roll despite a few sour notes *** 100 events that helped shape Bam's first 100 days *** Biden On "60 Minutes": Obama Has Consulted Me On Every Major Decision *** This Week in Magazines: Which Promises Has Obama Really Kept? *** U.S. Weighs Release Of New CIA Memos *** Panama to Signal Obama's Agenda *** Obama Seeks Consensus on Climate *** As flu hits, holes in W.H. health team *** Cantor, Obama let sparks fly *** Gibbs: Tactics endangered troops *** Celebs line up to visit Obama *** Using czars in W.H. to focus on policy *** U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is “pretty close” to making a decision about Gitmo detainees *** Poll Suggests Obama’s Term Is Altering Views on Race

Congress Democrats push for interrogation investigations *** Abuse pics threaten U.S., says GOPer *** GOP Seeks New Mexico Comeback *** Pelosi playing defense on torture *** More Dems call for tough Iran sanctions *** Online voting records user unfriendly *** Website lets users rate Congress *** Leahy calls for torture commission *** In GOP base, a 'rebellion brewing' *** VIDEO: Sunday show highlights *** Cap and trade hits speed bumps *** 'Cramdown' will face Senate test *** Minnesotans want Franken seated *** Republicans say a lack of unity was fatal to GOP congressional candidate Jim Tedisco’s campaign.

National COLLEGE CHOICES SHIFT TO THRIFT: ECONOMY KOS KIDS' 'DREAM SCHOOL' HOPES *** An Indiana Town Appreciates Obama, and That Stimulus Cash, Too *** Hard times are good times for the Mafia *** Gay couples begin seeking Iowa licenses *** CDC Tweets About Swine Flu

International Security problems uncovered at US bases in Iraq *** World Bank: Economic crisis turning into calamity *** Jordan sees new war if US does not act quickly... *** Iraq PM says deadly US raid 'breach' of security pact... *** As Economic Turmoil Mounts, So Do Attacks on Hungary’s Gypsies *** Cleric Accuses Pakistan of Violating Swat Accord *** U.S. Plans Informal Meetings With Cuba *** Yemen Frees Ship and Captures Pirates *** Study Says Warming Poses Peril to Asia *** 60 Miles From Islamabad Washington cannot waste more time enabling Pakistan’s denial of the mortal threat that the Taliban poses to the country’s fragile democracy, NYT *** G.M.’s Ever-Changing Art of Financial Forecasting *** One Internet Village, Divided: In Developing Countries, Web Grows Without Profit *** Pakistan launches offensive against Taliban *** US Negotiating Exceptions To Iraq Withdrawal Deadline *** WorldU.S. Plans Informal Meetings With Cuba *** U.S. Seeks to Assure Arabs on Iran *** Ecuador's Correa Declares Victory *** Clinton Offers Support for Lebanon *** Pakistan Rebuffs Taliban Advance. *** Avoid Mexico, Travelers Are Told, as Flu Toll Mounts *** In China, Knockoff Cellphones Are Hit

Next Case: State vs. Federal Power The Supreme Court will rule on whether Treasury can block state authorities from enforcing state consumer-protection and fair-lending laws against national banks.

Wall Street Mess UAW Reaches Deal To Save Chrysler *** Humana 1Q profit more than doubles *** BEST BUY TURNING THE TABLES WITH VINYL *** MONEY FOR NOTHING FUND INVESTORS HIT BY HIGH FEES, LOW RETURNS *** Summers Says Economy, Employment Will Keep Declining for 'Some Time'... *** Chrysler and Union Agree to Deal Before Federal Deadline *** Money for Nothing It’s necessary to rescue Wall Street to protect the economy, but financial firms should be acting like public utilities, not returning to the practices and paychecks of 2007, Krugman, NYT *** Head of UBS Investment Bank Unit Steps Down *** Losses in Good-Will Values Compound Bank Troubles *** Hope for Chrysler with union deal *** Grab for Madoff money *** Geithner: Economic Crisis Threatens The Poor *** Thain Fires Back at BofA *** Chrysler, UAW Amend Labor Pact to Cut Costs ***After Bank's Seizure, Depositor Waits *** 'Tweeting' Carefully to Avoid SEC Ire *** Busting Bank of America
A case study in how to spread systemic financial risk, WSJ *** Bush's trade pact won't fly *** A case to be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court may settle a question about mortgage rate transparency begun by former AG Eliot Spitzer *** Stress tests on the banks may force troubled institutions to convert TARP shares to common stocks *** G.M.’s Latest Plan Hinges on Debt Exchange *** GM will cut 21,000 more jobs, kill Pontiac by 2010

Media & New Tech BIG TINSELTOWN TALENT VOTE Endeavor and William Morris Agency of Hollywood are set to vote on a merger that would create a powerful rival to market leader Creative Artists Agency *** GE'S BREAKTHROUGH CAN PUT 100 DVDS ON A DISC... *** Computer Program to Take On ‘Jeopardy!’ *** With Rivals Ahead, Doubts for CNN’s Middle Road *** 90 Years Old, and Breaking Science News With Verve David Perlman, the top science writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, worries that his paper’s poor health could wreck his 78-year career *** For Fox, a Contest Offers a Chance to Hunt for the Next Big TV Show *** At Papers, New Levels of Job Insecurity *** It’s Still Called PRWeek, but It’s Going Monthly *** UPDATE: New Yorker Contributor Released By Russian Police *** Facebook Opens Site to Developers. *** VANITY FARE: CONDE NAST Closing 'PORTFOLIO'... *** CNN IN 4TH PLACE 42% OF WEEKNIGHTS IN 2009

People and Places ASTOR SON'S SCAM TRIAL KICKING OFF *** WOMEN STUDIED AS MYSTERY COLLEGE DONOR *** Still Kicking Up Her Heels on 42nd Street *** A Day Unfit for Coney Island Polar Bears