Thursday, October 14, 2010

Steve Rattner Walks: The Rich and Connected Never Face Justice

Steve Rattner Walks
The Rich and Connected Never Face Justice

What is Going On
SEC Postpones Vote on Rattner Pact (WSJ, 1PM)  * SEC settlement with Rattner on hold (Wash Post) * Report: SEC postpones vote on Rattner deal (Crains NY)* Bloomberg Defends Rattner (WNYC) * The Party’s Over for Steve Rattner (NY Magazine) * Rattner's Case Just Another Chapter in a Frightening New Trend * Huffington Post (blog) * Inside the SEC’s Postponed Rattner Settlement (WSJ) * Bloomberg to retain Rattner in private role Financial Times
* SEC Delays Rattner Case, NY Probe Ongoing: Sources ABC News * SEC Delays Rattner Case, NY Probe Ongoing: Sources (ABC)

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) * N.Y. fines law firm for improper CalPERS dealings

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.  Wall Street chief executives Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs were there.

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 * PM Update Mike Bloomberg Would Love To Have A Financial Advisor Who’s Been Banned From The Securities Industry

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

Movie Review: "A bad movie: Chooch, the tale of a group of Italian-American friends whose trip to Mexico involves "a jail bust, donkey ride, chicken coop explosion, and a life-changing love affair at the local bordello."

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 * Rattner and the Pension Kickbacks Probe: In His Own Words Wall Street Journal * Bloomberg and Rattner Gotham Gazette * The Business On... Steven Rattner, Co-founder, Quadrangle Group Independent

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  

Breaking News New York's Pay to Play Pension Scandal (True News)

The Hevesi Team is on the Pay to Play Varsity Division (True News)

"All right, New York, I'm ready for    my close-up." Charles Barron

Charles Barron On Monday's Big Debate: "I'm In It To Win, Not To Spoil, Not To Entertain"(DN) Election 2010  Carl leases to abortion clinic (NYP) * Paladino aide had gay old time Shirtless romp in 'disgusting' Village parade * Andy 'Cap' has plan to curb property tax (NYP) * Rabbi Breaks With Paladino Over Apology * More salacious Carl emails outed on Web (DN) * Tom twists the truth: DiNapoli wages weasel campaign against challenger Harry Wilson (DN Ed) * Rabbi Yehuda Levin said Paladino “folded like a cheap camera” in the face of the pressure and anger from his family and the LGBT community * There’s a lot of jockeying for the Hasidic vote, even though it’s a relatively small slice of the electorate.* Paladino makes Cuomo “look like St. Francis of Assisi,” writes E.J. Dionne Jr.* Carl Paladino is the landlord for Planned Parenthood of Niagara Falls. * Schumer vs. Townsend Debate Is On

Michael R. Bloomberg, an independent, and Edward I. Koch, a Democrat, have made an advertisement for the Republican attorney general candidate, Daniel M. Donovan Jr. Help From City Hall, Past and Present (NYT) * Hedge Fund Links Donors to Attorney General Nominee * Wilson, G.O.P Jump On Daily News' "Weasel" Editorial

* Not Up for Debate? Schumer Seems Shy for a Change (WSJ) * The DN accused state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli of running a “weasel campaign” against his GOP opponent, Harry Wilson. 

Vito's Investigation Cooking  

Inquiry Into Assemblyman Prompts Halt to Suit A state judge cited the federal investigation of Vito J. Lopez in suspending a lawsuit over discrimination in plans for a low-income housing development in Brooklyn. (NYT)

 Paterson Saturday Night Resignation

City Hall News
Cherkasky resigns from CPI. "When Paterson appointed me to this position last year, I had no idea that 1 of those cases would lead to him.” (Twitter) Nixon's fires executive dismissal of independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox 
Paterson's CPI Cherasky leaves * Cherkasky Out (YNN)

Judge Extends Protection Order Against Former Paterson Aide * Paterson aide charged with assaulting ex-girlfriend due in domestic violence court (NYP) * Former Paterson Aide Has Court Date For Domestic Violence Case (NY1)

New York Economic Meltdown  City, Firefighters Face Off Over Staffing(WSJ) * NYPD steps up ticketing of drivers caught in bus lanes (DN) *  MTA chief passes on cabs, limos for bus, subway (DN) * The governor has quietly given a parting gift to two of New York’s most powerful unions – CSEA and the UFT – by signing legislation that could add tens of thousands of dues-paying members to their ranks.* And the city is trying to reduce the number of fire fighters. * Sources: More FDNY Engine Companies To Have Fewer Firemen * City Paid $964M In 10 Years To Settle NYPD Lawsuits, Says AP (NY1) * Private Financing To Save NY-NJ Train Tunnel Unlikely: Paterson *City's Strongest can't handle snow storms with less staff (DN)
Quinn Turns Against Sick Pay Bill
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to kill sick day bill (NYP)
*Quinn Moves Against Sick-Pay Bill  * Progressives are piling on NYC Council Christine Quinn after she decided to oppose the Paid Sick Leave bill – a big loss for the Working Families Party.

Eateries stuff Health Dept. (NYP) * Where Restaurants Plead Their Case (NYT)

President Bloomberg
Bloomberg Supporters Plot Draft(WSJ) * Former Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey has been “quietly supportive” of the Virginia Green Party’s efforts to draft Bloomberg into the 2012 presidential election. The group is meeting in Washington, D.C. today.* Mayor Bloomberg: I'm NOT Running For President (Although My Experience Is Pretty Awesome)* The movement to draft NJ gov. Chris Christie into the 2012 race is well underway.

Board of Election Clueless
Certifiably wrong: Feds slam Board of Incompetence for botching military ballot mailing (DN)

"I hate you constituents. You're stupid."Councilman Vincent Gentile's aide cut after damning comments about voters found on Google Buzz (DN) * Careful of the social networking, kids! Wrote an aide to councilman Vinny Gentile on Google Buzz: "Only Brooklyn constituents could make mondays suck more than normal. i dont care that your neighbor's tree has leaves falling into your yard, I dont want to makes 15 phone calls for you cause you cant figure out how to call department of social services yourself." She was fired

Pay to Pay Court House
Terrorism Glimpse at Jurors in Ex-Guantánamo Detainee’s Trial (NYT)

Law and Order Son 'prime suspect' in SI couple's murder (NYP) *Armenian-American gang busted in $163M Medicare scam * Armenian gangsters charged in $160M Medicare scam (NYP) * Real Patients, Real Doctors, Fake Everything Else (NYP) * Couple Charged in Infant's Death  * Cops hunt for 'schizophrenic' son in parents' brutal stabbing deaths (DN) * Reputed leader of hate crime gang says 'I'm not a monster' (DN) * Muslim cab driver haunted as suspected slasher gets bail (DN) * Panel commissioned to examine sentencing laws (DN) * Nurse's aide cleared in stabbing death of abusive husband (DN) * Police Hunt For S.I. Man Suspected Of Stabbing Parents * Son escapes to Israel after allegedly killing his parents (NYP) * Knife-wielding robber shot by cop after botched heist: sources (DN) * Cops shoot man waving knife following bank robbery: police (NYP) * Shooting outside bank at Madison Square Garden (WABC)* Shot in the Right Thigh. At Bellevue. (NYT) *Tempers flare in court in case of teen accused in WABC news slay (NYP)

Media and New Tech  No pillow talk, says Times' star Nocera  New York Times star business columnist Joe Nocera is under fire for writing favorably about a company represented by a law firm where his fiancée is head of p.r. (NYP) * Client 9 getting no love  Spitzer show has problems booking guest (NYP) * News Orgs Tell Staffers Not To Attend Stewart, Colbert Rallies (Huff Post) * Whoopi, Behar walk off 'View' set during O'Reilly's interview (video) * Verizon to sell Apple iPad, ending exclusive relationship with AT&T and hinting at future for iPhone