When I heard a major Wall Street private equity player -- as opposed to someone more directly connected to industry -- had become the point man in the GM takeover, I was was pretty confused. But then, shades of Milken, Icahn, Jacobs and Kerkorian, this is the culture that has taken root inside the Obama administration.
Former New York Times reporter and now confidant of management; husband of the former National Finance Chair for the Democratic Party; former Deputy Chairman of the investment bank, Lazard; co-founder of Quadrangle, the multibillion dollar investment group; manager of Michael Bloomberg's money; '08 Clinton supporter; and well known social climber, it's been widely known for years that Steven Rattner desired to make the jump from Wall Street to D.C.
And now, we find out that Rattner, the point man and pretty much-Car Czar for the Treasury reporting to Geithner is caught up in pay-to-play allegations involving Quadrangle, a cheesy low budget movie and the New York State pension fund.
Why do I like this shot of Rattner, posing in 2005 for a NYT reporter? Because it captures him, smooth and relaxed, during New York's gravy days, clearly flaunting his vantage; his elevation from the pavement; the fact he's on top of it all.
(image: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times caption: Steven Rattner, an investment banker, is leading the effort to help Mayor Bloomberg's campaign aides court prominent Democrats. July 26, 2005)