Bloomberg and Rattner
October 14th, 2010

With all the attention the skullduggery at the state pension fund is getting, we can’t help but be curious as to why the press has paid so little attention to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ties to Steven Rattner.

Rattner agreed to pay $5 million in fines to the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday. He still is under investigation by the state attorney general. As described in Bloomberg News, “Rattner allegedly paid $1.1 million in finder fees to Henry Hank Morris, the former chief political consultant to ex-New York Comptroller Alan Hevesi, according to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. In exchange, Quadrangle received an investment from the fund, said Cuomo,.”

In common parlance, this could be called bribing a public official.

Bloomberg’s ties to Rattner go deep. Again, according to Bloomberg News (which was not as shy as other press outlets about making the connection): “Quadrangle Asset Management has handled the personal and philanthropic finances of New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whom Rattner supported through his chairmanship of Democrats for Bloomberg during the 2005 re-election campaign.”

In February, Bloomberg removed $5 billion from Quadrangle into a new firm that, the Times reported, would be solely focused on Bloomberg and his foundation. Rattner apparently would play a key role in creating this new entity — even though he already was under investigation.

The little matter of a cool million in bribes apparently has not shaken the mayor’s faith. Last night he and Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger (wonderful how power works in this town, isn’t it?) hosted a party for Rattner. At the gathering, the mayor riffed about who night play Rattner in a movie and then reportedly praised him for saving the country as President Barack Obama’s auto czar. No mention of how much he cost the state.

Interestingly, the Times blog post on Rattner does not mention his connection to the mayor, beyond a final sentence about the party. Rattner once worked at the Times.

More on the press coverage after the jump.

The front-page story in today’s Times does not mention Rattner-Bloomberg connection, other than the party. Neither does the Wall Street Journal, CNN Money or the Financial Times, to name those we checked. NPR simply called Rattner “an adviser” to the mayor.

The Daily News is more forthcoming than most, which is not saying very much It writes that Quadrangle — not Rattner — “once handled the mayor’s money,” without saying that the connection there was between Rattner and Bloomberg.

The Post showed a bit more appetite for connecting the dots than most: [Rattner’s] ban from the securities industry could affect his latest job as financial adviser to Mayor Bloomberg’s family foundation. When he was at Quadrangle, Rattner managed Bloomberg’s fortune, estimated now at $18 billion.”

None of this is to say the mayor has done anything even remotely illegal. But lets assume a different politician — Gov. David Paterson — was making a big issue of rising pension costs. And lets say at the same time a close friend and adviser of that politician had reportedly paid huge sums to officials to get them to invest some of that pension money with them? Let’s say — and who knows?– that maybe that wasn’t the best investment for the state or its workers?

What kind of coverage do you think that might get?

By on October 14, 2010, 11:49 am
In category: City Hall,Crime & Safety,Public Finance | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “Bloomberg and Rattner”

  1. Shaunda Voights Says:
    February 7th, 2011 at 4:43 am

    I am only writing to let you know what a wonderful discovery my wife’s girl went through using your site. She learned numerous issues, most notably how it is like to possess an excellent coaching heart to let a number of people smoothly know several advanced things. You actually exceeded our expectations. I appreciate you for rendering those interesting, trusted, explanatory and fun thoughts on the topic to Julie.

  2. whey Says:
    July 5th, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    All this state pension fund skullduggery. So sad.

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