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April 20, 2009

More Trials and Tribulations Of Administration’s Wall Street Posse

Steven Rattner 2005.jpg

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)

  • stevelaudig

    greedy little boy who has grown old and probably couldn’t change a tire if his life depended upon it. cuticles are too nice for car work.

  • bystander

    Felix Salmon says just about everything I could say to respond to this photograph. The message is I’m entitled to have my life continue as before. Doubtless this individual feels equally entitled.
    O/T: As fit to be tied as I am with Obama’s administration with regard to the economic crisis, I’m prepared to fall head over heels for his dog. I love the cover of The New Yorker

  • JayDenver

    Can’t wait for comments on the cover.
    As for the Rattner photo, the adjective is smarmy.

  • jtfromBC

    Does Steve share his wife’s taste in cars ? least one of the cars in Rattner’s fleet. The couple’s 2006 black Mercedes-Benz 350 (New York license plate #CSL1498!) was entered into the public record when his wife, Maureen White, was arrested for drunk driving last October.

  • Fiorentina

    This photo was taken from an office in the Seagram Building on Park Ave. It is right across from the NY Health Club (I think that is what it’s called) in the Neo-Renaissance “palace” you can see outside the window. You can also see an I-beam behind his shoulder. The word that came to my mind for his expression was “smug.”

  • ot

    …to Damon Winter of the NYT, who won the 2009 Feature Photography Pulitzer today for this series of photographs documenting the 2008 presidential election.

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