Auto Czar Steve Rattner Stepping Down

The head of the auto task force Steve Rattner is stepping down. He will be succeeded by his number two, Ron Bloom.

Love him or hate him, in shepherding GM and Chrysler through bailouts and bankruptcy, Rattner did what many suggested was undoable. He gave the two a fighting chance to succeed when many thought liquidation was the preferable alternative and he did it without completely destroying their franchises. Whether they ultimately succeed is up to them but Rattner carried out his end of the deal.

But, it looks as if his talents might be required to get his own firm out of a bit of a pickle. From the WSJ:

The New York Attorney General’s office in recent weeks has intensified its scrutiny of the private equity firm Quadrangle Group and its co-founder Steven Rattner as part of its so-called pay-to-play pension investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter.

There is no indication of a connection between the heightened scrutiny and Mr. Rattner’s decision to step down on Monday as the Obama administration’s top auto adviser.

A spokesman for Quadrangle and Mr. Rattner declined to comment. Neither has been charged with wrongdoing.

I doubt that his decision to step down is totally unconnected with this matter.

Nevertheless, congratulations to him on one job well done.

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