Update on Steve Rattner, Friend of Investors (as long as they are rich or voted for Obama)

Last week, I noted a piece by Steve Rattner who was horrified that individual investors, empowered by companies like Kickstarter, might one day be able to invest in startups without paying a fee to Goldman Sachs.

I noted that Mr. Rattner's concern for investors seemed to be coming rather late, given that "he was the primary architect of the extra-legal screwing of GM and Chrysler secured creditors in favor of the UAW and other Obama supporters."

A Detroit News piece by my Princeton classmate Henry Payne has more:

The administration has treated obstacles to its agenda with ruthless tactics. In April 2009, that agenda was to hand an outsized, 55 percent majority interest of embattled Chrysler to the United Auto Workers in a government-orchestrated bankruptcy. But by law secured creditors are first in line in bankruptcy, and bondholders — representing their working-class pension clients — refused to accept Obama's unfair deal for a measly 29 cents on their investment dollar.

Send in the muscle.

"One of my clients was directly threatened by the White House and in essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the deal under threat that the full force of the White House press corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight," said Tom Lauria, lawyer for Perella Weinberg investment firm, on Frank Beckmann's Detroit radio program. Lauria later said the brass knuckles belonged to White House Auto Task Force leader Steve Rattner. Lauria's account was disturbing, too, in revealing the confidence that the White House has in its press allies to aid Obama's agenda. Sure enough, Washington reporters quickly attacked the messenger. "(Lauria's) charge is completely untrue," White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton told ABC News' Jake Tapper, "and there's obviously no evidence to suggest that this happened in any way." Actually, there was plenty of evidence. Jim Carney of Business Insider corroborated Lauria's account, reporting that "sources familiar with the matter say that other firms felt they were threatened as well." The White House escalated the threats when Obama himself singled out creditors for obstruction, accusing them of being "speculators" preying on an American auto icon — bullying words from a man with the IRS and SEC at his disposal.

"The sources, who represent creditors to Chrysler, say they were taken aback by the hardball tactics that the Obama administration employed to cajole them into acquiescing to plans to restructure Chrysler," continued the Insider. "One person described the administration as the most shocking 'end justifies the means' group they have ever encountered."...

"The president's attempted diktat takes money from bondholders and gives it to a labor union that delivers money and votes for him," wrote Cliff Asness, a managing partner at AQR Capital Management. "Shaking down lenders for the benefit of political donors is recycled corruption and abuse of power."


  1. nehemiah:

    Nothing new here. Obama may be the most obvious, big government turns into big bully whenever it feels the need. By the way Warren, I enjoyed you on Fox this morning.

  2. texanninetynine:

    And what happened to Tom Lauria? His clients were muscled further, they backed down, and he was instructed not to mention it again.

    Tom Lauria is a truthful man, and not one to back down on his own account, but a lawyer has to take his cue from his clients.

  3. obloodyhell:

    The son of a bitch deserves to be impeached, and removed from office.

    I think everyone who might do that is more concerned that putting Joe Biden in charge would be even worse...

  4. skhpcola:

    Biden is inept and stupid. Ozero is evil and over-zealous in his desire to cause the country to implode. Biden would give us a break from the fascism emanating from the throne of the Obamessiah.

  5. MingoV:

    How the hell did such spineless wimps make so much money? I would have fought back even if I owned only $1,000 in bonds. The bond holders collectively lost hundreds of millions of dollars. A small percentage of that would have bought a top team of lawyers, the best press agents in the business, and ads in all the major media outlets. They could have portrayed the Obama team as the thugs that they are.

  6. mesaeconoguy:

    Yep, thought about that. That is a long & drawn out process, but potentially could have influenced the election.

    Obama/Biden are semi-legitimized thugs, nothing more. They deserve to be treated as such, as do their enablers and zero information followers.

  7. mesaeconoguy:

    I would think that Asness & others of his ilk who have a few bucks at their disposal would be able to go after these fascists in court.

    He has already made himself a potential target via some of his commentary, so I wonder if he would be able to fund a legal war against Obama.

    Yes, it would be a war.

  8. HenryBowman419:

    Why is anyone surprised at these tactics? The B.O. Admin is an administration dominated by Chicago political machine types. This is what they do. They form the nucleus of a ruthless criminal enterprise.

  9. Jim Hodge:

    "Jim Hodge - Allied Home Mortgage have been attacked by lawyers and the liberal press. A self made man of humble means is working hard to restore the jobs lost by these baseless attacks"


  10. marque2:

    What would you impeach him for? I have heard this impeachment thing for every president since Reagan - but you need a legitimate crime, not a difference of opinion to impeach a president.

  11. perlhaqr:

    I would guess that most of them realised that there's a very good possibility that even if they didn't have some skeletons in the closet that they already knew they wanted to keep buried, "three felonies a day" applies to everyone, and Federal Prosecutors have 99% conviction rates.

    Everyone is always guilty of something these days.

  12. mesaeconoguy:

    Lying about Benghazi, funneling foreign cash to his reelection campaign, etc. There are probably about 5 or 10 things you could charge him with, but it would never get out of the House.

    Your chance to remove him has passed. He is a legitimized criminal.

  13. mesaeconoguy:

    Update Update – Plutocrat Rattner Disturbed By Sequester, Canceling of Son's Possible Govt Internship.


    Rattner needs to be in jail.

  14. Jim Hodge:

    "Jim Hodge - Allied Home Mortgage have been attacked by lawyers and the liberal press. A self made man of humble means is working hard to restore the jobs lost by these baseless attacks"


  15. marque2:

    Yeah, these are on par with lefty claims of Bushes illegal war, lies about WOMD , and subverting Valarie Plame. Get over it

  16. mesaeconoguy:

    I could easily make the double standard argument here, but I won’t waste my time.

    But I do agree it’s a non-starter.

  17. Jim Hodge:

    "Jim Hodge - Allied Home Mortgage have been attacked by lawyers and the liberal press. A self made man of humble means is working hard to restore the jobs lost by these baseless attacks"

  18. marque2:

    I am a conservative myself. I thought the Stuff against Bush was silly - I also think it is stupid to make all these false claims against a Democrat, just because he is a Democrat.

    Policy differences do not equal crimes and misdemeanors. You may not like what the guy is doing, but that does not make it an impeachable crime.

    No double standard on my part. As I said I have seen these stupid claims since Reagan became president and beyond. And even if there is an impeachable offense - al la Clinton, it might be better to let it go. How well did the Clinton impeachment work for the GOP? Just made the GOP look mean and vindictive to independent voters.

  19. Jim Hodge:

    "Jim Hodge - Allied Home Mortgage have been attacked by lawyers and the liberal press. A self made man of humble means is working hard to restore the jobs lost by these baseless attacks"


  20. mesaeconoguy:

    Not a conservative (economic libertarian), but I’ll bite just a bit.

    Scooter Libby went to jail for the Plame fiasco, but no one has been held accountable for Fast & Furious. At a minimum, AG Holder should have stepped down/been removed.

    The Benghazi bungling resulted in the death of a senior US official, and the subsequent coverup should have resulted in some rebuke to Obama.

    Had either of these occurred on Bush (or a Repug’s) watch, the reaction would have been violent & consequential.

    The reason the WMD charge fails was because the leftists (mostly) signed on to it at the time, and the Iraq invasion was likely the best of a series of bad possible options.

    I could go on.

    We are in agreement that none of these will result in any meaningful action.