Former Car Czar Steven Rattner left the Obama administration within five months of signing on. He walked out with little respect for anyone in Obama's inner circle, including Rahm Emanuel and Tim Geithner, according to snippets from his coming tell-all book. But that was likely not the reason for leaving the Treasury. Rattner was in trouble with the New York Attorney General. Maybe the administration wanted him to leave, but official statements of his departure did not lend us to believe that to be the case. While the book is stirring political waters, there is little-trumpeted news of Rattner claiming Obama's transition team refused to work with Bush advisers - advice that would have saved taxpayers "billions of dollars." That's big news, but the press only slightly mentions this inconvenient bombshell.
The accusation of squandering
Rattner admits that he had absolutely no background or interest in the auto industry when he was offered the job as Obama Car Czar. Rattner's background is in journalism (he was a New York Times reporter), communications, investment banking. In Spring 2009, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave Rattner and Quadrangle Group (which Rattner co-founded) his $16 billion "blind trust" to manage while Bloomberg considered running for U.S. president. Rattner continued in that capacity even as he entered the Treasury as Car Czar.
Rattner and the Quadrangle Group are now in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a pay-to-play scheme. The Quadrangle Group and Rattner separated before he left the Treasury. Cronyism gone wrong - billions gone wrong. Nothing unusual coming from the U.S. Treasury or the White House.