The Business On... Steven Rattner, Co-founder, Quadrangle Group

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Isn't he the "car tsar"?

Was. Things have skidded off the road for Mr Rattner since he resigned as head of the Obama administration's auto task force in July 2009. Now it seems he will be banned from the securities industry.

What is he being punished for?

A bad movie: Chooch, the tale of a group of Italian-American friends whose trip to Mexico involves "a jail bust, donkey ride, chicken coop explosion, and a life-changing love affair at the local bordello".

Sounds bad, but... really?

The Securities and Exchange Commission is not passing aesthetic judgment. Mr Rattner's old private equity firm, Quadrangle, agreed to distribute Chooch as a favour to the chief investment officer of the New York State pension fund, whose brothers were producers. The pension fund gave Quadrangle $100m to manage. The SEC and the state attorney general thought the Chooch deal, and other fees paid to associates of the fund, amounted to bribes.

What does Mr Rattner say?

"During my 35 years in the working world, I had never been accused of so much as jaywalking," he wrote recently, so the accusation is "painful". But he is close to agreeing a two-year ban and a $6m settlement with the SEC, it was reported yesterday.

What a humiliation.

After starting out as a researcher at The New York Times, he became one of the top media sector bankers at Lazard and a major fundraiser for the Democrats, and had been tipped for high office. Not now.

Persona non grata now, is he?

Well, no. Just last week, launching Overhaul, his insider account of the auto industry bailout, the heavyweights of politics and finance came out to toast him. Wall Street chief executives Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs were there. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested Matthew Broderick should play Mr Rattner in a movie version of Overhaul.


Of course not. Mr Rattner has surely had his fill of the movie business.