The Former Car Czar Kicks Back on CNBC

Network lets Rattner guest host as subpoenas, settlements, and lawsuits fly

It’s probably not the best idea to let somebody in the news for bribing public officals guest-host your news show.

Which CNBC presumably understands after this morning.

The network let former Obama administration senior official and private-equity dude (and way back when, former New York Times reporter) Steven Rattner, who just settled with the SEC for $6.2 million for paying kickbacks to get public-pension business (and who was in the news earlier this week when he got subpoenaed over the scandal), guest host “Squawk Box” this morning to talk about the GM IPO. I’m not kidding.

No sooner did Rattner get off the business-news broadcast then New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced he’s suing Rattner for $26 million and seeking to ban him from the securities industry for life.

Which raises the question: Will that mean Rattner can’t go on CNBC anymore?

Here’s Cuomo:

The application for an immediate securities ban is based on the fact that Rattner engaged in fraud and refused to answer 68 questions based on his fifth amendment privilege.

“Steve Rattner was willing to do whatever it took to get his hands on pension fund money including paying kickbacks, orchestrating a movie deal, and funneling campaign contributions,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Through these lawsuits, we will recover his ill gotten gains and hold Rattner accountable.”

Which raises a second question: What does a white-collar person have to do to go to trial, much less jail, these days?

(hat tip, ironically enough, to Henry Blodget)

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum. Tags: , , , ,