By on April 17, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reports that the firm owned by the head of the Presidential Task Force On Automobiles (PTFOA) is under investigation for accepting $1.1m in illegal kickbacks. “A Securities and Exchange Commission complaint says a ‘senior executive’ of Mr. Rattner’s investment firm met in 2004 with a politically connected consultant about a finder’s fee. Later, the complaint says, the firm received an investment from the state pension fund and paid $1.1 million in fees. The ‘senior executive,’ not named in the complaint, is Mr. Rattner, according to the person familiar with the matter.” Yes, well, this the same Wall Street Journal that repeated quoted a “person familiar with the matter” that a pre-bailout GM – Chrysler merger was on the cards. OK, so are you ready for this? Sure? “The SEC alleges in its complaint that a meeting was arranged between the senior Quadrangle executive and a brother of New York’s then-deputy comptroller to discuss acquiring the DVD distribution rights to the low-budget film, ‘Chooch.’ [22 views when I posted it] The deputy comptroller, now under indictment, and his brothers produced the movie.” How much do you reckon they paid for it?

Quadrangle, through an affiliate called GT Brands, agreed to acquire the rights for $88,841, and three weeks later the deputy comptroller told the senior Quadrangle executive that Quadrangle would get a $100 million investment from the pension fund, according to the complaint. Quadrangle then paid the $1.1 million finders fees to a company affiliated with the political consultant, according to the complaint.

And this is the guy in whose hands the federal government (and the automakers themselves) have placed the future of Chrysler, GM, Ford and the rest?

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