Ex-Car Czar Rattner Uninvited by Detroit's Economic Club

By Michelle Krebs October 19, 2010

Steven Rattner - 180.JPG
Ex-Car Czar Steven Rattner will not be speaking at the prestigious Detroit Economic Club next Tuesday as originally planned; he's been uninvited.

The club comprised of Detroit's top business leaders and chaired by Ford Motor Chairman Bill Ford canceled Rattner's Oct. 26 speech after reports that he will pay a $5 million plus fine to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for his role in an alleged pension fund kickback scandal.

In making the rare and difficult decision to uninvite the speaker, Detroit Economic Club President Beth Chappell told the Detroit Free Press that in accepting a multi-million dollar fine from the SEC "doesn't seem appropriate to have him speak here."

Neither Rattner nor the SEC has confirmed the settlement reported by the media last week, and Rattner had no comment for the paper about the cancellation of his speech.

The SEC case, dating back to 2004, involves Rattner's pitch to the New York State pension fund to invest with Quadrangle Group, the private equity fund the former journalist co-founded in 2000. Quadrangle corporately has already paid a fine in the case.

Rattner, who headed President Obama's automotive task force, is hawking a new book about the Chapter 11 bankruptcies and bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler called
"Overhaul: An Insider's Account of the Obama Administration's Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry."

Edmunds' AutoObserver.com recently posted an interview as part of its Power Breakfast series with Rattner.

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