It’s Time for SEC/Cuomo To Put Up or Shut Up on Steve Rattner

The NY Times today reports that the SEC is seeking to bar Steve Rattner from the securities biz for up to three years, based on his connection to the New York pay-to-play scandal. It also says Rattner is “fiercely” resisting the suspension, as is his M.O.

What’s fascinating (to me) here is that Rattner still hasn’t been charged with anything. Not by the SEC nor by New York AG Andrew Cuomo.

Both the SEC and Cuomo previously sued Rattner’s former firm – Quadrangle Group – for actions taken while he was still a partner, effectively alleging that Rattner was the bad actor (Quadrangle has since settled).

Isn’t the next logical step a suit against Rattner himself? If not, why not? Cuomo may have given Rattner immunity from criminal prosecution (as reported), but not from civil prosecution. Is Rattner simply tougher to scare than Quadrangle, Carlyle Group, etc?

The onus is now on the SEC and Cuomo to either file charges or end this thing once and for all. I believe that he probably (and knowingly) did wrong, and should be held to account. But I also believe that expediency has long since passed, and this middle-ground “ban” is a preening waste of everyone’s time.

Or, let me put it this way: There is a pot in Andrew Cuomo’s office. He has two choices, and neither one is to shine it.