Steven Rattner, a major Democratic donor, told Yahoo! Finance in a recent interview for the website’s “Influencers with Andy Serwer” podcast that he thinks billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg could “absolutely” defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 U.S. presidential election as the Democratic nominee.
Rattner, whose net worth is in the hundreds of millions of dollars according to public disclosures, is an investment financier who manages Michael Bloomberg’s personal and charitable wealth assets as the CEO of Willett Advisors LLC.
He got his start in finance as a journalist reporting on business and economics for the New York Times, then became an investment banker, working for such infamous names on Wall Street as Morgan Stanley and the now-defunct Lehman Brothers.
(Lehman Brothers suffered the ignominious fate of the largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy liquidation in United States history in 2008 because of its role in the lending crisis.)
After making millions of dollars working for companies with a storied record of pillaging the American economy for ill-gotten gains through massive federal subsidies and the institutional malfeasance and fraudulence of crony capitalism, Rattner went to work for the U.S. federal government to do some more pillaging for the auto industry.
He was appointed in 2009 to the role of lead advisor for Barack Obama’s Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, which was practically a hostile takeover of the big three auto companies by the federal government.
In that role, Rattner helped Obama dictate day-to-day operations for these private American businesses to protect the government’s multi-billion dollar “investment” in these companies from the $700 billion Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds.
It is arguable that Rattner was in charge of nationalizing the auto industry, and nationalizing big industries is what communist countries have done (with spectacularly tragic results) throughout history. But that didn’t stop Obama or Rattner from doing the same here.
The auto bailout (a bipartisan effort in Washington that actually started with Bush in 2008 and was continued by Obama in 2009) was an illegal and unconstitutional violation of the TARP bill, which set very broad, but explicit guidelines for the use of the appropriated funds, and limited the recipients of TARP monies to the financial industry.
Spurning this law – as two presidents from each party in Washington did – is unconstitutional because it represents an executive violation of the lawful prerogative of the legislative branch to earmark appropriations for a particular purpose, and for the monies to go to that purpose only as decided by the people’s duly elected representatives in Congress.
But even that didn’t stop Rattner from joining the president on this socialist quest to socialize a private industry’s losses and pass them on to American taxpayers. In the end, the auto bailouts, which were sold to a wary American public as an investment in the auto industry, were a massive failure: the U.S. Treasury closed out its position at a net loss of $10 billion.
So should you listen to Rattner when he says his boss, Wall Streeter and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, can beat Donald Trump in 2020?
At this point in United States history, the American people have gone from wary to weary of Wall Street’s financial shenanigans and the economic fallout that it has spread across the American economy. We don’t need no stinking bankers in the White House.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton’s notoriously lucrative private paid speeches to Wall Street firms were leaked, and her cozy position with Wall Street banks was a major issue in the campaign that alienated voters from her. They want someone who’s for them, not Wall Street.
Of course, Michael Bloomberg supported the bailout in 2008 (which Hillary Clinton voted for as a Senator from New York at the time). He said: “It isn’t that they are too big to fail, but that they are too important to fail.”
He also laughably claimed:
“I don’t know that it is even a bailout. For all I know, the government is going to make a lot of money, from buying the mortgages and then reselling them.”
Well if the toxic subprime mortgages, bundled into massive derivative securities, sold to the next greater fool, then sold again to the next even greater fool, and then insured for hundreds of billions of dollars by the next even greater fool than that (shout out to AIG!) are a great profit-making opportunity, then why didn’t Michael Bloomberg buy them himself, instead of supporting the federal government forcing the taxpayers to?
Answer: Because he was happy to let Washington redistribute wealth from hard-working Americans in Central and Pacific Time to his reckless friends on Wall Street. He may try to pose as a centrist Democrat in 2020, but he is every bit the socialist, central planning, tax-and-spend Democrat that Obama was as president and that Hillary was as a U.S. senator.
After Donald Trump’s stunning victory over Hillary Clinton, you’d think the Democrats might try and find someone who actually appeals to the American people, not another elitist central planner with deep pockets full of your money and a heart full of avarice.
And you’d think they might have learned not to give in to the kind of hubris that made Trump’s 2016 victory so shocking. Hillary was for sure a terrible candidate.
But Donald Trump does have some kind of magic.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.
Michael Bloomberg Image from Shutterstock
Last modified: May 20, 2020 12:39 PM UTC