Washington is dying to know why Steven Rattner quit after just months as President Obama’s car czar. One possible reason: New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is pushing for a legal settlement with his company for its part in a pay-to-play scandal surrounding the state’s pension fund, sources tell AP. An investment group led by Rattner, until he went to Washington, paid more than $1 million to a person since indicted in the case to get access to pension funds. Other companies that made payments have settled for sums from $2 million to $30 million.
There are also less-sinister theories on why Rattner quit, Eamon Javers posits for Politico. Some think he’s eying political office, or a big private-sector paycheck. “Can you imagine the amount of money he can make now?” says one industry insider. “He’s at the peak of his marketability right now—he’s ‘Steve Rattner, the guy who turned around General Motors.’”