Geithner Announces Auto Task Force Shakeup

Now that Chrysler and General Motors have successfully emerged from bankruptcy with less debt and a better chance at success in today’s dismal automotive landscape, it appears President Obama’s automotive task force is winding down–starting with the resignation of Steven Rattner.

Rattner, a former journalist, left his media-focused private equity fund Quadrangle in February to become the head of the Treasury Department’s automotive task force, a team charged with determining the fate of the U.S.’s two bankrupt automakers, Chrysler and GM. Now that the team has ushered the two companies through quick-rinse bankruptcies, Rattner will go back to his family and private life in New York, according to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Rattner’s departure marks the beginning of a long-planned winding-down, according to an administration official who did not want to be identified. According to Geithner, the government will relinquish its active role in restructuring the automakers to monitor them instead.

“With the emergence of both General Motors and Chrysler from bankruptcy, we enter a new phase of the government’s unprecedented and temporary involvement in the automotive industry,” Geithner said.

Not long after Rattner joined the auto task force, it was learned that he was under investigation by New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo in a corruption probe. Although Rattner and Quadrangle have not been accused of any wrongdoing–and President Obama supported Rattner back in April–Reuters reports that the investigation into Rattner has intensified.

Ron Bloom, a senior member of the task force, will take over Rattner’s responsibilities.

Source: Reuters