Obama Aide Eyed in Kickback Probe

A probe into an alleged kickback scheme at New York state’s pension fund has ensnared the head of Obama’s auto task force, Steven Rattner, The Wall Street Journal reports. A SEC complaint says a “senior executive”—said to be Rattner—at his former firm, Quandrangle, spoke with a politically connected consultant about a finder’s fee. The pension fund then invested in the firm, and the firm paid a $1.1 million fee. About 20 investment firms allegedly broke SEC rules and made payments in exchange for investments from the New York State Common Retirement Fund; the case hinges on whether the firms knew or should have known that paying for access to the $122 billion fund was illegitimate. An official at the Treasury Department said officials were aware of the probe when they took on Rattner during the transition.