More trouble seems to be brewing for Steve Rattner, the mega-financier who runs Quadrangle Capital and the man responsible for managing Michael Bloomberg's vast fortune. Last week the firm announced plans to shut down a $500 million hedge fund focused on media investments after the value of the fund declined and investors started demanding their money back. Now comes word that Quadrangle's magazine holdings are in trouble. In 2007, Quadrangle paid $250 million for Alpha Media, the company that publishes Maxim and Blender, and lured Jann Wenner's former right-hand, Kent Brownridge, to run the company. Brownridge departed Alpha in August amid rumors the publishing company was in trouble. Today the Journal reports that the company really is in deep trouble, having fallen behind on its debt payments to Steve Feinberg's Cerberus Capital. Rattner may ultimately be forced to hand over Alpha to the company's creditors. But that's not the only disappointing news that has landed at Rattner's feet in recent weeks.
A couple of months ago, the Democratic fundraiser had been gunning for a cabinet position in the Obama administration. After initially supporting Hillary Clinton, Rattner (who is married to fellow Dem power player Maureen White) changed course and turned his attention to raising money for Obama after Hillary dropped out of the race. His efforts on Obama's behalf earned him inclusion on several lists of possible contenders for Treasury Secretary, or at least another senior role in an Obama White House. But the President-elect has assembled his top economic team in recent days. And Rattner has been left out in the cold.
When Newsweek asked Henry Kravis a couple of months ago whether Rattner would make a good Treasury Secretary, he said that he clearly "has the brainpower for the job." But, he added, "Ask the average guy if he knows or has heard of Bob Rubin, chances are he has. But not Rattner." And it looks like the public still won't know who he is—unless, of course, Rattner is prepared to be patient and wait around until Hillary Clinton tries again in 2016.