Steven Rattner and the state-pension-industrial-complex he engaged with are not my cup of tea, but even so, the idea that the Securities and Exchange Commission wants to bar him from working in the securities industry for three years seems excessive. Who's being protected? Any potential Rattner client already knows about the movie "Chooch" and its connections to Mr. Rattner and the New York State pension fund; if Mayor Bloomberg or any other qualified investor wants to hire Mr. Rattner after that episode, why should the SEC stand in their way?
The New York Times news article that breaks the news of the attempted SEC ban gushes that Mr. Rattner "will soon publish a book about his experience trying to restructure the American auto industry, which was widely praised." Note the use of the passive voice (widely praised by whom?) to try to put over on readers the idea that the auto bailout, where taxpayer money was used to rescue highly compensated unionized auto workers at the expense of bondholders and at the expense of better-run competing auto companies that didn't require bailouts, was "widely praised" rather than "widely criticized."