On Saturday, Jake Tapper, of ABC News, reported the same thing.
A leading bankruptcy attorney representing hedge funds and money managers told ABC News Saturday that Steve Rattner, the leader of the Obama administration's Auto Industry Task Force, threatened one of the firms, an investment bank, that if it continued to oppose the administration's Chrysler bankruptcy plan, the White House would use the White House press corps to destroy its reputation.
The White House and a spokesperson for the investment bank in question challenged the accuracy of the story.
Then, the White House denied the allegations.
The charge is completely untrue,” said White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton, “and there’s obviously no evidence to suggest that this happened in any way.”
Furthermore, the two creditors, Oppenheimer Funds and Perella Weinberg Partners, each denied being threatened themselves.
Someone is being ruthless and their ruthlessness is ultimately hurting the country. If Lauria is to be believed, the White House is trying the extort concessions out of creditors and they are willing to employ the White House press corps to smear them in their extortion. If he is lying, then a bankruptcy attorney is willing to smear the White House in order to strengthen the case of his clients.
If this is true, then it will become nearly impossible for any struggling company to ever get credit in the private market. Who would ever extend credit to a private company knowing full well that the White House is ready and willing to smear any creditor in a strong arming attempt to get them to accept terms the White House is orchestrating?
If it is false, then the entire corporate bankruptcy process has been turned into a sham. If lawyers are willing to smear the White House in an attempt to strengthen their own clients' positions, then just about every bankruptcy will have this sort of accusation a part of it. Soon, the public will believe the White House is micromanaging the business of every struggling business.
One way or another, the truth needs to come out and this story should be followed.