"Why do some from the land of the formerly disgraced manage to launder their reputations"? asks Geraldine Fabrikant in this Reuters piece on Steve Rattner.
The career of Rattner, the onetime New York Times reporter turned Lazard Freres investment banker, investment confidant to Brian Roberts of Comcast and other telecom moguls, Democratic Party master fundraiser, and Obama's GM-Chrysler takeover czar, threatened to unravel at its peak last year when he and his firm, Quadrangle Partners, were accused of helping corrupt New York State pension officials to win their business.
Writes Fabricant: "When Rattner was at Quadrangle, the firm paid an advisor to help win pension fund business. Both the advisor, Hank Morris and the ex-(NY State) controller Alan Hevesi, went to jail. Court filings also allege that Rattner had arranged for the distribution of a film made by the brother of the fund’s chief investment officer."

NY State prosecutors called Ratner's conduct "inappropriate, wrong and unethical". Rattner "settled with both the SEC and the attorney general... and paid $16.2 million... without admitting wrongdoing," and was barred from doing more business before the NY State pension board til at least 2014.
And yet today, Rattner is writing columns "for both the New York Times and the Financial Times and actively promot(ing)his book 'Overhaul' chronicling his role in bailing out the auto companies," attending posh Upper East Side social-political-financial gatherings, and laying the groundwork for a return to national prominence.
To get people to look past your record, "you have to work at it," writes Fabrikant. Rattner, she adds, is in a class with convicted junk-bond felon turned private-school investor and prostate-cancer donor Michael Milken, and maybe prostitute-addled ex NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer, now a TV commentator, in working at rehab. (Or see candymaker and Pa. GOP leader and fundraiser Bob Asher, convicted and imprisoned for influence peddling 25 years ago, for a local example).
It helps (a lot) that New York's billionaire mayor, Bloomberg LP owner Michael Bloomberg, is a Rattner admirer and pal.