Where that money gets invested and who gets to chew on those hefty administration fees is a measure of clout in this city.
Emanuel is feeling heat, so he's hired forensic lawyers to help city lawyers, including his own Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton, who will assist the mayor's least-favorite lawyer at City Hall, Inspector General Joe Ferguson.
This is completely inappropriate. Patton, whose boss is Emanuel, shouldn't be anywhere near this investigation.
Emanuel has been trying to undercut Ferguson for months now and can't risk being caught off guard. The mayor likes to play at being transparent, as long as no one's really looking. And Ferguson has this annoying habit of actually looking.
So Ferguson is getting squeezed and Patton is watching him. All this is far too obvious, and unworthy of the legendary deviousness of Mayor Rahmfather.
For years now, he's been too intent on being slick and tricky. But for a guy desperate to be seen as always one step ahead of everyone else, the mayor has stumbled.
It's obvious to Chicago, and to several aldermen, including Ald. Robert Fioretti, 2nd, and Ald. Scott Waguespack, 32nd.
They're upset that Emanuel used the Illinois Supreme Court to shield the mayor's office from subpoenas issued by Ferguson.
There's nothing like claiming you're Mayor Transparency while you're hamstringing the watchdog.
"That's why we need all of Rahm's hands off of this," Waguespack told me Tuesday. "The mayor just can't have his hands in the pot on this."
City Hall's investigation of Ahmad "needs to be completely independent. You can't have the corporation counsel sitting there looking over the IG's shoulder, saying, 'We're not going to allow you to have that document, or that document.'"
"The bothersome part," Waguespack said, "is that clearly, somebody vetted this guy."
But the vetting is what Emanuel wants you to look at, so you'll focus on a couple former federal attorneys who were hired by the city to ask Ahmad a few questions over the phone, and who didn't see anything wrong.
It's not the vetting, it's the recommending. It's the "let's hire this guy."
And if investigators want to know how Ahmad got hired, they should start by asking Emanuel's chief financial firstname.lastname@example.org