Who Is Steve Mnuchin? He's The Ultimate Red Flag About Donald Trump
Nearly a week after the election, Donald Trump has turned his attention to filling out his cabinet. Multiple reports indicates that Steve Mnuchin is said to be the likely pick for Treasury Secretary. But who is Steve Mnuchin? Like many of Trump's other staff picks, he is far from the anti-establishment administration that Trump promised.
Mnuchin joined the Trump campaign in April, stepping in as finance chair at a pivotal time for the campaign. His resume includes time as a partner at Goldman Sachs, a hedge fund manager and a movie producer. He is the CEO and co-founder of the private investment firm Dune Capital Management. And he has played the political field, with a history of donating to Democrats, like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as Republican Mitt Romney.
What does this potential appointment mean for us? It can certainly be seen as a move towards the status quo. Trump campaigned on a message of anti-establishment, condemned Hillary Clinton's Wall Street ties, and promised to "drain the swamp" of Washington elite. But the picks he has announced in the days following the election have been business as usual. Most of these people have had prominent careers in government or finance and are hardly reflective of the anti-establishment, and anti-Wall Street spirit Trump rode straight to the White House.
Mnuchin, along with some other investors, bought IndyMac Bank in the wake of the financial crisis. They purchased it from the government for far less than it was valued, and received a "shared-loss" agreement, meaning the government reimbursed much of the losses the bank accrued from foreclosures. They changed the name of the bank to OneWest, and profited wildly while imposing foreclosure terms on their clients. A New York judge even went as far as to called their tactics, "harsh, repugnant and repulsive," in court proceedings against the bank. So, Mnuchin definitely does not have a history of working for the "little guy," like many Trump supporters were hoping to get from his presidency.
It has also been reported that Mnuchin's private investment firm has business dealings with Trump. Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that Mnuchin said he and Trump had known each other for 15 years, and that they had done business together, but said he declined to comment on the nature of that business. So it will be interesting to see if they both will be made to put their personal business interests aside to serve the country.