On Tuesday, news broke that former Goldman Sachs partner Steve Mnuchin would be Donald Trump's Treasury secretary nominee. Mnuchin took an active role in Trump's presidential run, serving as his campaign's national finance chair.
Although Trump has not yet made an official announcement, sources close to the transition team confirmed that Mnuchin was the pick — and that's not exactly a surprise. Mnuchin has been widely suspected to be Trump's top choice for the role, with Bloomberg reporting more than two weeks ago that Mnuchin "has been recommended by Donald Trump’s transition team to serve as Treasury secretary."
However, as much speculation as there has been about Mnuchin, there have also been concerns about his deep ties to Wall Street and the corporate structures Trump and so many of his supporters railed against. Mnuchin not only worked at Goldman Sachs for nearly two decades, but his father worked for the company, as well (and so did Trump's senior White House adviser and former Breitbart head, Steve Bannon, for that matter). After leaving Goldman Sachs in 2002, Mnuchin started his own hedge fund, Dune Capital Management, which The New York Times noted was "named after the dunes near his beach house in the Hamptons."
Mnuchin was a part of a group that bought the failing California bank, IndyMac, and renamed it OneWest. Kevin Stein of the California Reinvestment Coalition, a housing advocacy group, told NPR, "In essence what they did is they bought a foreclosure machine." According to the California Reinvestment Coalition, 36,000 homes were foreclosed under Mnuchin's watch.
"It's hard to see Mnuchin cracking down on Wall Street," Jeff Hauser, director of the Revolving Door Project, a government oversight group, told Politico. "Indeed, one imagines Mnuchin's banking agenda would be to rehabilitate Trump's reputation with Wall Street."