Donald Trump has reached into his wig box and pulled out yet another name for his cabinet of horrors: Steven Mnuchin, former Goldman Sachs executive and hedge fund manager with absolutely zero government experience, is Trump’s expected pick for Treasury Secretary.
The New York Times reports that according to sources close to the transition, the official announcement will come sometime Wednesday.
Mnuchin was the campaign finance chair of Trump’s campaign. He got his start at Goldman Sachs and pivoted that experience to found his own hedge fund. He then moved to Hollywood to puruse a lucrative career investing in blockbusters like the X-Men franchise and Avatar. As Treasury Secretary, Mnuchin would be responsible for carrying out Trump’s much-ballyhooed economic policies, including tax cuts, foreign trade agreements and somehow finding the money for a massive overhaul of infrastructure, not to mention undoing the work President Obama has done with Cuba and Iran by reimposing sanctions in both countries.
Mnuchin’s possible appointment to this role in the Cabinet is a curious choice, given Trump’s hard stance during the election against the elite. The Times notes that this choice is an interesting one, given a campaign ad that “portrayed the chief executive of Goldman Sachs as the personification of a global elite that the ad said had ‘robbed our working class.’”
Mnuchin’s possible appointment is concerning for a number of reasons, but the most important of all is his role in the 2008 financial crisis. According to the Times:
“He purchased a bailed-out bank for pennies on the dollar and then aggressively foreclosed on tens of thousands of families,” Jon Green, a spokesman for Americans for Financial Reform, said in a statement. “Anyone concerned about Wall Street billionaires rigging the economy should be terrified by the prospect of a Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.”
During the financial crisis, Mnuchin worked at OneWest Bank in California which foreclosed on families of color and was also accused of breaking redlining laws. Tangentially, his girlfriend is the Scottish actress Louise Linton, responsible for writing that casually racist, heavily fictionalized “memoir” about a gap year in Zambia. That, of course, has nothing to do with Mnuchin’s appointment but is a fun fact nonetheless.
Mentioning again the fact that Mnuchin has zero experience in public office feels pointless, but I’d just like to make note of that once more –he’s a rich white man with ties to Wall Street who will certainly look out for their interests above the interests of the American people.