WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Steve Mnuchin, a financier with deep ties on Wall Street and Hollywood but no government experience, is expected to be named President-elect Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary as soon as Wednesday, according to multiple reports.
The 53-year-old Mnuchin served as Trump’s national finance chairman during the campaign, and began his career at Goldman Sachs, where he ultimately attained partner-level status, before creating his own hedge fund, moving to the West Coast and entering the first rank of movie financiers by bankrolling hits like the “X-Men” franchise and “Avatar.”
As Treasury Secretary, Mnuchin would play an important role in shaping the administration’s economic policies, including the package of Trump’s promised tax cuts, increased spending on infrastructure and changes in the terms of foreign trade.
However, his selection fits uneasily with the majority of Trump’s campaign rhetoric attacking the financial sector. Trump, in a campaign ad intended as a closing argument, portrayed the chief executive of Goldman Sachs as the personification of a global elite that the ad said had “robbed our working class.”
Mnuchin has said in the past he agrees with Trump’s priorities, and came out as an early supporter of his presidential candidacy. He has been supremely rewarded for his loyalty to the President-elect — when Trump won New York’s Republican presidential primary in April, Mnuchin attended the victory party. The next day, he accepted Trump’s invitation to become the campaign’s national finance director.
A number of Mnuchin’s closest friends reacted with shock when he accepted the position, while he remained unfazed.
“Nobody’s going to be, like, ‘Well, why did he do this?’ if I end up in the administration,” he told Bloomberg Businessweek in August.
The son of a Goldman Sachs partner, Mnuchin joined the firm after graduating from Yale University. He worked at Goldman Sachs for 17 years, rising to oversee trading in government securities and mortgage bonds. After his departure in 2002, he founded Dune Capital Management, a hedge fund named after the dunes near his beach house in the Hamptons.
Mnuchin was part of a group that bought the failed California mortgage lender IndyMac from the government in 2009. He became chairman of the company, renamed OneWest, which was ultimately sold to CIT, the nation’s largest small-business lender, in 2015 for more than twice the price the group had paid.
Mnuchin and Trump have known each other for years, and the relationship has had its fair share of tumultuous moments. Mnuchin’s company helped to finance construction of a Trump project in Chicago. In 2008, Trump sued Dune and other lenders to extend the loan terms. The parties ultimately settled.
He would become the third Goldman alumnus to serve in the job, after Henry M. Paulson Jr., under President George W. Bush; and Robert E. Rubin, under President Bill Clinton.