For a candidate who pledged to not let Wall Street “get away with murder” and decried the financial industry’s influence in Washington, President-elect Trump has betrayed numerous promises by selecting wealthy former Goldman Sachs partner and hedge fund founder Steven Mnuchin as his choice for secretary of the treasury.
Trump talks about a “rigged system,” but the American people deserve to know that the system has been rigged by people exactly like Steve Mnuchin. Among his many notorious accomplishments, Mnuchin’s hedge fund purchased a distressed mortgage lender accused of using grotesque practices, including redlining, robosigning, and fabricating documents to churn out foreclosures. While homeowners, communities, and the American economy suffered deeply during the financial crisis, the lender—under Mnuchin’s leadership—was able to walk away unscathed with billions in profits, much of which was reaped on the backs of taxpayers. Simply put, Steve Mnuchin harmed homeowners, and that is exactly the wrong kind of person to lead the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
President-elect Trump campaigned aggressively on his promise to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act, the financial reform law intended to prevent the big banks from dragging the U.S. economy into another financial crisis. It’s no surprise then that he’d pick a Wall Street financier to help him lead the charge on this front—someone who, like the president-elect, is positioned to personally benefit from the very deregulatory and tax giveaway plans he will put forward. Frankly, Steve Mnuchin lacks any demonstrable track record of working on behalf of the public interest.
The treasury secretary is the leading cabinet official responsible for our economy, our tax revenues, and the stability of our financial system. The average middle-class family saw 49 percent of its wealth destroyed between 2001 and 2010, and American families cannot afford to have that happen again. Putting another Wall Street financier into the Cabinet—especially in the leading economic post—isn’t draining the swamp. Instead, it is a slap in the face to all Americans that want our government to represent everyone—not just those at the top.