Trump said to name Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary
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Trump said to name Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary

Jewish banker and movie producer was president-elect’s finance chief during campaign

Steven Mnuchin speaking at City Harvest: An Event Of Practical Magic in New York City, April 24, 2014. (Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for City Harvest)
Steven Mnuchin speaking at City Harvest: An Event Of Practical Magic in New York City, April 24, 2014. (Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for City Harvest)

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary reportedly is Steven Mnuchin, the banker and movie producer who was his campaign’s finance chief.

Mnuchin, who is Jewish and in his mid-50s, made his fortune as a banker for Goldman Sachs, and has also helmed smaller banks and produced blockbusters like “Avatar” and the “X-Men” movies.

Multiple media outlets, including Politico, the New York Times and the Washington Post, said in alerts posted late Tuesday that Mnuchin was Trump’s Treasury pick.

Mnuchin, who backed Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, was among the earliest of Republican establishment figures to support Trump’s insurgent campaign for the Republican nomination. His father is the noted art dealer, Robert Mnuchin, who also made a fortune at Goldman Sachs.

The choice of Mnuchin for Treasury secretary may come as a surprise, considering how Trump campaigned against moneyed interests victimizing working classes. One California bank Mnuchin headed, IndyMac, was dubbed the “foreclosure machine,” according to NPR, profiting from as many as 36,000 foreclosures.

Mnuchin is not the only Goldman Sachs alumnus advising Trump – his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, also worked for the bank. Trump nonetheless castigated Wall Street during his campaign, and in one of his final ads cast Goldman Sachs’ CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, as a villain.

If confirmed by the Senate, Mnuchin would play a central role in shaping Trump’s tax policies and infrastructure plans. He would also lead an agency tasked with implementing international economic sanctions.

Mnuchin is expected to be joined on Trump’s senior economic team by another financier, Wilbur Ross. The billionaire investor is considered the “king of bankruptcy” for buying beaten-down companies with the potential to deliver profits.

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