February 13 – Former Goldman Sachs banker Steven T. Mnuchin has been sworn in as Secretary of the Treasury after a divided Senate voted 53-47 in favor of his confirmation. Mnuchin will be the principal economic advisor to President Donald Trump on domestic and international financial, economic and tax issues.
Mnuchin is responsible for the executive branch agency whose mission includes maintaining a strong economy, promoting conditions that enable job growth and stability, protecting the integrity of the financial system, strengthening national security, and managing the U.S. government’s finances effectively.
Mnuchin succeeds Jacob J. Lew, who served in the position under President Obama.
Prior to his confirmation, Secretary Mnuchin was Finance Chairman for Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. In this role he spent the last year traveling with the President. He met with hundreds of business leaders. He also served as a Senior Economic Advisor to the President in crafting his economic positions and economic speeches.
Prior to his confirmation he also served as Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Dune Capital Management. He also founded OneWest Bank Group LLC and served as its chairman and CEO until its sale to CIT Group Inc. Earlier in his career, Secretary Mnuchin worked at The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. where he was a partner and served as Chief Information Officer.
But there has been vocal opposition to Mnuchin’s appointment. Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, called Mnuchin a “Wall Street nominee who is unfit to lead Treasury.”
Maxine Waters, D.-Calif., ranking member of the Committee on Financial Services, referred to Mnuchin as the “foreclosure king” in a prepared statement:
“I am extremely disappointed in Senate Republicans for clearing the way for yet another Wall Street insider to take a critical leadership position in the Administration. Trump and his fellow Republicans in Congress are determined to pack the Administration with bankers and billionaires, ensuring that special interests are represented, not the needs of hardworking Americans. Steven Mnuchin’s history of predatory home foreclosures, his blatant lies to the Senate regarding the robo-signing of foreclosure documents, and his threats to dismantle consumer protections should have been more than enough to deny his confirmation.
“This confirmation goes beyond letting the fox in the henhouse. They have given the keys to the Treasury to the Foreclosure King.”