Steven Mnuchin is Secretary of the Department of the Treasury.
- born December 21, 1962 in New York City
- Parents: Elaine Terner Cooper of New York and Robert E. Mnuchin of Washington, Conn. His mother is a vice president of the International Directors Council of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and a director of the Byrd Hoffman Foundation, which supports the arts. His father, who retired as a general partner at Goldman, Sachs, owns C&M Arts, an art gallery in New York. NY Times
- graduated 1985
- Bachelor's from Yale University Bloomberg
- partner at Goldman Sachs in 1994
- a divorced (2104) father of three LA Times & NY Times & twice married now engaged to Scottish actress, Louise Litton, Bloomberg
- Before divorce Mnuchin and his ex-wife were considered stalwarts in high-society philanthropy world of New York and Los Angeles.
- employed seventeen years at Wall St. investment bank Goldman Sachs LA Times
- deeply involved in developing the president-elect's tax proposals NPR
- financed major blockbusters such as American Sniper, Gravity, Avatar and Life of Pi. Bloomberg
- "The bank (IndyMac) was renamed OneWest Bank, and Mnuchin became its chairman and CEO. The bank developed a reputation during the recession for being quick to foreclose on delinquent homeowners, closing on more than 36,000 households under Mnuchin, according the housing-advocacy group California Reinvestment Coalition." NPR
|2016.03||Mnuchin forecloses on the home of 90-year-old woman after a payment error falsely made it seem like her payment was 27-cent short. politico.com|
|2017.02.01||Senate Republicans suspend rules to pass Tom Price and Steve Mnuchin through committee without Democrats present. slate.com (See also First 100 Days, Tom Price, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Treasury)|
|2017.02.03||Will Eric Schneiderman, New York's Attorney General, take down Trump? politico.com (See also Lawsuits, Trump University, Scott Pruitt, Rex Tillerson, Jared Kushner)|
|2017.02.09||Treasury nominee, Steven Mnuchin, vows no tax cut for rich but math says the opposite and tax proposals from House Republicans and Trump could make his promise hard to keep. nytimes.com (See also First 100 Days, Department of the Treasury, Taxes)|
|2017.02.13||Senate confirms Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary. thehill.com (See also First 100 Days, Department of the Treasury)|
|2017.02.22||In his first interview since his confirmation, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin lays out ambitious goals to secure a U.S. tax-code overhaul by August and to deliver economic growth at rates not seen in more than a decade. wsj.com (See also Department of the Treasury, Taxes)|
|2017.02.23||Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he wants to use a regular review of foreign-exchange markets to determine if China is manipulating currency, contradicting an October pledge by Trump to direct his Treasury Secretary to name China a manipulator on the first day of his administration. bloomberg.com (See also China, First 100 Days)|
|2017.02.24||China hits back at Trump after he accuses the country of being the “grand champion” of currency manipulation—only hours after Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, says there are no plans to label the country as such. theguardian.com (See also First 100 Days, China, Department of the Treasury)|
|2017.07.25||At the end of a Senate subcommittee hearing on Tuesday morning, a microphone captured Chairman Susan Collins and Senator Jack Reed discussing Trump’s ignorance with with the details of governing. washingtonpost.com (See also Assaults on Government, Department of Defense, Department of the Treasury)|
|2017.08.21||U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s wife Louise Linton boasted of flying on a government plane with her husband to Kentucky on Monday and then named the numerous fashion brands she wore on the trip in an unusual social media post. washingtonpost.com (See also Conflicts of Interest)|
|2017.09.13||Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested use of a government jet, costing roughly $25,000 per hour to operate, to take him and his wife on their honeymoon in Scotland, France and Italy earlier this summer, sparking an “inquiry” by the Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General. abcnews.go.com (See also Department of the Treasury)|
|2017.09.22||Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin used a costly government jet to make the short journey from New York City to Washington D.C. following a meeting in Trump Tower last month, a flight that is now under review by department investigators, along with at least two other requests for government travel involving the secretary. abcnews.go.com (See also Department of the Treasury, Corruption)|
|2017.10.05||Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has flown on military aircraft seven times since March at a cost of more than $800,000, including a $15,000 round-trip flight to New York to meet with President Trump at Trump Tower. nytimes.com (See also Corruption, Department of the Treasury)|
|2017.10.06||The intelligence division at the Treasury Department has repeatedly and systematically violated domestic surveillance laws by snooping on the private financial records of US citizens and companies. buzzfeed.com (See also Department of the Treasury, Assaults on Civil Liberties)|
|2017.10.11||Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest-ranking national security leaders, leading to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling him a "moron." nbcnews.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Foreign Policy, Department of State, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, Mike Pence)|
|2017.10.13||Donald Trump and Republican leaders have positioned a proposed repeal of the estate tax as a way to help farmers, ranchers and small business owners, but Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, offered a significant concession about who would benefit the most if the so-called death tax disappears: the rich. nytimes.com (See also False Statements, Conflicts of Interest, Department of the Treasury)|
|2017.11.06||Nearly half of all middle-class families would pay more in taxes in 2026 than they would under current rules if the proposed House tax bill became law, and about 33% would pay more in 2018, a striking finding for a bill promoted by Donald Trump and congressional Republicans as a middle-class tax cut. nytimes.com (See also False Statements, Economy, Department of the Treasury)|
Millions of middle-class families — particularly those with children — would see an immediate tax increase, averaging about $2,000.
|2017.11.08||Lawrence Summers, the former president of Harvard and a top economic adviser to President Barack Obama, has accused Mr. Mnuchin of damaging the credibility of Treasury by making “irresponsible” economic assessments of the administration’s tax plan and acting as a “sycophant” to President Trump. nytimes.com (See also Department of the Treasury)|
|2017.11.30||The Treasury Department’s inspector general is examining whether political considerations interfered with Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s promised analysis of the Republican tax proposal. bloomberg.com (See also Department of the Treasury, Corruption, False Statements)|
|2017.12.11||The U.S. Treasury Department released a one-page analysis of the GOP's proposed tax reform plan, acknowledging that the tax plan will not pay for itself via economic growth, despite Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin having regularly made such a claim. axios.com (See also False Statements, Department of the Treasury)|
Instead, getting into the black would require "a combination of regulatory reform, infrastructure development, and welfare reform."
|2017.12.22||Donald Trump’s plan to abolish a tax break for hedge-fund managers was kept out of the final tax overhaul legislation -- an act of defiance by congressional leaders who exploited a split among Trump’s advisers. bloomberg.com (See also Economy, False Statements, Hypocrisy, Reversals)|
|2018.01.30||A Treasury Department spokesperson confirmed that the unclassified annex of a newly released Treasury Department report of Russian oligarchs was derived from Forbes’ ranking of the “200 richest businessmen in Russia 2017.” buzzfeed.com (See also Administration Errors, Russia, Department of the Treasury)|
|2018.01.31||The Congressional Budget Office said on Wednesday that the United States is expected to bump up against its borrowing limit a month earlier than previously expected, a function of last year’s $1.5 trillion tax cut, which is resulting in less revenue for the Treasury Department. nytimes.com (See also Department of the Treasury, Economy)|
|2018.02.16||After less than 13 months, more than 40 percent of the people Trump originally picked for Cabinet-level jobs have faced ethical or other controversies. washingtonpost.com (See also Administration Errors, Trump Cabinet, Corruption, Conflicts of Interest, Tom Price, Ryan Zinke, John Kelly, Jeff Sessions, Ben Carson)|
|2018.03.15||Between the spring and fall of 2017, Mnuchin took eight separate trips on military aircraft at a total of nearly $1 million, for both business and occasional personal travel. citizensforethics.org (See also Department of the Treasury, Corruption)|
- early 1980's trainee at Salomon Brothers
- 11/--/1994 Head of the Mortgage Securities Department at SFM Capital Management (Bloomberg)
- 12/--/1998 Mnuchin is made responsible for overseeing mortgages, U.S. governments, money markets and municipals in the fixed income, currency and commodities division at SFM Capital Management (Bloomberg)
- 11/25/2016 Mnuchin married Heather deForest Crosby (NY TImes)
- 12/–/1999 Member of the Executive Office at SFM Capital Management (Bloomberg)
- 02/--/2001 Co-Chief Information Officer at SFM Capital Management (Bloomberg)
- 2001 Executive Vice President at SFM Capital Management (Bloomberg)
- 2002 Mnuchin leaves Goldman Sachs to join Soros (Los Angeles Times)
- 2003 Chief Executive Officer at SFM Capital Management (Bloomberg)
- 2004 Mnuchin founds OneWest Bank Group Source: Bloomberg (Bloomberg)
- 2005 Mnuchin serves on board of Sears Holding Corp after Sears merged with Kmart Holding Corp where he served on the board of directors. (Los Angeles Times)
- 10/02/2013Mnuchin's big bet on film content with Warner brothers. (Forbes)
- 10/–/2014 to present: Non-Executive Co-Chairman of Relativity Media, LLC (Bloomberg)
- 08/08/2015-12/12/2015 & 01/02/2016-3/31/2016: Vice Chairman of CIT Group Inc. (Bloomberg)
- 08/–/2015 Director of CIT Group Inc. (Bloomberg)
- 08/05/2015 Mnuchin's departure from Relativity shortly before bankruptcy filing. (Variety)
- 04/12/2016 Mnuchin joined the Trump campaign (NPR)
- 05/05/2016 Trump's new national finance Chairman, Mnuchin, his background and Goldman Sachs and hedge fund history. Source: Bloomberg (Bloomberg)
05/10/2016 The Worst of Wall Street: Meet Donald Trump’s Finance Chairman Will Trump’s supporters notice the greedy excesses of a top campaign hire? (The Nation)
- 11/17/2016 Two California advocacy groups have asked federal housing regulators (HUD) to investigate Pasadena's OneWest Bank over allegations that it discriminated against minority communities. (Los Angeles Times)
- 11/29/2016 Mnuchin is likely pick to be Treasury Secretary (The Hill)
- 11/30/2016 Trump's polarizing pick for Treasury Secretary, Mnuchin, is being cheered by financiers and raising concerns among watchdog groups. (Los Angeles Times)
- 11/30/2016 Mnuchin is the likely Treasury pick and and outsider to public policy (The New York Times)
- 11/30/2016 Trump picks Mnuchin to lead the Treasury Department (NPR)
- 11/30/2016 Mnuchin believes Fannie and Freddie Mac should be released from Government oversight. (Bloomberg)
- 11/30/2016 Mnuchin's link to Hollywood and questions surrounding Relativity Media's bankruptcy (The Washington Post)
- 12/02/2016 Inside Trump Treasury nominee's past life as 'foreclosure king' of California (The Guardian)
- 12/02/2016 Mnuchin is stepping down from the boards of CIT Groups Inc and Sears Holding Corp. after confirming Trump wants him to be the next Treasury Secretary. The resignations were effective immediately. (Los Angeles Times)
- 12/19/2016 Trump’s Treasury Pick Moves in Secretive Hedge Fund Circles (The New York Times)
Conflicts of interest
From The NY Times
S"To date, the Trump transition team has not commented on whether Mr. Trump continues to own stakes in Mr. Paulson’s firm and other hedge funds listed on the disclosure statement."
"Investment managers whose funds hold common or preferred shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac include Bruce Berkowitz of Fairholme Capital Management and hedge fund managers John Paulson, Bill Ackman and Richard Perry.
Fairholme’s Berkowitz, who endorsed Trump, was one of the winners on Wednesday as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities climbed. His two biggest holdings, preferred shares in both companies, added about $220 million in value as of 10:25 a.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
According to Trump’s most recent personal financial disclosures, the president-elect owns between $3 million and $15 million worth of funds managed by Paulson, who’s served as a political donor and economic adviser to Trump."
From The NY Times
"One of the lenders that have extended credit to Mr. Trump is Mr. Mnuchin’s Dune Capital. Dune was among a syndicate of lenders led by Deutsche Bank for the construction of his Trump International Hotel & Tower, a 92-story skyscraper in Chicago. Mr. Trump sued the lenders, including Dune, in 2008 to extend the terms of the loan on the basis of “unprecedented financial crisis in the credit markets.” The suit was later settled.
"Mr. Mnuchin’s firm was also involved in investing in Trump Waikiki in Hawaii. 'I haven’t really commented on what business we’ve done together,' he said. 'I would describe it as more of a personal relationship than a professional relationship.'”
From The NY Times
HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) is investigating complaints about OneWest's foreclosure practices in the reverse mortgage business.
"disgruntled Relativity investors privately are questioning how a bank Mnuchin once headed –OneWest Bank of Pasadena – was allowed by Relativity to drain $50 million from the studio just weeks prior to the July 30 insolvency filing."
- Director on the Yale Development Board Bloomberg
- Member of the Board of Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MOCA), New York Presbyterian Hospital, the Los Angeles Police Foundation, Life Trustee of New York Presbyterian Hospital and UCLA Health System Board Bloomberg
- Finance Chairman of Trump campaign Bloomberg
- Co-Founder, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of privately owned hedge fund Dune Capital Management LP Bloomberg
- Investment Professional of Soros Fund Management LLC. Bloomberg
- Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IMB Holdco LLC Bloomberg
- Vice Chairman of ESL Investments, Inc. since 2003 and serves as its Director Bloomberg
- A Mnuchin led investor group, that included Michael Dell, John Paulson, and George Soros, established OneWest after purchasing the remains of failed mortgage lender IndyMac Bancorp in 2009 LA Times & LA TImes & NPR
- chairman of One West Bank Parent company LA Times
- joined New York financial services company CIT in 2015 when they purchased OneWest Bank, serve as Director of CIT Bank, National Association.
- Affiliated with The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., CIT Group Inc., Soros Fund Management LLC, ESL Investments, Inc., Yale University, SFM Capital Management, Sears Holdings Corporation, Relativity Media, LLC, CIT Bank, National Association, OneWest Bank Group LLC, Dune Real Estate Partners LPSource: Bloomberg
- Trustee of Sculpture Garden Board. Bloomberg
- Board Member of Junior Achievement National Board, the Whitney Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum, City Harvest and Riverdale Country School. Bloomberg
Senators who are in conflict with Mnuchin
- Republican lawmakers over his stance on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Jeb Hensarling, the Texas Republican who chairs the House Financial Services Committee & Tennessee Republican Senator Robert Corker Bloomberg
- Senate Democrats set up a website soliciting complaints from victims of Mnuchin's days as the "Foreclosure King" at OneWest.
From the LA Times:
"Mnuchin’s group netted billions thanks in large part to a much-criticized deal that allowed the investors to buy the bank at a big discount while passing off as much as 75% of its loan losses on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Mnuchin and his group paid about $1.6 billion for the bank and sold it last year to New Jersey lender CIT Group for $3.4 billion.
"Between the sale price and hefty dividends paid out from 2011 to 2015, Mnuchin and his group made a profit of more than $4 billion. It’s not clear how much of a profit Mnuchin personally made, because his stake in OneWest was undisclosed."
From The Nation:
Within a year, the group that the Los Angeles Times called a “billionaires’ club of private financiers” had paid themselves dividends of $1.57 billion. The Nation
From The NY Times
"The banker's involvement in OneWest Bank following the 2008 housing market crash could complicate his confirmation."
From The NY Times
"Mr. Mnuchin shares a network with some of the biggest names in the $3 trillion hedge fund industry, but his work with Mr. Paulson is of particular interest.
"An adviser to Mr. Trump, Mr. Paulson, who is best known for making a $15 billion wager that the housing market would collapse, has managed some money for the president-elect."
From NY Times
"The day after Mr. Trump formally selected him, Mr. Mnuchin said that the government should get out of the business of running Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two giant mortgage finance firms that the federal government bailed out in 2008. The shares of the two companies soared in response to his words — some of the sharpest one-day gains for the stocks since the government conservatorship began."
"Mr. Mnuchin’s remark may have benefited someone else: Mr. Trump has invested $3 million to $15 million with Mr. Paulson’s hedge fund, according to the financial disclosure statement filed during his run for president.
— The New York Times
Sorkin discusses Mnuchin's status as public policy outsider:
"But anyone looking for hints about Mr. Mnuchin’s ideology may be disappointed: His friends say he is not ideological and that, if anything, his ideology is simply his ambition.
Max Abelson and Zachary Mider — Bloomberg
Their article points to Mnuchin's goals:
"When Mr. Mnuchin decided to back Mr. Trump — much to the horror of some of his friends and peers — he explained it to Bloomberg Businessweek the way a trader would: 'Nobody’s going to be like, ‘Well, why did he do this?’ if I end up in the administration.'"
"Richard LeFrak, a billionaire developer who’s friendly with Mnuchin and has known Trump for about half a century, says he isn’t sure if the two even have the same ideology. But he sees a through line in Mnuchin’s journey from Wall Street to Hollywood to bank ownership to politics. “He’s a guy that can recognize an opportunity and adapt to it,” he says. “He’s able to switch into different things.”
Ally Marotti — Los Angeles Times
Marotti points out the discrepancy between Trump's populist message and his selection of Mnuchin:
"His deep roots on Wall Street fit the mold of past Treasury secretaries — though he never led a large investment bank — but they contrast with the populist stance the president-elect took during his campaign."
Peter Dreier — The Nation
Dreier examines Mnuchin's deep roots in Wall St. and Goldman Sachs:
"Both Trump and Mnuchin earned their first fortunes the old fashion way: they inherited it. Trump took over his father Fred’s real estate empire and expanded it through questionable business practices. Mnuchin, also the scion of a wealthy and well-connected family, graduated from Yale in 1985 and soon wound up working at Goldman Sachs, where his father Robert had been a general partner."
Sam Levin — The Guardian
Levin interviews victims of OneWest foreclosure practices including Bill Montes-Pack's:
“Rather than shaking up Wall Street, he installs the very person that was part of the financial mess,” said Montes-Pack, who has effectively been homeless since the foreclosure. “I’m just thoroughly disgusted.”