Steve Mnuchin is a perfect illustration of how Donald Trump values loyalty to Donald Trump over all other qualities. Is Mnuchin a finance star? No, not really. Does he have deep economic knowledge that can reshape policy? Definitely not. He’s a Wall Street finance guy who lined his own pockets while the ship was going down—one of the people who Trump supposedly campaigned against. He’s a bankster who bought up a subprime mortgage company and turned into a foreclosure engine. His only really qualification is that he jumped the Trump train early and worked on Trump’s campaign. Which makes decades at Goldman Sachs and a background in predatory lending completely okay by Trump.
But not everyone shares that opinion.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called Steve Mnuchin “the Forrest Gump of the financial crisis” in a statement Tuesday, referencing Munchin’s two-decade-long tenure at Goldman Sachs, according to the Los Angeles Times.
It’s not just that Mnuchin was at Goldman Sachs. He was deeply involved in just the kind of derivatives trading that precipitated the financial crisis, and like many other Wall Street execs, Mnuchin walked away with a fat bank account while leaving ruin in his wake. And if you’re thinking there at least might be a rags to riches story in his background ... this was his father's company.
Mnuchin rose to partner and chief information officer at the legendary Wall Street investment bank, where his father also had been a partner.
In addition to Goldman Sachs, Mnuchin also lead the bank OneWest, known for aggressive (and sometimes illegal) forecloses and predatory loans.
OneWest had agreed to participate in a federal program to modify the mortgages of borrowers so that they would not lose their homes. But community groups said the bank aggressively pursued foreclosures, particularly in minority areas.
In 2011, dozens of activists protested the practices on the lawn of Mnuchin’s 22,000-square-foot Bel-Air home. That same year, the federal Office of Thrift Supervision hit the bank with a regulatory order saying it had failed to follow procedures when foreclosing on homeowners.
Wall Street insider deeply involved in financial meltdown. Bankster who engaged in aggressive foreclosures “particularly in minority areas.”
Perfect Trump candidate. Fill the swamp! Fill the swamp!
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) also took aim at Mnuchin’s time leading the bank OneWest, known for its aggressive foreclosure practices.
“Given Mr. Mnuchin’s history of profiting off the victims of predatory lending, I look forward to asking him how his Treasury Department would work for Americans who are still waiting for the economic recovery to show up in their communities," he said in a statement.
Why ask? Mnuchin has already announced that his focus will be cutting taxes for corporations. You can bet he’ll also be cutting some regulations—like those that are supposed to protect consumers against predatory loans and aggressive foreclosure.