The New York Times, citing sources close to the president-elect’s transition team, reports that Donald Trump is expected to announce Steven Mnuchin as his pick to lead the Department of Treasury, possibly as soon as Wednesday:
Mr. Mnuchin, 53, was the national finance chairman for Mr. Trump’s campaign. He began his career at Goldman Sachs, where he became a partner, before creating his own hedge fund, moving to the West Coast and entering the first rank of movie financiers by bankrolling hits like the “X-Men” franchise and “Avatar.” …
Mnuchin, the son of a Goldman Sachs partner, joined the firm after graduating from Yale University. He worked there for 17 years, rising to oversee trading in government securities and mortgage bonds. After leaving Goldman in 2002, he founded Dune Capital Management, a hedge fund named after the dunes near his beach house in the Hamptons.
In the gentle words of the Times, Mnuchin’s resume “fits uneasily with much of Mr. Trump’s campaign rhetoric” about Wall Street and the financial industry, which is true much the same way Trump’s own gilded, status quo-blessed life belies his anti-establishment posturing. Mnuchin has no government experience, but would become the third Goldman alumnus to lead Treasury, joining Henry Paulson Jr., who served under President George W. Bush, and Robert Rubin, who served under President Bill Clinton.
“It’s hard to see Mnuchin cracking down on Wall Street,” Jeff Hauser, the director of the Revolving Door Project, a nonprofit that scrutinizes executive-branch appointments, told Politico this summer when Mnuchin’s name was first floated for the job. “Indeed, one imagines Mnuchin’s banking agenda would be to rehabilitate Trump’s reputation with Wall Street.”
In his public comments, Mnuchin hasn’t gone quite as far as Trump has when it comes to preaching the gospel of anti-regulation. In July, for instance, he suggested that Dodd-Frank “needs to be looked at.” Trump, meanwhile, has promised he’d repeal the 2010 law, which among myriad other things would shutter the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency that was the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren. Trump is also on record calling for an indefinite moratorium for any new financial regulations until the economy shows “significant growth,” a threshold that his team has conveniently never defined.
Slate will have more on the news shortly, but for now you can browse Mnuchin’s IMDB page, which includes executive producer credits for such movies as Suicide Squad, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and The Intern.