President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the Treasury Department is a former Goldman Sachs banker with no prior government experience. As the national finance chairman for Trump's campaign, Steve Mnuchin raised millions in donations in a relatively short period of time. Now he could become one of the world's most important financial regulators. Here's what you need to know about Mnuchin.
Goldman Sachs is a family affair.
Mnuchin spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs, starting in its savings and loan business before becoming the bank's chief information officer in 1999. His father, Robert Mnuchin, spent more than 33 years at the bank and his brother, Alan, was a Goldman Sachs' vice president. When he left in 2002, Mnuchin's stake in Goldman Sachs was worth a reported $46 million.
He is well respected on Wall Street, but considered a political novice.
Given his time at Goldman Sachs it should come as no surprise that Mnuchin is well regarded in elite financial circles. He started his own hedge fund, Dune Capital, and has worked closely with billionaires such as John Paulson. But little is known about where Mnuchin would come down on thorny regulatory issues.
Democrats — and even some Trump supporters — are likely to cry foul at his nomination.
During his campaign, Trump repeatedly railed against Wall Street, particularly Goldman Sachs, making Mnuchin's nomination potentially thorny for his base. But is also likely to anger progressives and Democrats who argue that a former banker shouldn't be put in charge of reining in Wall Street.
He made a big bet during the housing crisis and it paid off.
In 2009, Mnuchin led a purchase of failed subprime mortgage lender IndyMac, which was ground zero for some of the worst lending abuses. Central to the deal was a promise by federal regulators to cover a significant share of the bank's losses. The bank — later renamed OneWest — received $900 million in federal bailout money. Another bank, CIT, acquired OneWest last year for $3.4 billion, roughly double the original sale price. Mnuchin is still on CIT's board of directors and owns $100 million in company stock, according to compensation research firm Equilar.
You can thank him for "Suicide Squad."
After moving to California to help run IndyMac, Mnuchin dipped his toe into the world of movie production and has built quite an impressive track record. He even has an IMDb page. In addition to "Suicide Squad," his producer credits include "American Sniper," "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "Avatar."