Steven T. Mnuchin is the nominee of Donald Trump as the Treasury secretary. Mnuchin is a highly successful wall street investor who has no experience in serving the government. After completing his studies in Economics at the Yale university, he started working at Goldman Sachs. Later, he started his own investment company Dune Capital management. Mnuchin became a popular Hollywood financier, financing big films like Avatar. He was accused of hiding his business assets in the disclosure statement of his nomination paperwork. He was also questioned on his business intentions when he purchased a controversial bank. The confirmation hearing was scheduled for Thursday and Mnuchin defended his actions before the Senate Finance committee.
The democratic committee staff members created a memo as Mnuchin failed to disclose his corporations in the Cayman Islands (Update) and Anguilla in his paperwork for the nomination. He updated the disclosures later. Defending his actions, Mnuchin said that those offshore entities were not set up to benefit him personally. Rather, they are entirely used to serve pensions and nonprofits. Some of these entities are worth more than $100 million and this raised concerns. In his defending statement, Mnuchin said that he didn’t use the offshore entities to evade the taxes and he has paid all the required taxes.
In 2009 Mnuchin purchased IndyMac from the federal government as the lender was facing a hard time during the economic crisis. He renamed the bank as OneWest and he ran it successfully for 6 years. This is a controversial and profitable investment for Mnuchin as other investors didn’t want to get involved in the housing bust. Mnuchin said during his defense argument that he took up the controversial project because he found a way to save the bank. He said that he set out to correct the mess he had inherited by purchasing the bank.
At the time of purchase, IndyMac came with 178,000 home foreclosures. He argued that OneWest wasn’t capable of deviating from the guidelines of the government regarding foreclosure. He even went on to sue HSBC regarding control of trusts. Mnuchin said that while everyone called him a foreclosure machine, he was actually a loan modification machine who tried to offer various loan modifications to stop home foreclosures. The Democratic committee staffers also went on to question numerous business interests of Mnuchin. He was clearly uncomfortable during his testimony as he answered one question after another shot at him.
Wyden said that Mnuchin used various loopholes in the taxation system of international countries to evade millions of dollars in taxes. He questioned Mnuchin’s ability to create a taxation system when he is popular to take advantage of the various tax shelters.
Mnuchin played a major role in crafting the campaign proposal of Donald Trump in which he pledged to overhaul the tax code and enforce the trade policies. Mnuchin said that he is keen on bringing up tax reform as he hoped that Donald’s policy will help to boost the economy of the country by 3-4%.