Meet Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s Finance Maven and Treasury Secretary by the Forward

Meet Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s Finance Maven and Treasury Secretary

Image by Getty Images

Three weeks after his victory, President-elect Donald Trump has named many of his top advisers, drawing heavily from the small group of aides and admirers who surrounded him during his campaign. Steve Mnuchin, his pick to lead the Treasury Department, fits that bill, having served as the candidate’s finance chair and long entertained personal and business ties with the real estate billionaire. Here are five facts about the finance maven and future Cabinet officer.

1. Ex-Goldman Exec

Like incoming White House strategist Steve Bannon (and many Treasury Secretaries), Mnuchin is a Goldman Sachs alum, once working at the firm as a partner. His portfolio was in the mortgage-backed bonds that triggered the savings and loans crisis of the early 1990’s. Mnuchin has recently started his own hedge fund, Dune Capital Management, and at one point owned his own bank, OneWest.

2. A Member of a Secret Society

Attending Yale in the 1980’s, Mnuchin was a member of the elite Skull and Bones Society, a secret organization that has long been associated with wealth and privilege. Other members have included both Presidents Bush, current Secretary of State John Kerry and Time Magazine founder Henry Luce.

What We Know About Trump’s Pick for Treasury.

3. Bought His Own Bank

During the Great Recession, Mnuchin gathered a team of investors to purchase the IndyWest commercial bank, which was under-leveraged and threatened with collapse. He sold the enterprise off last year, following a rash of accusations that the bank foreclosed on properties in a highly aggressive manner.

4. Made Out in the Madoff Scam

Mnuchin’s mother Elaine Cooper invested millions of dollars with Ponzi scheme master Bernie Madoff. After she died in 2006, he and his siblings closed their account with Madoff, pocketing a hefty return on investment. After the scam to light, a trustee overseeing restitution for defrauded investors wanted Mnuchin and his siblings to return $3.2 million in false profit that was really money that other investors had put into the scheme. But they were able to keep the cash because they withdrew it in time — the trustee was only allowed to clawback monies taken out after a certain time.

5. He Used to Be a Film Producer

His hedge fund has provided support for movies including “American Sniper,” “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Avatar.” He served as the executive producer on the recent films “The Accountant” with Ben Affleck and “Sully” with Tom Hanks.

6. He’s in the ‘Third Wife Club’

Already the Trump administration is shaping up with its own ‘third wife club.’ President-elect Trump, incoming White House strategist Steve Bannon, potential Secretary of State Rudy Giuliani, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have all had three spouses.

Mnuchin is on the threshold of joining the club — he’s currently engaged to Louise Linton, who will be his third wife when the two are married. He is the father of three children.

What We Know About Trump’s Pick for Treasury.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon


Daniel J. Solomon

Daniel J. Solomon is the former Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.

Meet Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s Finance Maven and Next Treasury Secretary

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Meet Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s Finance Maven and Treasury Secretary

Thank you!

This article has been sent!