(Adds Jack Lew, paragraph 5, and Senator Wyden comment,
By David Lawder
WASHINGTON Nov 29 President-elect Donald Trump
is expected to name former Goldman Sachs partner and
Hollywood financier Steven Mnuchin as his nominee for Treasury
secretary, a source said on Tuesday, putting a Wall Street
veteran in the top U.S. economic Cabinet post.
Mnuchin, who was Trump's presidential campaign finance
chairman, could be named as early as Wednesday, said a
Republican source close to the decision.
Mnuchin was chosen over several high-profile candidates,
including JPMorgan Chase Chairman Jamie Dimon and
Republican U.S. Representative Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the
powerful House Financial Services Committee.
Mnuchin is the first person with extensive Wall Street
experience to head the Treasury since his former boss, Henry
Paulson, the former Goldman Sachs chief executive who served
under President George W. Bush and steered Treasury through the
chaotic initial stages of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
The current Treasury secretary, Jack Lew, worked for two
years at Citigroup but has spent most of his career in
government or academia.
The selection of Mnuchin was first reported by The New York
A relatively little-known but successful private equity
investor and hedge fund manager, Mnuchin spent 17 years at
Goldman Sachs before leaving in 2002, when he launched Dune
With Dune, Mnuchin has invested in movies produced by Rupert
Murdoch's 20th Century Fox and Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros,
including blockbusters "Avatar," "Mad Max: Fury Road" and
ACQUIRED FAILED BANK
The son of a Goldman Sachs partner who became an art dealer,
Mnuchin worked hard to step outside his father's shadow and make
a name for himself, former colleagues said, rising to become the
firm's chief information officer in 1999.
"He wanted to prove that he was there on the merits," said a
former Goldman colleague, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Mnuchin's experience running Goldman's mortgage-backed bond
trading desk would later prove valuable when an opportunity
arose in 2009 to buy the deeply discounted assets of failed
California mortgage lender IndyMac Bank from the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation during the financial crisis.
He assembled an investor group that included hedge fund
manager John Paulson to buy the assets for $1.55 billion, and
moved to Los Angeles.
After rebranding the operation OneWest Bank, Mnuchin built
it with other assets and professional sports team sponsorships
into Southern California's largest bank, with 73 branches and
$23 billion in assets. His group sold OneWest to CIT Group Inc
last year for $3.4 billion.
The bank came under fire for its foreclosure practices as
housing advocacy groups accused it of being too quick to
foreclose on struggling homeowners. In 2011, dozens of
demonstrators descended on Mnuchin's $26.5 million home in the
wealthy Bel Air neighborhood to protest OneWest's eviction
tactics, according to the Los Angeles Times.
This month, two housing groups filed a complaint asking the
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to investigate
complaints that OneWest engaged in discriminatory "redlining"
practices against black and Latino communities.
Mnuchin must be confirmed by the Senate and the top Democrat
on the chamber's Finance Committee signaled he may be in for
"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,"
Democratic Senator Ron Wyden said in a statement.
Although Mnuchin has a reputation for being a
behind-the-scenes player in Hollywood, he appears on screen in
the 2016 film "Rules Don't Apply," according to the IMDB movie
database. The drama, which opened in theaters on Nov. 23, stars
Warren Beatty, who also wrote and directed the film.
(Additional reporting by Steve Holland, Svea Herbst and Lisa
Richwine; Editing by Alistair Bell and Peter Cooney)