Restocking the Swamp: Goldman Sachs to Provide the Financial Brains (& Brawn) of the Trump Era

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens and cross-posted from Wall Street on Parade

Two former Goldman Sachs bankers and the sitting President of the Wall Street firm are taking high positions in Donald Trump’s administration despite the egregious role that Goldman Sachs played in the 2008 financial collapse that cost millions of Americans their homes and their jobs.

Steve Bannon, who at one time worked in Mergers and Acquisitions at Goldman, will be Trump’s Senior Counselor and Chief White House Strategist.

Steve Mnuchin, who joined Goldman in 1985 and worked there for the next 17 years, has been nominated by Trump to serve as U.S. Treasury Secretary. That post also entitles Mnuchin to Chair the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a body that frequently meets in secret to deliberate if the U.S. could be looking at another 2008-style meltdown.  Yesterday, an article at Bloomberg News raised questions about Mnuchin’s qualifications to serve in one of the most important cabinet posts in government, writing that shortly after Mnuchin had made a windfall last year from the sale of OneWest Bank, problems emerged: “The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development opened an investigation into foreclosure practices in a division that handles loans to senior citizens. Accountants determined the unit’s books were a mess. Eventually, the bank’s new owner, CIT Group Inc., discovered a shortfall of more than $230 million.”

Mnuchin, at least, was not at Goldman Sachs in the leadup to the greatest financial crash since the Great Depression. He left in 2002. The same cannot be said for Gary Cohn, the current President and Chief Operating Officer of Goldman, whom Trump has picked to lead the National Economic Council and be his chief strategist in developing his economic policy. It’s convenient that Cohn’s new position does not require Senate confirmation since exactly what he knew about Goldman selling bogus investments to its clients while the firm made billions of dollars betting the instruments would fail might be raised in Senate questioning of Cohn’s fitness to serve

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