Confirmed that Steven Mnuchin, a veteran financier and Trump's national finance chair, to be Treasury secretary, as first reported by NYT.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) November 29, 2016
Trump doesn’t have a coherent view of policy. But he does have an ethos of plunder. And he’s stacking his cabinet w like-minded jackals https://t.co/MB9VJQw6hT
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) November 30, 2016
Professor Krugman, in the NYTimes, “Why Corruption Matters“:
…[W]e could be talking about a lot of money — think billions, not millions, to Mr. Trump alone (which is why his promise not to take his salary is a sick joke). But America is a very rich country, whose government spends more than $4 trillion a year, so even large-scale looting amounts to rounding error. What’s important is not the money that sticks to the fingers of the inner circle, but what they do to get that money, and the bad policy that results…
… I’ve already written about the Trump infrastructure plan, which for no obvious reason involves widespread privatization of public assets. No obvious reason, that is, except the huge opportunities for cronyism and profiteering that would be opened up.
But what’s truly scary is the potential impact of corruption on foreign policy. Again, foreign governments are already trying to buy influence by adding to Mr. Trump’s personal wealth, and he is welcoming their efforts…
Destruction of democratic norms aside, however, think about the tilt this de facto bribery will give to U.S. policy. What kind of regime can buy influence by enriching the president and his friends? The answer is, only a government that doesn’t adhere to the rule of law.
Think about it: Could Britain or Canada curry favor with the incoming administration by waiving regulations to promote Trump golf courses or directing business to Trump hotels? No — those nations have free presses, independent courts, and rules designed to prevent exactly that kind of improper behavior. On the other hand, someplace like Vladimir Putin’s Russia can easily funnel vast sums to the man at the top in return for, say, the withdrawal of security guarantees for the Baltic States…
As Charlie Pierce reminds us, last time the spoils-seeking got this blatant, then-President Harding was hustled off on a strenuous nationwide publicity tour from which he did not return. I can imagine Mike Pence looking in the mirror and imagining himself the next Calvin Coolidge… if only because the fewer words he can say, the less of an idiot he will look.
Steven Mnuchin, Trump's Treasury secretary pick, is a banker with no known qualifications or views https://t.co/M7xjbSJclv
— Vox (@voxdotcom) November 29, 2016
Also: Trump owes Goldman Sachs and other lenders $950 million for his building on 6th Ave. https://t.co/2QHbtGTcDg
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) November 29, 2016
Mnuchin headed a bank known as a "foreclosure machine" and Ross has been called the "king of bankruptcy." https://t.co/tQpuAlwXVY
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) November 30, 2016