Trump’s treasury secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin underwent his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday. Mnuchin is a former Goldman Sachs executive who has faced widespread criticism about his bank, OneWest, which has been called a “foreclosure machine.” During Thursday’s hearing, multiple senators expressed outrage about Mnuchin’s role in the Great Recession and the U.S. housing crisis. This is Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden.
Sen. Ron Wyden: “Mr. Mnuchin’s career began in trading financial products that helped to bring on the housing crash in the Great Recession. After nearly two decades at Goldman Sachs, he left in 2002 and joined a hedge fund. In early 2009, Mr. Mnuchin led a group of investors that purchased a bank called IndyMac, and he renamed it OneWest. Colleagues, OneWest was truly unique. While Mr. Mnuchin was CEO, the bank proved it could put more vulnerable people on the street faster than just about anybody else around.”
That was Senator Wyden. Later in the hearing, Republican Senator Pat Roberts joked by offering Senator Wyden a valium pill before the next round of questioning.
Sen. Pat Roberts: “Senator Wyden, I’ve got a valium pill here that you might want to take before the second round. Just a suggestion, sir.”
During the hearing, Mnuchin came under criticism for not initially disclosing about $100 million in assets. Fortune magazine recently reviewed financial disclosures by Mnuchin and reported that he’s as much as 10 times richer than previously thought, worth as much as $400 million.