President-elect Donald Trump has announced a handful of new cabinet picks with deep ties to Wall Street. On Tuesday, he named Steven Mnuchin to be Treasury Secretary. Mnuchin is a former executive for Goldman Sachs, where his father also worked. Mnuchin’s hedge fund also played a role in the housing crisis, after it scooped up the failing California bank IndyMac in 2008. Under Mnuchin’s ownership, IndyMac foreclosed on 36,000 families, particularly elderly residents trapped in reverse mortgages. Mnuchin was accused of running a "foreclosure machine." Trump has also picked billionaire private-equity investor Wilbur Ross to be Commerce Secretary. Ross specializes in flipping bankrupt companies for profit, often buying the U.S. companies at low prices and then selling them to overseas investors. He and his companies have sometimes engaged in the very practices Donald Trump rails against: shipping jobs and factories overseas. For more on these picks, we speak with Cornel West, Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. During the Democratic primary he endorsed Bernie Sanders. After Hillary Clinton won the nomination West made headlines when he endorsed Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.
Sign up for Our Newsletter
Get updates about the policies and topics that matter the most to you. Progressive news directly to your email.