- By David FrancisDavid Francis is a senior reporter for Foreign Policy, where he covers international finance. An award-winning journalist, David has reported from all over Europe, Nigeria, Kenya, Mexico, and Afghanistan on terrorism, national security, the geopolitics of energy, global economics, and the European financial crisis. His work has been published in outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, the Financial Times Deutschland, Slate, and SportsIllustrated.com.
President-elect Donald Trump won the White House by promising supporters he was an outsider who was not beholden to special interests on Wall Street. But it didn’t take long for him to look to lower Manhattan for help.
According to CNBC, Trump is considering JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon as treasury secretary. Dimon is the leader of the largest of the Big Four banks in the United States, so he’s hardly unfamiliar with how business is done on Wall Street.
Multiple reports also show that Trump is considering Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs official, for the same post. Mnuchin served as the businessman’s campaign finance chief during the 2016 campaign.
It appears as if Mnuchin is more likely to take the job, given his prior relationship with Trump. Dimon has said repeatedly that he has no interest in the job. The banker also bashed Trump’s policies in his 2016 letter to JPMorgan Chase shareholders.
For those looking for signs that Trump’s presidency won’t be a complete departure from past administrations, these choices are good news. They’re in line with former treasury secretaries like Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner, Wall Street mavens who transitioned into Treasury’s top spot. They also might convince him to abandon some of his less traditional policies, like defaulting on American debt.
But for supporters hoping for a departure from this tradition, this could be a sign that Trump is turning his back on Main Street by pivoting to Wall Street just days after his historic upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton. He’s also signaled plans to roll back Dodd-Frank regulations, a gift to the financial industry. There are qualified candidates outside of New York, but it is unclear if Trump is has considered any from outside his hometown.
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