UPDATE: Reports this afternoon (11/29/2016) indicate that President-elect Trump will select Steve Mnuchin as his Secretary of the Treasury.
President-elect Trump’s transition team has not said much about who might be the next Secretary of the Department of the Treasury, but Steve Mnuchin has been on top of most of the media’s speculative short lists.
Finance Chairman of the Trump Campaign, Mnuchin is an investor who sits on the Board of at least six companies, including CIT Bank, which two California advocacy groups accused yesterday of discriminating against black and latino homebuyers. The accusation focuses on OneWest Bank, which Mnuchin founded, grew, and last year sold to CIT Bank.
OneWest made just two mortgage loans to black and latino homebuyers in 2014 and 2015, according to the California Reinvestment Coalition and Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California.
The allegations might create challenges for Trump if Mnuchin is his choice. On the other hand, Trump is not likely to hesitate because of fair lending issues given his own history that includes housing discrimination.
Mnuchin has not talked about CDFIs, social investment, or impact investing, as far as I know. How he would look on the CDFI-centered programs at Treasury–from the CDFI Fund to the State Small Business Credit Initiative to the Community Development Capital Initiative–are anyone’s guess. If true, the new allegations would not bode well.
The other person named often for the post is outspoken about CDFIs, and none of his statements are positive. Representative Jeb Hensarling is a leading critic of the Fund.