On the campaign trail Donald Trump railed against the political and economic elites who, in his words, “rigged” the American political system for their benefit. He has promised to go to Washington DC and “drain the swamp.” But despite his anti-establishment message, Trump has surrounded himself with some of the most powerful entrenched players in the financial world — and he’s hinted that he’d appoint many of them to positions of power in his White House.
Here’s a rundown of the economic heavyweights who are poised to be influential in the Trump administration.
Steven Mnuchin : A 17-year veteran of Goldman Sachs, Mnuchin is now the CEO of Dune Capital Management, a private equity firm with vast investments in real estate, commodities markets, and most notable the entertainment industry. Mnuchin bankrolled Hollywood blockbusters like Mad Max, and American Sniper. After the financial crisis, Mnuchin also cashed in on the depressed real estate market. He took over OneWest Bank, which acquired and foreclosed on underwater homes — especially in low income minority neighborhood — turning a profit of 3 billion between 2009 and 2014. Since, May Mnuchin has served as Trump’s national fundraising chair, and has been floated as a possible Treasury Secretary.
Thomas Barrack Jr: A former deputy under secretary for the Interior in the Ronald Reagan administration, Barrack is a now a billionaire private equity manager in Los Angeles. The founder of the pro-Trump Pac “Rebuilding America Now,” Barrack helped raise over $32 million for the Trump campaign. Barrack spoke at the Republican National Convention, where he compared Trump to his former boss, Ronald Reagan.
Anthony Scaramucci: A former Goldman Sachs investment banker and the co-founder of the $12.5 billion private equity firm Skybridge Capital, Scaramucci is one of Wall Street's most influencial Trump-backers. A member of Trump’s economic advisory team, Scaramucci is politically unpredictable: he backed Barack Obama in 2008 and then threw his support behind Mitt Romney in 2012. Scarammuci tried to persuade Romney to run again in 2016. When Romney declined and instead became a leader in the "Never Trump" movement, Scaramucci switched allegience again: In the final months of the 2016 camapign, he emerged as one of the most active Wall Street bundlers for Trump.
Carl Icahn: Though Icahn and Trump have famously tangled in court, the billionaire investor was one of Trump’s earliest and most vocal supporters. Icahn has broad financial interests; he owns shares in companies like Xerox and in the vitamin maker Herbalife. In 2015, Icahn announced he would put $150 million behind a Super Pac devoted to convincing lawmakers to lower corporate tax rates. On the campaign trail Trump has suggested Icahn could be appointed to a number of positions in his administration, including Treasury Secretary or a trade representative to China.
Andrew Beale: A billionaire banker, Beale founded the "Save America From Its Government" Super PAC to support Trump’s presidential bid. He’s also one of Trump’s top economic advisors, and last June Trump floated the idea that Beale could be put in charge of negotiating trade deals with China in his administration.