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09 декабря, 20:07

Donald Trump Picks Another Goldman Sachs Exec To Join His Administration

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); To understand President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to clean up Washington D.C., go the basement garage of Trump Tower. There’s a partially covered black Lincoln limousine parked there with a sign on the windshield that says “Drain the Swamp.” That’s pretty much how Trump’s Cabinet is shaping up: a bit of populist rhetoric that fails to conceal a large concentration of the wealthy, well-connected people Trump claimed he was running against. Trump’s latest pick continues that trend, with the president-elect choosing Gary Cohn, the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, to head the National Economic Council, NBC News reports. The NEC advises the president on economic policy, and its director works in the White House. Trump has already nominated Steven Mnuchin ― a second-generation Goldman Sachs partner, former George Soros employee and co-investor, “foreclosure machine” and hedge fund manager ― to be treasury secretary. He also named billionaire private equity investor Wilbur Ross as his choice for secretary of commerce. Ross owned a coal mine that was cited for more than two hundred safety violations before an accident killed a dozen workers, and is a member of a secret Wall Street fraternity, where, clad in velvet slippers, he sang show tunes mocking poor people. Then Trump picked a wealthy donor to run the Department of Education and a billionaire with almost no qualifications beyond being a billionaire as deputy secretary of commerce. And then there’s Steve Bannon, whom Trump named his senior White House counselor. Bannon began his investment banking career at Goldman Sachs and left the firm in 1990, eventually going on to run Breitbart News, a platform for white nationalist views. Trump surrogate Anthony Scaramucci, an omnipresent financial industry booster and hedge fund salesman, gamely tried to spin the latest appointment as unifying. “The cabal against the bankers is over,” he said. Stocking the Cabinet with Goldman Sachs bankers would help “bring country together,” he said. A Goldman Sachs spokesman had no comment. This is a developing story and will be updated. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

09 декабря, 20:07

Donald Trump Picks Another Goldman Sachs Exec To Join His Administration

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); To understand President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to clean up Washington D.C., go the basement garage of Trump Tower. There’s a partially covered black Lincoln limousine parked there with a sign on the windshield that says “Drain the Swamp.” That’s pretty much how Trump’s Cabinet is shaping up: a bit of populist rhetoric that fails to conceal a large concentration of the wealthy, well-connected people Trump claimed he was running against. Trump’s latest pick continues that trend, with the president-elect choosing Gary Cohn, the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, to head the National Economic Council, NBC News reports. The NEC advises the president on economic policy, and its director works in the White House. Trump has already nominated Steven Mnuchin ― a second-generation Goldman Sachs partner, former George Soros employee and co-investor, “foreclosure machine” and hedge fund manager ― to be treasury secretary. He also named billionaire private equity investor Wilbur Ross as his choice for secretary of commerce. Ross owned a coal mine that was cited for more than two hundred safety violations before an accident killed a dozen workers, and is a member of a secret Wall Street fraternity, where, clad in velvet slippers, he sang show tunes mocking poor people. Then Trump picked a wealthy donor to run the Department of Education and a billionaire with almost no qualifications beyond being a billionaire as deputy secretary of commerce. And then there’s Steve Bannon, whom Trump named his senior White House counselor. Bannon began his investment banking career at Goldman Sachs and left the firm in 1990, eventually going on to run Breitbart News, a platform for white nationalist views. Trump surrogate Anthony Scaramucci, an omnipresent financial industry booster and hedge fund salesman, gamely tried to spin the latest appointment as unifying. “The cabal against the bankers is over,” he said. Stocking the Cabinet with Goldman Sachs bankers would help “bring country together,” he said. A Goldman Sachs spokesman had no comment. This is a developing story and will be updated. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

09 декабря, 18:00

Trump's 'sherpas' lay confirmation groundwork

Donald Trump’s transition operation has assembled a team of advisers to help his Cabinet nominees get confirmed — a signal the president-elect is taking no chances even though most of his picks are expected to easily clear the Republican-controlled Senate. Often called “sherpas” after the expert Himalayan climbers that help tourists scale Mount Everest, the guides are part advance team, part coaches, part crisis managers, working closely with nominees to set up meetings with senators, answer questions from key committees and prepare for confirmation hearings. The previously unreported team of sherpas underscores Trump’s emphasis on personnel, which is the primary focus for his top advisers even as transition staff in Washington warn their policy proposals are being largely ignored.The sherpas must have strong relationships on Capitol Hill, said Kenneth Duberstein, Ronald Reagan’s former chief of staff and a sherpa to several past Supreme Court and Cabinet nominees."You need to have knowledge of the confirmation process, knowledge of the hot-button issues of the various senators involved in the committees of jurisdiction and you have to make sure that you have good connections with the staff,” he said.He added that they shouldn’t focus simply on winning over Republicans."You need certainly to understand that while you have the majority in the Senate, you need to figure out where the other votes are,” he said. “If you can come out of the committee not just on a partisan vote, that buttresses the nominee significantly.”The sherpas who are already working with Trump’s Cabinet picks, according to interviews with people close to the transition, include:Townsend McNitt, a former George W. Bush Education Department official, is advising Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for Education secretary;Alex Flint, the former staff director of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a former executive at the Nuclear Energy Institute, is advising Trump’s yet-to-be-named Interior secretary pick. Flint has been spotted holding meetings with energy committee staff in recent days, sources said;Drew Maloney, vice president of global government affairs and public policy at the oil company Hess, is the sherpa for Andrew Puzder, who Trump is expected to tap as Labor secretary;Mary Waters, who was an assistant secretary for congressional relations in George W. Bush's Agriculture Department is the sherpa for Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary. Waters was spotted with Mnuchin in the Capitol this week;Earl Comstock, a long-time former Senate Commerce Committee staffer, is the guide for Trump’s choice for Commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross;Keith Appell, a long-time conservative public relations executive, is leading the nomination process for Sen. Jeff Sessions, the pick for attorney general. Appell is a senior vice president at CRC Public Relations and also led the communication efforts for the coalition to confirm Supreme Court justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito;DJ Nordquist, a well-known chief-of-staff and communications director in the economic studies program at the Brookings Institution, is helping Ben Carson through the confirmation process for secretary of Housing and Urban Development. She previously served as the assistant secretary for public affairs at HUD and as the deputy chief of staff at the FDIC;Cynthia Berry —managing director at the Association Management Group, former staffer to former Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona and Washington counsel for the American Medical Association — is acting as the guide for Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Trump’s choice to lead HHS.A former Price staffer thought he would have little problem with his confirmation. "I imagine he’ll experience an intense grilling from the other side on his policy positions, but I would not expect any issues to pop up in his vetting," the ex-staffer said. "He’s a 'by-the-book' person.” The Trump transition team did not respond to a request for comment. The sherpas declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment. Former sherpas said one of the most important parts of the job is preparing for Senate confirmation hearings by setting up mock question-and-answer sessions, often called “murder boards.”“Lots of these nominees don’t know D.C., or the senators they’ll be in front of, or conversely, feel like they know everything already and so don’t need to kiss the rings, or do any serious prep,” said Trudy Vincent, the sherpa for Ken Salazar, who went on to become Obama’s first Interior secretary.Another big part of the job is anticipating and trying to get out ahead of Democrats’ potential talking points about nominees — and then batting them down quickly. Appell, for instance, sends out frequent emails to reporters titled the “Sessions Brief” that highlight bright spots from Sessions’ record, like his support from past drug czars, law enforcement officials and past attorneys general. The Trump transition team is also eager, in the case of Sessions, to highlight his support among some in the African-American community as a way to combat past allegations of racism, according to a transition team member. Back in 1986, Session’s bid for a federal judgeship was upended when an African-American assistant U.S. attorney, who worked for Sessions, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Sessions had called him “boy” and had joked about the Ku Klux Klan.Trump’s lobbying ban, which requires that people working on the transition deregister as lobbyists, has limited the pool of sherpa candidates since many former Senate committee staffers are registered lobbyists."When you get a Cabinet secretary, you want someone who knows that committee to be introducing them to members," one Republican lobbyist said of the lobbying restrictions. "Tell me a legislative affairs guy who’s going to sign up for that.” Lorraine Woellert, Isaac Arnsdorf and Caitlin Emma contributed to this story.

08 декабря, 22:02

Trump's transition approval rating trails Obama and Bush

Donald Trump’s presidential transition polls poorly among Americans, compared with those of Barack Obama and several president-elects before him, according to a recent Pew Research survey.About 40 percent of Americans Pew surveyed between Nov. 30 and Dec. 5 said they approve of the appointments Trump has made to his Cabinet and other top posts so far. Roughly the same proportion, 41 percent, approve of how he is “explaining his policies and plans for the future.”A much larger proportion of the public surveyed in December 2008 had a positive view of Obama’s transition: 71 percent said they approved of his Cabinet appointments, and 72 percent approved of how he explained his plans, according to the Pew report. In January 2001, after George W. Bush was elected, 58 percent and 50 percent, respectively, approved of his appointments and how he described his plans.Trump’s transition, initially dogged by reports that it was in disarray, has more recently had to contend with loud criticism of several appointees. The most controversial has been Steve Bannon, Trump’s incoming chief White House strategist, who previously ran Breitbart News, an anti-establishment, right-wing website that has published material that critics say is racist.Civil rights groups have also taken issue with Trump’s pick for attorney general, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, whose appointment to the federal bench in the 1980s was derailed by accusations of racism. And liberals are attacking retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the incoming national security adviser, for his past comments about Muslims and history of spreading false conspiracy theories.Trump has also drawn complaints for tapping billionaires and millionaires, such as Betsy DeVos to lead the Department of Education, and Steven Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs veteran, to head Treasury. Other appointees, such as Housing and Urban Development nominee Ben Carson, face accusations that they are unqualified to serve. Despite his transition’s low approval ratings so far, the Pew survey indicates that the public is more optimistic about Trump’s presidency than it was in October, when 57 percent of those surveyed thought he would be poor or terrible at the job. Now, 38 percent say Trump will be poor or terrible as president, while 35 percent believe he will be good or great. Eighteen percent expect him to do an average job.The survey had a weighted sample of 1,502 adults. Interviews were conducted by both landline and cellphone and in English and Spanish.

08 декабря, 19:43

How To Swamp Washington And Double-Cross Your Supporters Big Time

Trump’s Bait and Switch Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com Given his cabinet picks so far, it’s reasonable to assume that The Donald finds hanging out with anyone who isn’t a billionaire (or at least a multimillionaire) a drag. What would there be to talk about if you left the Machiavellian class and its exploits for the company of the sort of normal folk you can rouse at a rally?  It’s been a month since the election and here’s what’s clear: crony capitalism, the kind that festers and grows when offered public support in its search for private profits, is the order of the day among Donald Trump’s cabinet picks. Forget his own “conflicts of interest.” Whatever financial, tax, and other policies his administration puts in place, most of his appointees are going to profit like mad from them and, in the end, Trump might not even wind up being the richest member of the crew.  Only a month has passed since November 8th, but it’s already clear (not that it wasn’t before) that Trump’s anti-establishment campaign rhetoric was the biggest scam of his career, one he pulled off perfectly. As president-elect and the country’s next CEO-in-chief, he’s now doing what many presidents have done: doling out power to like-minded friends and associates, loyalists, and -- think John F. Kennedy, for instance -- possibly family.  Here, however, is a major historical difference: the magnitude of Trump’s cronyism is off the charts, even for Washington. Of course, he’s never been a man known for doing small and humble. So his cabinet, as yet incomplete, is already the richest one ever. Estimates of how loaded it will be are almost meaningless at this point, given that we don’t even know Trump’s true wealth (and will likely never see his tax returns). Still, with more billionaires at the doorstep, estimates of the wealth of his new cabinet members and of the president-elect range from my own guesstimate of about $12 billion up to $35 billion. Though the process is as yet incomplete, this already reflects at least a quadrupling of the wealth represented by Barack Obama’s cabinet. Trump’s version of a political and financial establishment, just forming, will be bound together by certain behavioral patterns born of relationships among those of similar status, background, social position, legacy connections, and an assumed allegiance to a dogma of self-aggrandizement that overshadows everything else. In the realm of politico-financial power and in Trump’s experience and ideology, the one with the most toys always wins. So it’s hardly a surprise that his money- and power-centric cabinet won’t be focused on public service or patriotism or civic duty, but on the consolidation of corporate and private gain at the expense of the citizenry. It’s already obvious that, to Trump, “draining the swamp” means filling it with new layers of golden sludge, similar in color to the decorations that adorn buildings with his name, including the new Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House where foreign diplomats are already flocking to curry favor and even the toilet paper holders in the lobby bathrooms are faux-gold-plated. The rarified world of his cabinet choices is certainly a universe away from the struggling working class folks he bamboozled with promises of bringing back American “greatness.” And yet the soaring value of his cabinet should be seen as merely a departure point for our four-year (or more) leap into what is guaranteed to be an abyss of inequality and instability. Forget their wealth. What their business conflicts, relationships, and ideological stances indicate about what they’ll do to America is far more worrisome. And though Trump promised (and tweeted) that he’d be “completely out of business operations,” the possibility of such a full exit for him (or any of his crew) is about as likely as a full reveal of those tax returns. Trumping History There is, in fact, some historical precedent for a president surrounding himself with such a group of self-interested power-grabbers, but you’d have to return to Warren G. Harding’s administration in the early 1920s to find it. The “Roaring Twenties” that ended explosively in a stock market collapse in 1929 began, ominously enough, with a presidency filled with similar figures, as well as policies remarkably similar to those now being promised under Trump, including major tax cuts and giveaways for corporations and the deregulation of Wall Street.  A notably weak figure, Harding liberally delegated policymaking to the group of senior Republicans he chose to oversee his administration who were dubbed “the Ohio gang” (though they were not all from Ohio). Scandal soon followed, above all the notorious Teapot Dome incident in which Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall leased petroleum reserves owned by the Navy in Wyoming and California to two private oil companies without competitive bidding, receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks in return. That scandal and the attention it received darkened Harding’s administration. Until the Enron scandal of 2001-2002, it would serve as the poster child for money (and oil) in politics gone bad. Given Donald Trump’s predisposition for green-lighting pipelines and promoting fossil fuel development, a modern reenactment of Teapot Dome is hardly beyond imagining. Harding’s other main contributions to American history involved two choices he made. He offered businessman Herbert Hoover the job of secretary of commerce and so put him in play to become president in the years just preceding the Great Depression.  And in a fashion that now looks Trumpian, he also appointed one of the richest men on Earth, billionaire Andrew Mellon, as his treasury secretary.  Mellon, a Pittsburgh industrialist-financier, was head of the Mellon National Bank; he founded both the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa), for which he’d be accused of unethical behavior while treasury secretary (as he still owned stock in the company and his brother was a close associate), and the Gulf Oil Company; and with Henry Clay Frick, he co-founded the Union Steel Company.   He promptly set to work -- and this will sound familiar today -- cutting taxes on the wealthy and corporations. At the same time, he essentially left Wall Street free to concoct the shadowy “trusts” that would use borrowed money to purchase collections of shares in companies and real estate, igniting the 1929 stock market crash. After Mellon, who had served three presidents, left Herbert Hoover’s administration, he fell under investigation for unpaid federal taxes and tax-related conflicts of interest. Modernizing Warren G. Within the political-financial establishment, the more things change, the more, it seems, they stay the same. As Trump moves ahead with his cabinet picks, several of them already stand out in a Mellon-esque fashion for their staggering wealth, their legal entanglements, and the policies they seem ready to support that sound like eerie throwbacks to the age of Harding.  Of course, you can’t tell the players without a scorecard, so here are the top four of the moment (with more on the way). Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (net worth $2.9 billion) Shades of Andrew Mellon, Ross, a registered Democrat until Trump scooped him up, made his fortune as a corporate vulture (sporting the nickname “the king of bankruptcy”).  He was notorious for devouring the carcasses of dying companies, spitting them out, and pocketing the profits.  He bought bankrupt steel companies, while moving $6.4 billion of their employee pension benefits to the rescue fund of the government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation so he could make company financials look better. In the early 2000s, his steel industry deals bagged him an impressive $267 million. Stripped of health-care benefits, retired steelworkers at his companies didn’t fare as well.    Trump, of course, has promised the world to the sinking coal industry and out-of-work coal miners. His new commerce secretary, however, owned a coal mine in West Virginia, notoriously cited for hundreds of violations, where 12 miners subsequently died in an explosion.   Ross also made money running Rothschild Inc.’s bankruptcy-restructuring group for nearly two-and-a-half decades. A member (and once leader) of a secret Wall Street fraternity, Kappa Beta Phi, in 2014 he remarked that “the one percent is being picked on for political reasons.” He has an art collection valued conservatively at $150 million, or 3,000 times the average American’s income of $51,000. In addition, he happens to own a Florida estate only miles down the road from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago private club. While Trump has lambasted China for stealing American jobs, Ross (like Trump) has made money from China. In 2010, one of that country’s state-owned enterprises, China Investment Corporation, put $500 million in Ross’s private equity fund, WL Ross & Company. Ross has not disclosed whether these investments remain in his fund, though he told the New York Post that if Trump believes there are conflicts of interest among any of his investments, he would divest himself of them. In August 2016, his company had to pay a $2.3 million fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges for not properly disclosing $10.4 million in management fees charged to his investors in the decade leading up to 2011. In October, Ross assured Bloomberg that China will continue to be an investment opportunity.  As secretary of commerce, the world will become his personal business venture and boardroom, while U.S. taxpayers will be his funders. He is an ardent crusader for corporate tax cuts (wanting to slash them from 35% to 15%). As head of the commerce department, the man the Economist dubbed “Mr. Protectionism” in 2004 will be in charge of any protectionist policies the administration implements. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (family wealth $5.1 billion) DeVos, the daughter of a billionaire and daughter-in-law of the cofounder of the multilevel marketing empire Amway, has had no actual experience with public schools. Unlike most of the rest of America (myself included), she never attended a public school, nor have any of her children. (Neither did Trump.) But she and her family have excelled at the arithmetic of campaign contributions. They are estimated to have contributed at least $200 million to shaping the conservative movement and various right-wing causes over the last half-century.  As she wrote in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call in 1997, “My family is the biggest contributor of soft money to the Republican National Committee.” That trend only continued in the years that followed. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, since 1989 she and her relatives have given at least $20.2 million to Republican candidates, party committees, PACs, and super PACs.  The center further noted that, “Betsy herself, along with her husband, Dick DeVos, Jr., has contributed more than $7.7 million to federal candidates, committees, and parties since 1990, including almost $4.8 million to super PACs.”  Her brother, ex-Navy SEAL Erik Prince, founded the controversial private security contractor Blackwater (now known as Academi). He also made two considerable donations to Make America Number 1, a super PAC that first backed Senator Ted Cruz and then Trump. So whatever you do, don’t expect Betsy De Vos’s help in allocating additional federal funds to elevate the education of citizens who actually do attend public schools, or rather what Donald Trump now likes to call “failing government schools.” Instead, she’s undoubtedly going to promote privatizing school voucher programs and charter schools across the country and let those failing government schools go down the tubes as part of a Republican war on public education.   Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao (net worth $25 million) As the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate, a former labor secretary for George W. Bush, and the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Chao’s establishment connections are overwhelming. They include board positions at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and at Wells Fargo Bank.  While Chao was on its board, Wells Fargo scammed its customers to the tune of $2.4 million, and incurred billions of dollars of fines for other crimes. She was silent when its former CEO John Stumpf resigned in a blaze of contriteness.    In 2008, Chao ranked 8th in Bush’s executive branch in terms of net worth at  $16.9 million. In 2009, Politico reported that, in memory of her mother who passed away in 2007, she and her husband received a “personal gift” from the Chao family worth between $5 million and $25 million. In 2014, the Center for Responsive Politics ranked McConnell, with an estimated net worth somewhere around $22 million, as the 11th richest senator. As with all things wealth related, the truth is a moving target but the one thing Chao’s not (which may make her a rarity in this cabinet) is a billionaire. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (net worth between $46 million and $1 billion) Hedge fund mogul and Hollywood producer Steven Mnuchin is the third installment on Goldman Sachs’s claim to own the position of Treasury secretary. In fact, when it comes to the stewardship of the country’s economy, Goldman continues to reign supreme.  Bill Clinton appointed the company’s former co-chairman Robert Rubin to Treasury in gratitude for his ability to bestow on him Wall Street cred and the contributions that went with it. George W. Bush appointed former Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Hank Paulson as his final Treasury secretary, just in time for the “too big to fail” economic meltdown of 2007-2008. Now, Trump, who swore he’d drain “the swamp” in Washington, is carrying on the tradition. The difference? While Rubin and Paulson pushed for the deregulation of the financial industry that led to the Great Recession and then used federal funds to bail out their friends, Mnuchin, who spent 17 years with Goldman Sachs, eventually made an even bigger fortune by being on the predatory receiving end of federal support while scarfing up a failed bank. In 2008, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), formed in 1934 to insure the deposits of citizens at commercial banks, closed 25 banks, including the Pasadena-based IndyMac Bank. In early January 2009, the FDIC agreed to sell failed lender IndyMac to IMB HoldCo LLC, a company owned by a pack of private equity investors led by former Goldman Sachs partner Mnuchin of Dune Capital Management LP for about $13.9 billion. (They only had to put up $1.3 billion in cash for it, however.) When the deal closed on March 19, 2009, IMB formed a new federally chartered savings bank, OneWest Bank (also run by Mnuchin), to complete the purchase. The FDIC took a $10.7 billion loss in the process. OneWest then set about foreclosing on IndyMac’s properties, the cost of which was fronted by the FDIC, as was most of the loss that was incurred from hemorrhaging mortgages. In other words, the government backed Mnuchin’s private deal big time and so helped give him his nickname, the “foreclosure king,” as he became an even wealthier man. By October 2011, protesters were marching outside Mnuchin’s Los Angeles mansion with “Stop taking our homes” signs. OneWest soon became mired in lawsuits and on multiple occasions settled for millions of dollars. Nonetheless, Mnuchin sold the bank for a cool $3.4 billion in August 2015. Shades of the president-elect, he also left another beleaguered company, Relativity Media, where he had been co-chairman, two months before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015. Mnuchin’s policy priorities include an overhaul of the federal tax code (aimed mainly at helping his elite buddies), financial deregulation (including making the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 significantly more lenient for hedge funds), and a review of existing trade agreements. He has indicated no support for reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which separated commercial banks that held citizens’ deposits and loans from the speculative practices of investment banks until it was repealed in 1999 under the Clinton administration. Gilded Government Hillary Clinton certainly cashed in big time on her Wall Street connections during her career and her presidential campaign. And yet her approach already seems modest compared to Trump’s new open-door policy to any billionaire willing to come on board his ship. His new incarnation of the old establishment largely consists of billionaires and multimillionaires with less than appetizing nicknames from their previous predatory careers. They favor government support for their private gain as well as deregulation, several of them having already specialized in making money off the collateral damage from such policies. Trump offered Americans this promise: "I'm going to surround myself only with the best and most serious people." In his world, best means rich, and serious means seriously shielded from the way much of the rest of the country lives. Once upon a time, I, too, worked for Goldman Sachs. I left in 2002, the same year that Steven Mnuchin did.  I did not go on to construct deals that hurt citizens. He did. Public spirit is a choice. Aspiring to run government as a business (something President Calvin Coolidge tried out in the 1920s with dismal results for America), Trump is now surrounding himself with a crew of crony capitalists who understand boardroom speak, but have nothing in common with most Americans.  So give him credit: his administration is already one of the great political bait-and-switch productions in our history and it hasn’t even begun.  Count on one thing: in his presidency he’ll only double down on that “promise.” Nomi Prins, a TomDispatch regular, is the author of six books. Her most recent is All the Presidents' Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power (Nation Books). She is a former Wall Street executive. Special thanks go to researcher Craig Wilson for his superb work on this piece. Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt's latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

08 декабря, 19:24

Trump chooses Puzder as labor secretary

Puzder's selection is already drawing criticism from unions.

08 декабря, 12:50

All the President-Elect's Generals

Why has Trump shown such eagerness to select former military brass for his Cabinet? The reasons may be both pragmatic and political.

08 декабря, 00:34

Trump starts churning out Cabinet picks

The president-elect is picking up the pace of his appointments, even as he takes time out to revel in his win.

07 декабря, 21:00

Trump Fills Top Positions With Swamp Creatures

By James Corbett Trump has named Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury Secretary. So who is Mnuchin, and what does his background tell us about his...

07 декабря, 20:17

There's Still No Trump Pivot

Meeting with Al Gore? Wavering on torture? Expressing empathy toward DREAMers? Don’t expect that these are signs of a major shift from the president-elect.

07 декабря, 13:42

What's Ahead for Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Under Mnuchin?

Shares of Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) jumped over 40% last Wednesday triggered by the comments of Steven Mnuchin, Donald Trump's nominee for Treasury Secretary, favoring the privatization of these two companies

07 декабря, 13:02

Trump follows Obama’s political blueprint

Nobody wants to admit it, but the new president's early moves look a lot like the old president's.

07 декабря, 08:25

Налоговый парадокс Трампа: богатые опять выигрывают

Трамп, судя по всему, затеял новую игру в пользу элит, так как придать новый импульс развитию экономики страны с помощью резкого понижения налогов похоже получится не в пользу рабочего класса.

07 декабря, 08:25

Налоговый парадокс Трампа: богатые опять выигрывают

Трамп, судя по всему, затеял новую игру в пользу элит, так как придать новый импульс развитию экономики страны с помощью резкого понижения налогов, похоже, получится не в пользу рабочего класса.

06 декабря, 20:48

Team Trump’s New Pledge on Tax Cuts

David Leonhardt: Team Trump’s New Pledge on Tax Cuts: ...Last week..., Steven Mnuchin said something unexpected on CNBC in his first interview after becoming Donald Trump’s choice for Treasury secretary. A friendly host invited Mnuchin to respond to the liberal...

06 декабря, 16:47

Procrastinating on December 6, 2016

**Over at [Equitable Growth](http://EquitableGrowth.org): Must- and Should-Reads:** * **Richard Mayhew**: _[The Core of the Fight][]_: "Actuarial value and subsidy level is the core element of the coming fight on Medicare... * **Walter Jon Williams**: _[Index of Russian Lies][]_: "Via Bruce Sterling, an annotated index of Russian disinformation... * **Izabella Kaminska**:...

06 декабря, 16:27

Links for the Week of December 11, 2016

**Most-Recent Must-Reads:** * **Neville Morley**: _[When It Changed][]_: "Eric Hobsbawm['s]... short twentieth century... [an] idea... found in Stefan Zweig’s _Die Welt von Gestern_... (Tu) * **James Kwak**: _[The Deduction Fairy][]_: "Incoming Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin promised a big tax cut for corporations and the 'middle class', but not for the...

06 декабря, 15:52

Без заголовка

**Must-Read: James Kwak**: _[The Deduction Fairy][]_: "Incoming Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin promised a big tax cut for corporations and the 'middle class', but not for the rich... [The Deduction Fairy]: https://baselinescenario.com/2016/11/30/the-deduction-fairy/ >...“Any tax cuts for the upper class will be offset by less deductions that pay for it,” he said...

06 декабря, 14:25

Новые люди Большого Дональда

Раньше ругали самого Дональда Трампа — за то, что он "неправильный", не имеет политического опыта, нарушает правила этикета и политкорректности… и вообще, говорит то, что думает. Теперь американская либеральная пресса преисполняется праведным гневом каждый раз, когда команда избранного президента США заявляет о новом назначении в будущую администрацию Белого дома. Генерал-лейтенант Майкл Флинн — "слишком генерал", не видит принципиальной разницы между боевиками ИГ* и "умеренной сирийской оппозицией", да ещё как-то подозрительно миролюбиво настроен по отношению к России. Теперь он советник по национальной безопасности. Стивен Бэннон — вообще неформал, создатель антиистеблишментного интернет-СМИ, осмеливающийся говорить на темы, табуированные в "приличных" изданиях. И вот Стив стал главным советником президента. Никки Хейли — ну какой из неё посол в ООН? Она вcю свою карьеру проработала в Южной Каролине, сначала в семейной компании по пошиву одежды, затем на посту губернатора штата. Генерал Джеймс Бешеный Пёс Мэттис, номинированный на должность министра обороны, и вовсе "подставился" со всех сторон. И Марка Аврелия любит цитировать, и с Бараком Обамой поссорился, и к нахождению геев и женщин на передовой относится скептически. Ну что за тип, а? Уилбуру Россу и Стивену Мнучину — успешным бизнесменам, а не политикам — доверены министерства торговли и финансов. Бетси Девос, бизнесвумен и консервативная активистка, стала министром образования. Доктор Бен Карсон, бывший нейрохирург и общественный деятель, — министром жилищного хозяйства и городского развития… А тут ещё Трамп поговорил по телефону с президентом Тайваня, нарушив почти сорокалетнюю традицию американской дипломатии — соглашаться с концепцией "единого Китая" (включая Тайвань, именующий себя Китайской Республикой), не называть главу островного государства президентом (только лидером), не вести диалога на высоком уровне, но зато поставлять Тайбэю оружие на миллиарды долларов и по неофициальным каналам угрожать Пекину войной при попытке присоединить к себе спорную территорию. Какой ужас! Как теперь жить-то без лицемерия, двойных стандартов и стыдливо-политкорректного подбора слов? Как это непрофессионально и провокационно! Уходящий госсекретарь Джон Керри даже публично призвал Большого Дональда, прежде чем звонить кому-нибудь из мировых лидеров, советоваться со специалистами из дипломатического ведомства. Однако постойте! Не эти ли специалисты ответственны за то, что творится сегодня в мире? Не они ли ввергли в хаос Ближний Восток, поссорились с Россией, превратили Украину в полигон неудачного эксперимента и затеяли опасное противостояние с КНР в Южно-Китайском море? И ведь "профессиональная деятельность" не ограничивалась внешней политикой. Кто не смог предотвратить бегство компаний из США и сокращения рабочих мест в индустриальном секторе? Кто "проспал" коллапс 2007—2009 гг. на фондовом рынке, обернувшийся большой рецессией? Кто вдвое увеличил госдолг за восемь лет? При чьём попустительстве Детройт превратился в город-призрак, а Чикаго — в поле боя уличных банд? Наконец, кто так внедрил широко разрекламированное "доступное здравоохранение" Obamacare, что медицинские услуги стали ещё менее доступны? Разве это были не опытные политики и профессионалы госуправления? Разве не против них выступил Дональд Трамп и победил на выборах? Так что же теперь удивляться, что избранный президент действует по-своему, не оглядываясь на то, что считается приличным в вашингтонской политико-медийной тусовке. Если бы Трамп был пустышкой и самовлюблённым выскочкой (каким, кстати говоря, его и пытались выставить мейнстримные СМИ в ходе избирательной кампании), тогда бы он, удовлетворив своё эго 8 ноября, нанял на работу "специалистов", которые продолжили бы вести-дела-как-заведено. То есть так, как это не устраивает избирателей. И забудьте про цифры общенационального голосования! Суть в том, что более 70% американцев накануне выборов считали, что страна движется в неверном направлении. Трамп победил в первую очередь поэтому. И лишь во вторую — потому, что такие "непрофессиональные" люди, как Стивен Бэннон, помогли Дональду провести блестящую, нестандартную и ломающую привычные правила игры президентскую кампанию. Спикер Палаты представителей республиканец Пол Райан, который долго не мог принять и понять своего несистемного однопартийца, но в конце концов активно поддержал его, в эфире телеканала CBS признал очевидное: "Он [Трамп] был очень нешаблонным кандидатом. И он будет очень нешаблонным президентом. Что мне нравится в нём — а я сейчас говорю с ним практически ежедневно, — он человек особого типа. Добивающийся поставленных целей". Дональд Трамп не будет руководствоваться "узаконенным лицемерием", ведя дела внутри страны и за рубежом. И поэтому его разговор с президентом Тайваня — событие естественное. Меня удивляют эксперты, которых — уж простите за тавтологию — оно удивило. Некоторые "говорящие головы" сочли, что Трамп таким образом послал сигнал об ужесточении политики в отношении Китая. Ничего подобного! Трамп послал сигнал, что он предпочитает действовать без обиняков, без мешающих делу условностей и приличествующих "настоящим политикам" ограничений. Особенно когда речь идёт о диалоге, переговорах и сделках. Когда в конце августа мексиканский президент Энрике Пенья Ньето пригласил обоих американских кандидатов в Мехико, Большой Дональд "неожиданно" согласился. Ещё не будучи главой государства, он поехал с визитом в страну, где общественное мнение было явно не в его пользу. И провёл переговоры. И заработал на этом немало очков. В сентябре Трамп побеседовал на полях Генассамблеи ООН с египетским президентом Ас-Сиси и, как свидетельствует "Аль-Джазира", буквально обаял его. А вот с Петром Порошенко он встречаться отказался. И обратите внимание — политические аналитики и пресса и тогда тоже были "удивлены". Мол, так нельзя поступать с "молодой европейской демократией", которая, к тому же, "страдает от российской агрессии". Отправившись на предвыборный митинг в Огайо вместо переговоров с украинским президентом, Трамп снова послал довольно ясный сигнал: американские избиратели важнее политических игр на границе с Россией. Нет никаких сомнений в том, что американский лидер будет действовать так же и дальше. Это не будет поведением слона в посудной лавке, как это пытаются представить проигравшие выборы либералы. Отнюдь! Но отвергать всё, что не работает, он будет. И будет пробовать новые подходы. То же самое верно и в отношении назначений в администрацию. Какой толк, скажем, от карьерных дипломатов вроде Сьюзан Райс, Саманты Пауэр и Джона Керри, если они завели внешнюю политику США в тупик? Уж лучше попробовать направить в ООН Никки Хейли, которую часто называют "непревзойдённой переговорщицей", способной примирить "семь людей с восемью мнениями". И зачем поручать образование "профессионалам", которые явно не справляются со своей работой? Куда разумнее дать шанс Бетси Девос, которая, действуя через различные фонды и общественные организации, сделала для школ в Мичигане больше, чем федеральные и местные бюрократы вместе взятые. А городское хозяйство есть прямой смысл поручить Бену Карсону, который на своей шкуре узнал, что значит пробиваться наверх, родившись в бедной семье в Детройте, и потому, став состоятельным человеком, неустанно занимался благотворительностью в своём родном городе и других неблагополучных общинах, делая более доступными образование, медицину и муниципальные услуги. Наконец, почему бы после десятилетий засилья партийных политиков в руководстве военным ведомством и национальной безопасностью не дать возможность реализовать себя людям с армейской жилкой? Во-первых, они очень хорошо знают все горячие точки планеты. А во-вторых, понюхавшие пороха люди куда менее охотно идут на военные авантюры. И уж совершенно неудивительно видеть на посту министра торговли миллиардера Уилбура Росса, прославившегося реорганизацией и спасением умирающих компаний, а на месте главного финансиста США — успешного инвестора Стивена Мнучина. Эта логика кому-то может показаться спорной. Но такова логика избранного президента заокеанской сверхдержавы. Учитывая общую политическую динамику в странах Запада, назначения Трампа выглядят как очевидная заявка на трансформацию элит, на смену типа людей, определяющих стратегию, принимающих решения и ведущих переговоры. Для политолога это захватывающее зрелище. Большая профессиональная удача жить в такое время. Но как гражданина, меня беспокоит один вопрос. Достаточно ли мы знаем об этом новом типе людей? И готовы ли к ведению дел с ними? *Деятельность организации запрещена на территории России решением Верховного суда РФ.

06 декабря, 05:30

На охрану Трампа в Нью-Йорке требуется 35 миллионов долларов

Нью-йоркская мэрия намерена получить от федерального правительства 35 миллионов долларов – сумму, затраченную на охрану Дональда Трампа, избранного президента, и его семьи, во время избирательной кампании, и некоторое время после ее завершения. Билл де Блазио, глава Нью-Йорка, уже согласовал эту сумму, необходимую для обеспечения безопасности Trump Tower, со Стивеном Мнучином, возможным претендентом на должность министра финансов, сообщает «Интерфакс». По мнению мэра Нью-Йорка, 35 миллионов долларов вполне может хватить на охрану президента и его близких до 20 января, дня, когда назначена его инаугурация. После того, как Трамп официально вступит в должность президента, его супруга и сын в течение некоторого времени будут оставаться в Trump Tower. Охрана здания будет стоить около 1 миллиона долларов в сутки.

01 декабря, 06:45

Команда Трампа. Голдман Сакс снова на коне

Дональд Трамп объявил имя будущего министра финансов США: им станет Стивен Тёрнер Мнучин (Steven Terner Mnuchin). Для кого-то это явилось неожиданностью. Ведь среди претендентов на высокий пост называли исполнительного директора банка JPMorgan Джейми Даймона, члена палаты представителей Джеба Хенсарлинга... У Стивена Мнучина, однако, было важное преимущество: в предвыборной кампании Трампа он работал финансовым менеджером. Кроме того, что...