By Richard Rubin
WASHINGTON -- Steven Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Treasury secretary, won't be able to make decisions involving CIT Group Inc., the financial firm he helped lead, until at least July 2018 and probably longer without special permission, under an ethics agreement released Wednesday.
Mr. Mnuchin also agreed to divest from his holdings in 43 different investments, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and several investment funds he has run. He also will step down from 42 different positions he holds. Some are related to trusts that aren't clearly explained in the disclosures, while others relate to Dune Capital Management, the investment firm he has been running.
Mr. Mnuchin's financial disclosures, also released Wednesday by the Office of Government Ethics, show that his net worth exceeds $150 million and that he holds his wealth through a variety of trusts.
Those holdings include a small airplane and at least a partial interest in a Willem de Kooning painting.
Mr. Mnuchin is a former partner at Goldman Sachs who has financed movies and helped purchase IndyMac Bank after the financial crisis. He has never served in the government and became most publicly involved last year, when he became the finance chairman for Mr. Trump's campaign.
His confirmation hearing hasn't yet been scheduled, and his business ties are likely to be a subject of inquiry during that process. Democrats have already been criticizing his years at OneWest Bank, the successor to IndyMac, and its role in foreclosing on mortgages.
OneWest was later purchased by CIT and Mr. Mnuchin was on CIT's board of directors until December 2016, according to his disclosure. The disclosures released Wednesday show more than $38 million in income from CIT and OneWest.
They also show that Mr. Mnuchin could receive payments from CIT in the future, the result of part of the merger agreement called a holdback. Two of Mr. Mnuchin's trusts are entitled to up to $8 million in payments from CIT starting in 2018, unless the funds are needed to cover "certain contingent liabilities" of OneWest, the disclosures said, without describing those liabilities.
As Treasury secretary, Mr. Mnuchin would have influence over policy issues related to CIT, such as whether Congress should pass legislation exempting banks of its size from requirements of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law.
He also would help lead the efforts to revamp the U.S. taxsystem and manage the country's finances. The country also is approaching its statutory debt limit, and he would have to find a way to address that constraint within his first few months in office.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 11, 2017 18:36 ET (23:36 GMT)
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