Just Sociology

The Controversy Over Steven Mnuchin’s Appointment as Treasury Secretary

The appointment of senior officials in the United States government is always a controversial issue, with critics and supporters alike scrutinizing the backgrounds and ideologies of those chosen to serve in powerful positions. Under Donald Trumps presidency, the appointment of successful business people and billionaires, labelled as neoliberals,’ has raised significant criticism.

Among them is Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, who was appointed as Secretary of State. This article will explore the nature and implications of Trumps neoliberal policies, focusing on the appointment of Tillerson and the implications for the United States and the rest of the world.

Trumps Neoliberal Appointments

Neoliberalism is a political and economic philosophy that emphasizes the importance of free markets, deregulation, and limited government intervention. The Trump administration has been criticized for its neoliberal approach, which is reflected in the appointment of a group of senior officials, mainly composed of successful business people and billionaires.

The appointment of these individuals has been met with a mix of criticism and support. On the one hand, supporters argue that these individuals bring unique perspectives and experience to the government.

On the other hand, critics argue that these appointments signal a shift in favor of the business and corporate interests, at the expense of broader societal concerns.

Business and Success

Supporters of Trumps approach argue that the appointment of successful business people to senior government positions will bring a fresh perspective to governance. According to them, the private sector has much to offer in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and innovation, characteristics that are essential in driving economic growth and development.

However, critics of Trumps approach argue that the business world is not equipped to deal with broader societal concerns, which go beyond the interests of corporations and the wealthy. Moreover, successful business people are often insulated from the realities of poverty, inequality, and discrimination, which are issues that governments must address.

Criticism of Neoliberalism Approach

Critics of neoliberalism argue that its focus on free markets and deregulation comes at the expense of broader societal concerns, such as environmental protection, social welfare, and income inequality. They argue that neoliberal policies often lead to the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few, at the expense of the many.

Furthermore, critics argue that neoliberalism undermines democracy, as it favors the interests of corporations and the wealthy over those of the public. They argue that the neoliberal approach favors a narrow range of policy solutions, which limit the capacity of governments to address the complex challenges facing society.

Economic success should not be at the expense of broader societal and ethical concerns. The question of business ethics and moral responsibility is central to this debate.

Those appointed to senior government positions must be held accountable for their actions, especially when they involve decisions that affect broader societal concerns.

Exxon-Mobil CEO as Secretary of State

One of Trumps most controversial appointments has been that of Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, as Secretary of State. Tillersons appointment raises numerous questions regarding business interests, ethics, and global politics.

Controversy Over Rex Tillersons Appointment

The controversy surrounding Tillersons appointment arises from his business relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Exxon had a joint venture with Rosneft, a Russian oil company, which was undermined by the US sanctions against Russia.

Critics argue that Tillersons appointment could undermine the United States global leadership position, as they say that the appointment would allow for the use of US foreign policy decisions to further personal and corporate interests.

Potential Disaster for Business Ethics

The potential disaster for business ethics exists when business and personal interests become intertwined with those of the government. As the head of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson has an extensive track record in business, which could cloud his judgment in matters of global politics.

Critics argue that Tillersons appointment signals a dangerous shift towards the commodification of foreign policy, as the interests of corporations and individuals take precedence over those of the United States and the world at large.


In conclusion, the appointment of successful business people and billionaires to senior government positions, known as the neoliberal approach, has generated significant controversy. While supporters argue that this approach brings new perspectives and experience to government, critics argue that it undermines broader societal concerns and limits the capacity of governments to address complex challenges.

The appointment of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State raises important questions about business interests and ethics in global politics. It remains to be seen whether Tillerson will be able to balance his business experience and interests with those of the United States and the world.The appointment of Steven Mnuchin, former Goldman Sachs banker and multimillionaire, as Treasury Secretary under Donald Trumps presidency, has been a controversial topic in the political sphere.

Additionally, his involvement during the financial crisis resulted in him being dubbed the “foreclosure king.” Mnuchins appointment has been the subject of substantial criticism, particularly from Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. This article will explore the implications of Mnuchins appointment and Elizabeth Warrens outspoken criticism of it.

Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary

Steven Mnuchin is a former Goldman Sachs banker and hedge fund manager who became a multimillionaire through his extensive experience in the finance sector. He also co-founded a production company and worked in film financing, which gained critical and commercial success in the movie industry.

Mnuchins extensive experience in the financial sector and his strong relationships with other business leaders explain why he was appointed as Treasury Secretary by President Trump. As Treasury Secretary, Mnuchin has been an integral member of the administrations economic team, tasked to ensure that the United States continues to grow and prosper economically.

Dubbed the “Foreclosure King”

Mnuchins tenure at OneWest Bank during the financial crisis saw the bank foreclose on thousands of homeowners. His role in the housing market crash has earned him the nickname “the foreclosure king.” Despite these allegations, Mnuchin states that OneWest Banks foreclosure rate was no higher than any other bank in the same period.

Some critics of Mnuchins appointment argue that his previous actions were the cause of significant hardship for families who lost their homes during the crisis. Additionally, scrutiny focused on the alleged unethical practices he used towards homeowners, such as robo-signing and double-booking, which caused significant concerns regarding business ethics and moral responsibility.

Mnuchin disputed the allegations and argued that OneWest Bank followed all appropriate banking regulations.

Elizabeth Warrens Criticism

One of the most vocal critics of Mnuchins appointment is Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. Warren has been an outspoken critic of Wall Street and its power players in government.

She has critiqued the close relationships between banks and regulators, often citing the lack of accountability and the immoral actions that high-level executives were allowed to undertake. Warren sees Mnuchins appointment as evidence of the same revolving door that she has long said exists in Washington D.C. She asserts that Mnuchin worked to benefit himself and his wealthy clients, rather than the American people at large.

These critiques stem largely from Mnuchins significant wealth and background in banking. Senator Warren also criticized Mnuchins track record during his tenure at OneWest Bank, citing reports that it had foreclosed on numerous homes, engaged in racial discrimination, and engaged in questionable practices that led to higher fines and settlements.

Warren called on Mnuchin to defend his actions before the Senate Finance Committee during his confirmation hearings.

Criticism and Politics

Mnuchins appointment and Warrens outspoken critiques highlight the ongoing debate around business interests in government and the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington D.C. Critics argue that Mnuchins appointment is an attempt to use government to benefit corporate interests over public ones. Meanwhile, supporters of Mnuchin argue that his financial expertise is precisely what is needed to continue to grow and bolster the US economy.

Politics also plays a significant role in the Mnuchin debate. Senator Warren and other Democrats have largely voiced concern and criticism over Mnuchins appointment, while Republicans generally support him.

Furthermore, the ideological differences between the two parties on economic issues ensure that there will be ongoing debate around Mnuchins role as Treasury Secretary.


Steven Mnuchins appointment as Treasury Secretary is laden with controversy. His significant wealth and background in banking make him a target for critics, with his tenure at OneWest Bank coming under particular scrutiny.

Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, a vocal critic of Wall Street, has been an outspoken opponent of the appointment, calling for Mnuchin to defend his actions before the Senate Finance Committee. The Mnuchin debate highlights the ongoing tension between business interests and public interests in government, as well as the role of money and politics in appointments to key positions of power.

In conclusion, the appointment of successful business people and billionaires to senior government positions under the neoliberal approach has been a controversial topic. The appointment of Rex Tillerson, Steven Mnuchin, and others has raised significant concerns over business interests, ethics, and broader societal concerns.

The criticism of these appointments by individuals such as Senator Elizabeth Warren highlights the ongoing debate around the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington D.C. All in all, these appointments and their outcomes have a far-reaching and long-term impact, which must be continuously monitored and evaluated to ensure that they align with the values of the country and serve its citizens. FAQs:


Why would successful business people and billionaires make good senior government officials? Successful business people and billionaires are believed to bring unique perspectives and experience to the government.

Additionally, they have the necessary expertise that is required to manage complex economic issues that affect the country. 2.

Why are the appointments of Rex Tillerson and Steven Mnuchin controversial? The appointments of Tillerson and Mnuchin are controversial due to their ties to the business world, with concerns raised about conflicts of interest and the prioritization of corporate interests over wider societal issues and concerns.

3. What are the implications of business interests in government?

Business interests in government can lead to policies that prioritize the interests of corporations and the wealthy, limiting the capacity of the government to address complex issues such as income inequality, environmental protection, and social welfare. 4.

What is Elizabeth Warren’s position regarding these appointments? Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats have raised significant concerns over these appointments, citing concerns about potential conflicts of interest and the impact of business interests on wider societal concerns.

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