Mnuchin's Fortune Tied to Companies He Can Bail Out - 2020-04-02
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin made hundreds of millions in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis by executing mass foreclosures as the CEO of OneWest bank. Now, as he takes the helm of an unprecedented bailout fund enacted in response to the coronavirus crisis, he's in a position to profit once again.
The coronavirus stimulus bill gives Mnuchin broad authority over a $454 billion slush fund for bailing out large U.S. businesses. Lobbyists and policymakers are still working out the rules of which companies will qualify, but in its design, the Mnuchin-led fund is for assisting large businesses with "investment grade" debt by providing a Federal Reserve backstop. Companies that could receive small business relief under other sections of the law would not be eligible, and there are separate provisions for providing financing to mid-size businesses, states and municipalities.
Mnuchin, who is worth approximately $300 million, has much of his wealth tied to the stock prices of large corporations. According to his 2019 financial disclosure, Mnuchin owns up to $132 million worth of shares in exchange-traded S&P 500 funds, which are composed of stocks of 500 of the biggest American companies. His investments include between $36 million and $102 million in Vanguard S&P 500 ETF and between $6 million and $30 million in Ishares Core S&P 500 ETF. His funds are held across multiple accounts, including several family trusts and the Steven Mnuchin Dynasty Trust I.