Donald Trump's 14 member economic team is a real who's who of finance, with an emphasis on the "Who?"
As befitting a Trump list, the lineup of money advisors is a little overpacked, low on actual quality, seems odd in spots and somehow repeats itself. By packing in a bizarre collection of billionaires with some of his policy staffers, sprinkling it with a fistful of hedge fund managers, and picking no women but five guys named Steve, Trump has somehow managed to create a team that meets almost all of our Trumpian expectations.
One surprise however is the inclusion of John Paulson. While Paulson is obviously something of a major "Get" for The Donald, and we've heard rumblings for awhile that Paulson is itching to Make America Great Again, it still somehow feels weird to see him on this team. Especially when you consider that Trump, who loathes admitting that he's ever lost money, didn't even try to hide that he lost roughly $1.5 million in an investment with Paulson's Advantage Plus LP fund.
But Paulson is just the lead character of a truly motley crew. Here's a rundown of the team in which all Stevens and Stephens are shortened to Steve as they certainly will be by Trump himself:
- Steve Mnuchin: Trump's much-discussed campaign finance chief and another "hedge fund guy" on the team.
- Tom Barrack: LA-based founder of hedge fund Colony Capital, former Reagan administration official and owner of Neverland Ranch.
- Harold Hamm: Oklahoma oil and gas billionaire fond of fracking, famed divorcee.
- Steve Roth: Vornado Realty CEO and Trump's NYC real estate bro.
- Howard Lorber: Bronx native, CEO of Vector Group, a real estate and tobacco holding company, chairman of Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs (seriously).
- Steve Feinberg: Reclusive CEO of Cerebrus Capital and the other hedge fund Steve on the team.
- Steve Calk: CEO of Chicago-based the Federal Savings Bank, and (according to his bio) current student at Harvard Business School.
- Andy Beal: CEO of both Beal Banks (Dallas and LAs Vegas). Uses the deposits of his banks to buy distressed loans, not unlike a fund would. Also a number theory aficionado who used to have his own private space rocket company before it was cool.
- David Malpass: Former Reagan Treasury official, George HW Bush State Department official and chief economist at Bear Stearns. Author of most hindsightedly cringeworthy WSJ op-ed in modern history.
- Peter Navarro: Economics professor at UC-Irvine, runner-up in 1992 San Diego mayoral election, author of "If It’s Raining in Brazil, Buy Starbucks."
- Steve Moore: Libertarian economist, founder of the Club for Growth.
- Dan DiMicco: Retired steel executive.
- Steve Miller: Trump campaign policy director.
- Dan Kowalski: Miller's deputy.
- Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner: Neither on the official list nor is possession of any economic training. Will surely be strongest voices on team.
So, yeah, we're looking forward to hearing Trump's economic speech from Detroit on Monday.