Skip to main content

Donald Trump Once Sued The Hedge Fund Managed By His Campaign Finance Chair Because Of Course He Did

Bloomberg got to know Steven Mnuchin, here are the highlights.

We've been borderline obsessed with Donald Trump's Goldman alum, recovering hedge funder, bailout profiteering campaign finance chair for a while now, but never did we think we'd be treated to an embarrassment of riches such as this!


In an infinitely readable profile of Steven Mnuchin published early this morning, Bloomberg writers Max Abelson and Zachary Mider paint a pretty indelible image of the man who is shocking seemingly everyone he knows by getting Trump all that cheddar.

We've introduced Mnuchin to you guys a few times now, so let's just get to the wondrous highlights of this awesome profile. Like his indelibly post-modern introduction to the Trump campaign...

He was supposed to be at a dinner downtown, but after receiving a last-minute invitation to Donald Trump’s victory speech, he stopped by Trump Tower. Mnuchin—53, stiff bearing, stylish black glasses—was milling around, swallowing some Trump-brand wine, when the candidate swanned into view. The two had worked together on building deals years earlier. The billionaire beckoned his friend to follow him onto an escalator, and suddenly they were both onstage, Trump jabbing at the roaring crowd and bragging that the group assembled behind him included some of the world’s great businessmen. Mnuchin beamed. From where he stood, Trump’s iridescent hairdo was almost close enough to pat. He spotted a monitor, glimpsed his own face, and realized he was on TV.

How exciting! That must have been a total rush for such a backwater rube like Stevie...

Mnuchin was born into a level of privilege that makes Trump’s deluxe childhood look ordinary. His grandfather, an attorney, co-founded a yacht club in the Hamptons, and his father, Robert, was a top Goldman Sachs trader who later became an art dealer. Mnuchin followed his father to Yale, where he lived in the old Taft Hotel with Eddie Lampert, now a billionaire investor, and Sam Chalabi, whose uncle, Ahmad, later ran the Iraqi National Congress.


Mnuchin drove a Porsche in college, two friends say. His classmate Michael Danziger, an heir to a pharmaceutical fortune, says he was also tapped to join Skull and Bones but turned down the secret society. “You’re going to live to regret this,” he recalls Mnuchin saying. Danziger, who knew his classmate was headed into finance, says he answered: “You put the ‘douche’ in fiduciary.” Mnuchin says the exchange never happened.

And there was no need for name-calling. Mnuchin was clearly just a child of privilege on a search for himself. That journey led him to very interesting places, like the time he experimented with Salomon Brothers...

He got summer jobs at Salomon Brothers before graduating from Yale in 1985. His bosses at the bank asked why they should bring him on. “You’re just going to end up going to Goldman Sachs,” Mnuchin remembers one telling him. “I said, ‘No, I really don’t want to go to Goldman Sachs. I’m going to go do something different.’” He went to Goldman Sachs.

And from there he went into the hedge fund game, apprenticing with George Soros before going out on his own...sorta...

In 2004, Mnuchin founded his own hedge fund, Dune Capital Management, named for a spot near his house in the Hamptons, and got hundreds of millions of dollars from Soros.

Running a hedge fund brought him into his first contact with Trump, which ended predictably...

The firm invested in at least two Trump projects, a branded condo in Waikiki and a Chicago skyscraper. Trump sued Dune and other lenders over the Chicago deal before settling.


Abelson and Mider go on in the piece to postulate that Mnuchin's interest in the Trump campaign is cagily self-serving, offering him an opportunity to become Treasury Secretary. That job would not come his way under literally any other administration. And he clearly puts up with a lot for the mere whiff of possibly seeing his name on money one day.

Here's Trump giving a speech in Scotland...

“You know, I sit with 20 people, and we talk, and they all hand you checks. Bing! Bing! Bing! Bing!” Trump said. “In fact, Steve Mnuchin is here someplace. Steve? Are we doing well, Steve, huh?” Mnuchin prefers to be called Steven.

But the coup de grâce of Abelson and Mider's little masterpiece comes right at the end, when Mnuchin runs into another New York hedge funder with a fondness for The Donald and an inability to engage in social niceties...

At an August Trump fundraiser in the Hamptons, he encountered Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor whom Trump floated as a Treasury pick last year. “I hear the rumor is you will be secretary of the Treasury,” Icahn told Mnuchin. “And I will support you 100 percent on that! Because there’s no f---ing way I would ever do that.”

This is a must-must-read, you guys.

Trump’s Top Fundraiser Eyes the Deal of a Lifetime [Bloomberg]



Producer Of "Mad Max: Fury Road" Officially The Most Logical Choice To Run Trump's Treasury Department

Steven Mnuchin is getting the orange nod to put his signature on all the currency in Trumperica.


John Paulson Lands Spot On Trump Economic Team Despite Having Lost Donald All That Money

Or, how we learned that Mr. Trump likes having a lot of Steves around.