Once upon a time, before his signature appeared on all of our money, Steve Mnuchin ran a bank. And not just any bank, but one particularly enmeshed in some especially rank foreclosure nastiness during the housing crisis. Now, Steve Mnuchin had other things to do in addition to running OneWest Bank, so he needed help, which came in the form of Joseph Otting, who served as Mnuchin’s loyal lieutenant and OneWest CEO from 2010 through 2015, when as a reward for helping convince regulators to let CIT Group buy OneWest, CIT’s John Thain fired him.
Since then, Otting’s been biding his time at a couple of LLCs named for streets named for bodies of water, and Trump and Mnuchin have run into a few problemsfilling posts, while the former has also jumped from crisis of his own making to crisis of his own making. All of which makes appointing Otting comptroller of the currency the perfect decision for this administration: He’d be the literal definition of the fox guarding the henhouse at OCC, which oversees big banks. He’s a crony of one of Trump’s top cronies, and another banking veteran for a White House already chock full of ‘em—and one with no public service experience of any kind, to boot. Better yet, his appointment is sure to drive liberals crazy, which is the president’s favorite pastime aside from whining, and getting him through the Senate will burn through a decent chunk of whatever little is left of Trump’s political capital and further endanger already-endangered Capitol Hill Republicans for no reason, which are the president’s second- and third-favorite pastimes. By every Trumpian measurement currently baffling Ray Dalio, it’s a masterstroke.
Not much is known about Mr. Otting’s regulatory views. But he is expected to adopt a similar tone to other Trump administration officials, who have called for a review of banking rules they say went too far under Mr. Obama and are curbing legitimate lending….
Mr. Otting has worked in banking for decades. He began his career at Bank of America. At Union Bank NA in the 1990s, he was in charge of lending to medium-size companies. He later moved to U.S. Bancorp . , where he helped build a middle-market business and oversaw an expansion of the lender’s presence in California.