Mnuchin’s Role – Trump’s Chum or Economist?

Steven Mnuchin must deliver his role, like a balancing act. 

Steven Mnuchin’s jobs are more precise and direct now. As the new 77th US Treasury secretary, hopes are upon him, after crowds have been perceptive as well as skeptical about his background. Trump quizzes his analysts, who blame him to be against the “establishment”. And mystery escalates, when Mnuchin, a former banker, Goldman Sachs partner, George Soros employee, a hedge fund CEO, and Hollywood investor, is also found to be a past Democrat funder. He is all the things that Trump has been cawing about to have regressed America, in short, Mnuchin is a ‘globalist’ and a ‘liberalist’, as Trump would put it.

With his controversial past, Mnuchin’s appointment seems quite an unlikely, untimely and for the lack of better words, obscure one. It especially is laid with a quantum of surprise at a time when the President is planning to protect the home economy and curtail and detour US global investments back home. With recent resignation of NSC chief Michael Flynn,  the subsequent controversial appointment of Mnuchin seems to make the situation a tad more uncomfortable for the administration. For effective policy formation, inter-alignment of the secretary and the President is paramount to deliver measurable objectives.

There are some things that cannot be condoned here. Mnuchin’s past is controversial; but so is Trump’s and Hillary’s, and it has been proven ten times over. What should be examined is what Mnuchin can deliver, after securing the most influential seat; his decisions will decide how Americans save and invest, the government pays tax, how the economy develops stability, and how the financial markets further strengthen and sustain.

His background may be a good start to comprehending his capabilities and proficiency. Mnuchin was a hedge fund owner; this could give him a sound advantage over politically experienced but economically inexperienced candidates. He shall play a participative role, equal to Trump, in addressing trade relations with China and other nations, given the overhauling of Trump’s Asian policy, his renegotiation demands of NATO, and inviting investments inward to America. It remains to be seen how Mnuchin agrees and aligns with Trump’s stand on reversing major trade deals, which can be an important interception, given that the policies would correspondingly affect the Dollar and financial markets.

What Mnuchin must relentlessly work on is the build-up of US treasury to boost domestic investments. This is exactly in line with the massive diversification of homeward investments and boosting US employment. He is faced with a mountainous task of replacing stringent regulations with liberal ones, which puts majority pressure on domestic business. Overhauling of corporate tax structure is underway with the Trump administration, in line with the Republicans campaign agenda of reducing corporate tax to 15%, making it competitive.

Of all the responsibilities, Mnuchin needs to exhibit his financial skills in articulating current and future economic sanctions, as part of the US’s foreign policy. Sanctions on Iran, Iraq, some Arab countries, and UN contributions, are to be taken up for assessment by Mnuchin. Economic sanctions are more political and less economical, though it affects the US economy, thus Mnuchin may have to undertake a review of the government’s sanctions program, and curtail investments that are not fruitful or are anti-American. A sanction on NATO, in which the US alleges disparity in defence spending by partners, must be aggressively imposed by Mnuchin. For effective policy formation, inter-alignment of the secretary and the President is paramount to deliver measurable objectives. Mnuchin’s role remains pivotal in this manner.

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