"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." - H. L. Mencken
After campaigning with lots of populist and anti-Wall Street rhetoric, Donald Trump is seriously considering a veteran Wall Street financier, Steve Mnuchin, to be his Treasury secretary.
Mnuchin spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs, ultimately as a partner at the investment bank. More recently, he's headed a privately owned hedge fund, Dune Capital Management. Last April he became Trump's chief fundraiser, and he's now a member of the president-elect's transition team.
But Mnuchin's resume also includes a stint as chairman and CEO of a California bank that's been called a foreclosure machine.
During the depths of the financial crisis, Mnuchin was looking to make profits from the ruins of the housing bust. In 2009, he put together a group of billionaire investors and bought a failed California-based bank, IndyMac. It had been taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. after its sketchy mortgage loans went bad.
The next housing bubble and economic meltdown is probably not going to be remotely recoverable. Not with Trump's team of crooks at the helm. It's going to be brutal when it goes.
And it's the fault of idiot voters like Rex and Rose Schaffer.
Rex Schaffer, 86, and his wife Rose were among those who lost their homes, in a OneWest foreclosure. After living nearly 50 years in their home in La Puente, Calif., the Schaffers took a home equity loan but struggled to make the payments. They say they qualified three times for a government assisted modification, but OneWest failed to modify the loan.
"It was a disaster dealing with those people," Rex Shaffer says. "We'd have a different person every time we called in." He counted 33 OneWest employees, in all, and each one would give him "a different story."
Facing threats that their home would be auctioned off, the Schaffers finally got through to a OneWest vice president. According to Rex Shaffer, the VP said, "I'm going to get you a 60-day extension on the sale date, so we can work this thing out." That was on Feb. 17, 2011. But the next day, the Schaffers' house was sold without their knowledge. "We didn't even know it — didn't have the faintest idea," Rex Shaffer says.
They voted for Donald Trump, but Rose Schaffer says they're praying he doesn't choose Mnuchin as his Treasury secretary. "If he can't run his own little bank," she asks, "how can he handle a large thing for the United States?"
Spoilers: he can't. But hey, the Schaffers are in their 80's. They're not going to have to spend 50 years dealing with the next economic collapse, and they live in California, where their vote for Trump wasn't directly responsible for his election.
Guys like me, well, It was nice knowing all of you.