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21 January, 2017

The Goldman Sachs Trump

Trump preaches angry nationalism, while practicing Goldman Sachs capitalism

President Donald Trump's inaugural address was fiery and nationalistic, a considerable departure from the traditional Republican Party embrace of the free market and an activist foreign policy. Trump talked of an “America First” policy and vowed that “January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

But Trump’s words on the steps of the Capitol bore little resemblance to the reality of the administration he is building.

It’s hard to argue with Trump’s assessment that “the establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs.

But that establishment will be in full force in the Trump administration. The megabank Goldman Sachs, famously close to Trump’s opponents in the Democratic Party, has six alumni posed for key posts in his administration, including his treasury secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin.

Trump spoke of “mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation,” but Mnuchin built a fortune off of helming banks that misled borrowers and foreclosed on their homes.

One of Trump and Mnuchin’s few explicit policy priorities is to slash taxes for corporations that have stashed money overseas, so that they will repatriate their profits to the United States. On the surface, this is to encourage businesses to invest in American jobs. But corporations are already telling their investors that they’d rather use this windfall to increase dividends and mergers, not hire more Americans.

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