2017 Fiscal Summit: Interview with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin

May 23, 2017

The White House recently released a blueprint outlining President Trump’s tax reform plan. In this one-on-one conversation, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin discussed the goals and principles underlying that plan, addressed key details such as target rates for corporations and individuals, how tax expenditures would be treated, and the effect on economic growth and the nation’s fiscal condition.

This interview with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin was conducted by CNBC's John Harwood as part of the 2017 Fiscal Summit.


Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, Chairman, U.S. Department of the Treasury

Steven Terner Mnuchin was sworn in as the 77th Secretary of the Treasury on February 13, 2017.

As Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Mnuchin is responsible for the executive branch agency whose mission is to maintain a strong economy, foster economic growth, and create job opportunities by promoting the conditions that enable prosperity and stability at home and abroad. He is also responsible for strengthening national security by combating economic threats and protecting the integrity of our financial system as well as managing the U.S. government’s finances.

Prior to his confirmation, Secretary Mnuchin was finance chairman for Donald J. Trump for President. In this role he spent the last year traveling with the president. He met with hundreds of business leaders. He also served as a senior economic advisor to the president in crafting his economic positions and economic speeches.

Prior to his confirmation he also served as founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Dune Capital Management. He also founded OneWest Bank Group LLC and served as its chairman and chief executive officer until its sale to CIT Group Inc., which was the first bank merger over $50 billion post financial crisis.

Earlier in his career, Secretary Mnuchin worked at The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. where he was a partner and served as chief information officer. He has extensive experience in global financial markets and oversaw trading in U.S. government securities, mortgages, money markets, and municipal bonds.

Secretary Mnuchin is committed to philanthropic activities and previously served as a member of the boards of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MOCA), the Whitney Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on the Mall, the UCLA Health System Board, the New York Presbyterian Hospital Board, and the Los Angeles Police Foundation. He was born and raised in New York City. Secretary Mnuchin holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University.

John Harwood, Editor at Large, CNBC

John Harwood is editor at large for CNBC covering Washington and hosts the CNBC Digital original video series “Speakeasy with John Harwood.”

Harwood was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and grew up in the Maryland suburbs outside of the nation’s capital. He has been around journalism and politics all his life; his first trip on a presidential campaign press plane came when he was 11 years old and accompanied his father, then a political reporter for The Washington Post.

While still in high school, he began his journalism career as a copy boy at The Washington Star. He studied history and economics at Duke University and graduated magna cum laude in 1978. Harwood subsequently joined The St. Petersburg Times, reporting on police, investigative projects, local government and politics. Later he became state capital correspondent in Tallahassee, Washington correspondent and political editor. While covering national politics, he also traveled extensively to South Africa, where he covered deepening unrest against the apartheid regime.

In 1989, Harwood was named a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where he spent the 1989–90 academic year. In 1991, he joined The Wall Street Journal as White House correspondent, covering the administration of George H. W. Bush. Later Harwood reported on Congress. In 1997, he became The Wall Street Journal’s political editor and chief political correspondent.

While at The Wall Street Journal, Harwood wrote the newspaper’s political column, “Washington Wire,” and oversaw the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. In March 2006, he joined CNBC as chief Washington correspondent.

In addition to CNBC, Harwood offers political analysis on NBC and NPR, among others. Harwood has covered each of the last nine presidential elections.

Follow John Harwood on Twitter: @johnjharwood.

COALITION FOR FISCAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY

A new statement urging policymakers to stabilize our national debt and renew and rebalance our national security strategies.

THE TAX REFORM OPPORTUNITY

Video: Our tax code is complex, unfair, and insufficient. Learn more about the opportunity we have to reform and improve tax policy.