Trump swings this way, that-a-way with early appointments

Stephen Bannon

RELATED AUDIO Northern Trust's Carl Tannenbaum describes the balancing act between the new administration's conflicting policies

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US President-elect Donald Trump is close to naming former Goldman Sachs Group partner Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury secretary, according to a Bloomberg report.

The news agency says Mr Mnunchin, who now runs a hedge fund, was spotted at Trump Towers earlier today NZT. 

He's said to be the Trump transition team's recommended pick for the key post.

If confirmed, Mr Mnunchin will become the third ex-Goldman Sachs exec to head the Treasury since the mid-1990s after Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson – an insider-lock that has gained the investment bank the nickname “Government Sachs”.

Mr Mnunchin would also become Mr Trump’s second “Establishment” pick following his appointment of Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus as his chief-of-staff yesterday. It's not for nothing Mr Piebus is called "the Establishment's favourite"; he has close ties to House Speaker Paul Ryan; it's hard to imagine anyone more inside The Beltway. 

Mr Trump’s mob of “drain the swamp” supporters may not be enthused by the Mnunchin and Priebus appointments, the president-elect did through them a bone by naming alt-right publisher Stephen Bannon his “chief strategist.” 

Mr Bannon — who was so influential as a campaign team insider with his "Let Trump be Trump" philosophy — actually began his career with Goldman Sachs. But as a rabble-rousing online publisher, he said his experience at the Wall Street firm only served to awaken him to the dangers of "crony capitalism".

A delicate balancing act lies ahead for a man not known for that trait.

In other Trump transition developments today, oil company executive Harold Hamm — a fracking advocate — was tipped to be named Energy secretary in the president-elect's cabinet.

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Those who consider Mr. Trump, who has vilified the news media, a threat to the free press view Mr. Bannon’s appointment as more cause for alarm. Critics say Breitbart now has the potential to play an unprecedented role in a modern presidency, as a weaponized media adjunct for the White House.
“It will be as close as we are ever going to have — hopefully — to a state-run media enterprise,” said Kurt Bardella, a former Breitbart spokesman who quit the site this year, saying it had turned into a de facto “super PAC” for Mr. Trump.

Above from the Washington Post - think it is fair to say they are not happy.

Breitbart News often makes Fox News seem moderate.....

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Another fox guarding the financial hen house. More of the same, then.

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Good on him I say. Good to see that he has already upset the Chinese and let us hope that he continues to do so and China threatening to stop the sale of iPhones must be seen as a joke.

Have a feeling that they will be slightly more annoyed once he starts pulling back manufacturing from China.

Shame that Key missed his call however Key saying that he has been trying to hook up is somewhat worrying.....

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