Mnuchin started his career in the early 1980s as a trainee at Salomon Brothers. He went on to spend 17 years at Goldman Sachs, where a mentor showed him how the firm could profit from the savings-and-loan crisis of the 1980s, buying up assets cheap.

Mnuchin oversaw mortgage-backed-bond trading at Goldman before becoming the investment bank’s chief information officer in 1999. He left in 2002 and two years later founded Dune Capital, named for a spot near his house in the Hamptons.

The 2008 financial crisis lured Mnuchin back into banking. That summer, he was in his New York office when he saw a TV news shot of customers lined up outside a branch of IndyMac, a California lender, trying to pull out their money.

“This bank is going to end up failing, and we need to figure out how to buy it,” he told a colleague, recalling the lessons of the savings and loan crisis. “I’ve seen this game before.”

The bank collapsed that July, just months before Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s failure set off a global emergency. At one of the murkiest moments of the crisis, Mnuchin gathered investors for a $1.6 billion bid to buy IndyMac. He got an agreement that guaranteed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. would absorb almost all the loan losses after a certain threshold. He renamed the bank OneWest. Within a year, it was profitable.

In October 2011 about 100 protesters marched on his Los Angeles mansion, angry about foreclosures. “Steve Mnuchin,” one sign read, “Stop taking our homes.” He and his partners completed the bank’s sale in August 2015.

This article was provided by Bloomberg.

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