Former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin tapped by Trump for Treasury secretary

US President-elect Donald Trump adviser Steven Mnuchin leaves from the Trump Tower in New York on November 14, 2016. (Photo: KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

US President-elect Donald Trump adviser Steven Mnuchin leaves from the Trump Tower in New York on November 14, 2016. (Photo: KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker who profited from the housing meltdown, as his Treasury secretary, according to an official briefed on the decision.

Mnuchin’s career has been full of contradictions. He started as a Wall Street insider working for old-line firms before running a series of eclectic businesses — including his own hedge fund and a West Coast consumer bank. In recent years, he has been a Hollywood movie producer.

He served as finance chairman of Trump’s presidential campaign and has been one of Trump’s closest economic advisers. His nomination will be announced as soon as Wednesday, the official said.

As Treasury secretary, the 53-year-old Mnuchin would be the face of the American economy around the world. The Treasury Department has expansive responsibility over business and oversees banking regulations, financial markets and the IRS. It has about 100,000 employees, an estimated 91,000 of them at the IRS.

Besides co-signing the currency, the Treasury secretary is Uncle Sam’s banker, paying the bills, collecting taxes, managing the federal government debt and selling billions of dollars a year in Treasury bonds.