What does the Treasury Secretary do anyway?
A very good question, and I’m not sure that the Forbes article, Who Is Trump Pick Steven Mnuchin & What Does The Treasury Secretary Do Anyway?, really answers the question.
The most important sub-agency under Treasury is the IRS, but I am not aware that previous Secretaries got into the nitty-gritty of directing changes in IRS regulations and enforcement. The subtleties of the more complicated tax regulations are too technical and complicated for anyone who has not spent years practicing tax law to understand.
It should be noted that the Federal Reserve Bank is a federal agency that is not part of Treasury but rather is set up to be quasi-independent from the Executive Branch.
Steven Mnuchin himself is a guy who had a big head start in life by being born to a rich Wall Street father who worked at Goldman Sachs, and then got into the business himself, also working at Goldman Sachs (it’s great to have connections) and later managing his own hedge fund. Then he got bored being a rich Wall Street guy and got into producing movies.
I’m not sure why Mnuchin wants to give up producing movies for the thankless and very low-paying (compared to what he’s used to making) job of Secretary of the Treasury.
* * *
The United States has a huge and growing debt, and the Treasury Department determines how to borrow more money and make payments on the debt.