Protesters Denounce Donald Trump's Ex-Goldman Sachs (GS) Cabinet Picks - TheStreet

Updates from Jan. 19 with a new video report.

Ahead of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, protesters gathered outside of Goldman Sachs' (GS) - Get Report lower Manhattan headquarters this week to voice concerns over the bank's former employees serving in Trump's administration.

"From their investment on fossil fuels and the prison industrial complex to their role in the foreclosure crisis that caused the 2008 economic collapse, Goldman Sachs has played a key role in the extraction of wealth from low-income and middle-income families across the United States," the activists wrote in a media advisory. 

Chief among the activists' concerns is the bank's "burgeoning influence on Capitol Hill," according to the media advisory issued by the protesters.

Indeed, Goldman will have a big presence on capital once the inauguration and cabinet hearings are complete. Of Trump's cabinet picks he counts a number of ex- or current Goldman employees as advisers.

Those include chief strategist Stephen Bannon, Secretary of the Treasury pick Steve Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn. All three previously worked at Goldman Sachs.

Plus, Anthony Scaramucci, who sold his hedge fund SkyBridge Capital on Tuesday amid his looming advisory role in Trump's administration, is a Goldman Sachs alum.

Trump's pick for Securities and Exchange Commission Chair is attorney Jay Clayton of Sullivan & Cromwell, who has represented Goldman Sachs.

On Tuesday, Trump tapped Goldman Sachs' global head of impact investing Dina Habib Powell as Assistant to the President and Senior Counselor for Economic Initiatives. 

Protesters told TheStreet that these selections show how Trump is "filling the swamp" even though he ran on the notion of "draining the swamp."

Bill Cohan, author of Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World, said the notion of "draining the swamp" is vague. "If someone is nominated for a Cabinet position and is willing to bring their expertise on things like capital markets and the way finance works and the way Wall Street works, why wouldn't we want that expertise in Washington to help sort through our myriad of problems?"

He added there has always been a symbiotic relationship between Wall Street and government.

On Jan. 4, multiple protesters were removed from the lobby of the bank's headquarters and displayed a large banner with "Government Sachs" printed in large letters, according to Bloomberg.

This isn't the first time Goldman Sachs has acted as a stepping stone for major government jobs. 

In former president George W. Bush's administration, former Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson served as Secretary of the Treasury. In former president Bill Clinton's administration, former Goldman Sachs co-chair Robert Rubin also served as Secretary of the Treasury.