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161201_WilburRoss
Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross talks with reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in New York.  Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross talks with reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in New York.

Donald Trump’s Nominee for Commerce Secretary Is 10 Times Richer Than Bush's Entire Cabinet

Dec 01, 2016

With multimillionaires and heirs to family fortunes, President-elect Donald Trump is compiling what will be the richest administration in modern history—by a landslide.

As The Washington Post points out, while George W. Bush's first cabinet was named a team of millionaires, the wealth of that cabinet pales in comparison to the team Trump is assembling. Bush's cabinet had a combined worth of $250 million in today's dollars, according to the Post. Trump's nominee for commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, is worth $2.5 billion alone, ten times Bush's entire cabinet.

Ross is a longtime banker who founded his own firm, W.L. Ross, and made much of his fortune through bankruptcy investments, buying bankrupt companies and rebuilding them.

Ross's wealth isn't all that uncommon in a cabinet pick, particularly in the role of commerce secretary. According to the Post, Penny Pritzker, the current commerce secretary, also has a net worth of $2.5 billion.

What is unusual is that Ross is one of several über-wealthy people that Trump is calling upon to run the federal government. Ross's potential colleagues include the nominee for education secretary Betsy DeVos, a Michigan billionaire whose father-in-law, Richard DeVos, co-founded Amway. Betsy DeVos and her husband Dick had a net worth of $5.1 billion, according to Forbes. Steve Mnunchin, Trump's pick for treasury secretary, is a former Goldman Sachs executive, hedge fund manager and Hollywood producer worth an estimated $40 million. And Elaine Chao, the choice for transportation secretary, is the daughter of a shipping magnate and is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The couple also has a net worth in the multi-millions.

Future appointments look like they'll follow the same trend. Harold Hamm, a rumored candidate for secretary of energy, has a net worth of $16.6 billion. He ranks 30th on Forbes list of the wealthiest Americans.

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