Biden Hauls in $200K From Goldman Sachs Exec Who 'Screwed America's Economy'

Donald Mullen was the architect of the 'Big Short' that allowed Goldman to profit off financial crisis

Donald Mullen Jr. / Getty Images
October 20, 2020

The former Goldman Sachs executive who devised the "Big Short" and told colleagues they would make "serious money" off the housing market collapse has poured $200,000 into Joe Biden's victory fund, filings show.

Donald Mullen Jr., a mastermind behind the scheme that allowed Goldman Sachs to profit during the financial crisis, pushed the six-figure donation into the Biden Victory Fund this past quarter. Mullen has given generously to a number of other liberal committees and politicians this cycle, including the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Senate candidates Mark Kelly and Theresa Greenfield, among many others.

Mullen's donation to Biden's joint fundraising committee came as the presidential contender saw a windfall from Wall Street executives in the third quarter. Biden has so far outpaced President Donald Trump in donations from the financial sector by nearly $40 million. But perhaps none of the donations could draw as much ire as Mullen's, who has become known as the man who "screwed America's economy."

As head of Goldman Sachs's mortgage and credit business, Mullen was a leading player in the subprime mortgage trade that helped the financial giant profit off the housing market collapse. Mullen and other executives at Goldman bet big that the housing bubble would burst, even as they urged customers to invest in the market. The bet became known as the "Big Short" and was credited to Mullen, who told colleagues in a 2007 email that they "will make some serious money."

The company was ordered to pay $5 billion in 2016 for its role in the financial crisis. Mullen was never accused of wrongdoing.

After leaving Goldman Sachs in 2012, Mullen launched his own New York City-based real estate investment firm called Pretium Partners LLC, which buys foreclosed homes and rents them out to tenants. The group sought to raise $1 billion for its activities in 2016 and has brought a number of former Goldman Sachs alums on board.

Biden is not the only Democrat pulling in large sums from the "Big Short" architect. Federal Election Commission records show that Mullen gave six figures to the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this cycle. Groups such as Everytown for Gun Safety, VoteVets, and the Lincoln Project have also received thousands from Mullen. The real estate investor has maxed out donations to Democratic Senate candidates Amy McGrath, Theresa Greenfield, John Hickenlooper, and Mark Kelly.

Mullen previously backed Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election cycle with a $100,000 donation, which garnered scrutiny at the time.

Pretium Partners did not respond to a request for comment.