American Elephants

Who Is Donald Trump? The Billionaire New York Businessman? by The Elephant's Child

John O’Sullivan is a prominent British conservative political journalist who was once speechwriter for Margaret Thatcher, and is an editor for National Review. Can’t vote here, not a citizen, but a visitor. He remarked “But it’s obvious that this election cycle is about Trump rather than about the other candidates. He has come from nowhere and surged ahead of the pack. My suspicion is that he didn’t originally expect to be a contender for long and was surprised when he established a strong lead. But he overcame his surprise and began to do things candidates do – put out position papers, etc. – while sticking to his unique style of campaigning, namely riffing entertainingly on the day’s news, jabbing opponents with sharp verbal sticks, and treating his audiences like neighborhood friends.” I thought that a particularly sharp observation.

Holman Jenkins said “They say they like Mr. Trump because he tells it like it is, except he doesn’t. They say he is politically incorrect, but he is factually incorrect.”
“The Donald may be as surprised as anybody by the way his campaign has taken fire — his utterances certainly suggest so.”

He likes riding the wave and may be unable or unwilling to get off. He launched this adventure purely to accrue value in his lifelong personal brand-building pursuit.

That doesn’t mean he ever seriously thought about being president, having to do the job. And one way that might become apparent is when, after winning the nomination and celebrating his personal triumph, he turns to the GOP and its donor armies to see what they are willing to do to win him the presidency. If it’s not as much as he would like—if he would actually have to fulfill his promise to finance his own honest-to-goodness presidential campaign, which could cost $1 billion—that’s when things get hinky.

That’s a second observation that Trump was just fooling around with a campaign, and then people took him seriously, so he’s going to see how far it can go.

Have you ever known a real con-man? I have. He was, for a time a new manager in the department where I worked. Everybody liked him because he was so personable. They thought he was great, but one day one of his stories touched on something I actually knew about. It was a complete and deliberate lie, for no reason at all.  It wasn’t much longer before he departed, fired for some irregular problems with his expense accounts. That was my first hustler. It’s not comfortable to have been taken for a fool, even though I wasn’t alone.

From Bloomberg Business: 2/26/2016

Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., the casino operator founded by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, emerged from bankruptcy court protection on Friday and is now a subsidiary of billionaire Carl Icahn’s Icahn Enterprises LP.
Trump opened the Taj Mahal in 1990. The parent company continually struggled with debt, and Trump Entertainment filed for bankruptcy court protection in September 2014. The filing coincided with a protracted downturn in betting in Atlantic City that led four of the city’s 12 casinos to close. It was the Trump casino businesses’ fourth time in bankruptcy.

From Jim Geraghty at National Review: “What if Trump Doesn’t Have Billions?” “There’s a good chance we’ll never see his tax returns.

Trump told Hugh Hewitt on his radio show a year ago that he would release his tax return shortly, as soon as they were completed. A few years ago he refused to release “un-redacted tax returns, even when it could help him win a $5 billion libel lawsuit against a New York Times reporter. Forbes magazine estimated his net worth after 80 interviews and many resources as less than half of what he claimed last year. Others with direct knowledge of his finances think his net worth is closer to $150 -$250 million. Still comfortably wealthy but not a billionaire.

Trump said that was a lie and sued, lost in court, appealed, and lost again. The case dragged on because he would not turn over the tax returns. So the likelihood that they will be released to the public is slim.

Bloomberg Politics, February 24, 2016 “A Look Inside Trump’s Global Deals Exposes Trouble in Many Spots” In Panama, condominium owners are trying to fire him.  In Canada and Turkey, his business partners want to cut him loose. In Scotland and Ireland, he claims to be making millions on his golf courses, but so far is losing money. In Toronto the Toronto Tower Owners want Trump out.

“Donald Trump says his organization is in talks on more than 100 deals, 85 percent of them outside the U.S., and that if elected president he will bring to international relations the savvy he has demonstrated as a global deal maker.”

The article suggests that an examination of his operations shows that while he has made millions selling his name, he has chosen inexperienced or questionable partners, and there are legal conflicts amid claims of broken promises and empty apartments. Trump disputes the claims.

Yahoo Finance 10/19/2014 “12 Donald Trump businesses that no longer exist:” Also see “Donald Trump’s Record of Business Failures and Bluster” 2/16/2016, PJ Media.

  1. Trump Mortgage (announced 2006, closed 2007)
  2. Trump Steaks (2007-?)
  3. Trump Vodka (2006-2011)
  4. Trump: The Game (1989-1990, 2005)
  5. Trump Ice (Shut down 2010)
  6. Go (2006-2007)
  7. Trump Magazine
  8. The New Jersey Generals (1983-1985)
  9. Trump Airlines (1989-1992)
  10. Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. 4 bankruptcies (1991, 2004, 2009, 2014)
  11. Trump Tower Tampa (2006-2007)
  12. Trump University (2005 -2011) Current lawsuit for fraud

“Trump and the Rise of the Unprotected” by Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, 2/25/2016

I don’t know. Donald Trump seems to me to be a hustler. Too many lies, too much Big talk. Everything is going to be Great!, Beautiful! He knows how to do that. He knows how to fix that. But he never tells us how, or who is going to pay for it and how. There are some really big problems in the world and we have no hint about how Trump might address them.


6 Comments so far
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Reblogged this on Utopia – you are standing in it!.


Comment by Jim Rose

Trump’s one asset as a politician is that he’s an entertaining loudmouth. His only claim for being any kind of suitable for the job is that he’s a “winner”. Some winner; his casino’s are constantly in bankruptcy (one of the four resulted in him being put on an allowance, and only Florida’s rule about primary residences kept his home there, Mir-a-Lago, from being seized by the courts), he’s been in some form of litigation for almost all of his adult life, and has such a casual disregard for rules and proper procedures you’d almost think he was a Democrat (one example; on the financial disclosure form he was required to file before he started his run for the presidency, he has listed “anticipated” and “expected” income, which is not allowed – only actual income and assets for that year are supposed to be included).

A financial reporter who has written extensively about Trump points out that Trump claims to be worth around 10 billion, while most financial publications put his total worth at around less than half of that. Trump claims to be an expert dealmaker, yet over half of his investments lose money. Even if you were to take Trump at his word about how much he’s worth, several analysts have estimated that if he had simply put the money he inherited from his father into an average securities account he’d be worth around 13billion. In other words, Trump’s so-called business savvy has actually cost him 3 billion over the years.

And let’s not forget what he said when he was questioned about certain crude remarks he made on the campaign trail; he said that he would be different, more mature as President. My question is, if you were interviewing a job applicant who behaved in an objectionable manner, but promised to be better if he got the job, would you hire that person?


Comment by Lon Mead

The response is entirely emotional. They thought when Republicans were elected and control both houses of Congress that they would fix things, but of course they can’t, because the president has a veto which he uses, and he uses executive power to do what he wants, and the only thing the Republicans could do is impeach him, which he richly deserves, but they are unwilling to impeach the first black president as a courtesy to blacks who revere this president for the achievement of proving that a black can be the President of the United States. Opens possibilities for their children that they hadn’t believed in.
Congress has sent, for example, votes to repeal ObamaCare to the president’s desk, which he vetoed, as expected.

People like Trump because he is not a politician, but that is not true, for by running for the presidency, he instantly becomes a politician, if a singularly unqualified one. They assume he is special for his wealth, which may not really be the case, and for his success as a businessman, which is clearly illusory. So they are left with BIG talk — I can do that and it will be beautiful, you will love it — but the how and why are always missing. It’s just the BIG talk, and the jovial insults. And they have ignored or rejected really qualified governors and CEOs for BIG talk, and big insults. Go figure.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

So a not American . Mr. O; Sullivan is going to explain Mr. Trump and look inside his mind. National Review must have be thinking that people care about what a mouthpiece for the Republican Party writes. Nobody cares exactly how much money he has made. The difference in billions doesn’t matter. He has not been involved in Gang of 8, TPP, and his wife isn’t on the Council of Foreign Relations. Got that?


Comment by pschieber

You obviously do not know what “the gang of 8” was about, nor what the Trans Pacific Partnership is and whose wife is on the Council on Foreign Relations?, which you apparently heard someone say was a conspiratorial secret cabal. Do your homework before you start insulting people.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

pschieber – Some people DO care about what the National Review writes. And while people may not care about the difference of a few billion, they should care about the simple fact that he’s lying about it.


Comment by Lon Mead

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