Vhat Did I Tell You!?

For decades, my dad told me that Donald Trump’s wildly leveraged business was built on bad loans. He also predicted nearly everything else about the Trump era, including the fact that he’d refuse to accept the results of the election. So this one’s for his memory, and for every other old real estate guy that is nodding knowingly right now. Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks and insurers while building real estate empire.

+ “The surprise is not that Trump and his co-defendants, including his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, committed fraud. What is surprising is that he could finally be punished for it—and quite harshly. The scheme that New York Attorney General Letitia James alleged last year was simple. When Trump wanted to lower his taxes, he’d claim a low valuation for a property. When he wanted to get cheap loans, he would inflate the valuation. This allowed him to inflate his claimed net worth each year, which let him obtain loans on better terms by personally guaranteeing them.” The Atlantic (Gift Article): The End of Trump Inc.

+ Just how much was Trump over-inflating things? Put in your own property price to get an idea. WaPo (Gift Article): How much would your house be worth if the Trump Organization owned it?

+ “Trump and his lawyers have repeatedly denied that his valuations were fraudulent, instead claiming that he was a ‘visionary’ who saw value beyond what non-visionaries could see.” (Given the way he valued his properties, he’s more like a double-visionary.) Will the Trumps lose their homes? NY judge who dissolved Trump Org is cryptic at a tense hearing.

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