Posts Tagged ‘Trump Casino Bankruptcies’

Donald Trump’s real art of the deal

June 14, 2016
Trump's Castle Casino on Atlantic City Boardwalk

Trump’s Castle casino on the Atlantic City Boardwalk

Last September I wrote a post speculating that Mitt Romney and Carly Fiorina may have been responsible for more human suffering than Donald Trump. I take that back. Based on what’s come out about Trump University and a New York Times report on Trump’s casino operations, I have to say that Trump’s business record was by far the worst of the three.

I assumed that Trump’s failures were honest business failures, such that most business owners and investors experience over the course of their careers.  Since then I have learned better.

Basically Trump set up businesses with other people’s money that were so loaded with debt that they were doomed to fail.  But he extracted a lot of money for himself before that happened.  Here are highlights of what the New York Times reported:

His audacious personality and opulent properties brought attention — and countless players — to Atlantic City as it sought to overtake Las Vegas as the country’s gambling capital. But a close examination of regulatory reviews, court records and security filings by The New York Times leaves little doubt that Mr. Trump’s casino business was a protracted failure.  Though he now says his casinos were overtaken by the same tidal wave that eventually slammed this seaside city’s gambling industry, in reality he was failing in Atlantic City long before Atlantic City itself was failing.

But even as his companies did poorly, Mr. Trump did well. He put up little of his own money, shifted personal debts to the casinos and collected millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and other payments. The burden of his failures fell on investors and others who had bet on his business acumen.

In three interviews with The Times since late April, Mr. Trump acknowledged in general terms that high debt and lagging revenues had plagued his casinos. He did not recall details about some issues, but did not question The Times’s findings.  He repeatedly emphasized that what really mattered about his time in Atlantic City was that he had made a lot of money there.

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