Could It Happen?

Although I’m decades removed from the classroom, I haven’t forgotten the way my mind was trained to think. I still ask myself a lot of theoretical /hypothetical questions. What if, if-then, cost/benefit and return on investment to name a few. Today I’m going to explore a could it happen one with you. Could Donald Trump go BK? I’m not talking Burger King – he is much more a McDonald’s guy – I’m talking bankrupt.


As of this writing, Trump has judgments of nearly $84 million against him (that I know of). He is likely to have another judgement/fine in excess of $200 million levied against him in New York very shortly.

The legal costs from this and other issues are astounding. Lawyers – even the less than dream team caliber ones – cost a lot of money. We know that one of his PACs has spent over $50 million defending him, (and I have every reason to believe that figure to be both incomplete and low).

When a defendant Trump’s long time legal strategy is to delay and file counter suits, regardless of how inane they are. When you are playing with OP money you can do that. When you have to pay the bills yourself and the attorneys start to ask for cash in advance it’s another situation.

In a recent deposition Trump claimed to have $400 million in cash on hand. One thing we know about Trump is that he lies to make himself look better so I’d bet he has considerably less than $400 million on hand. At some point his donors have to catch on that this is all a scam and they are the marks. When they do the gravy train will dry up.

The other thing in play (and part of the delay game) is whether the courts will save him. It’ s impossible to see how they would justify it but what is to prevent, particularly this Supreme Court, from ruling that he does indeed have complete immunity for life? That would be outrageous, anti-democracy and anti-American but…

To date many, if not most, lower courts are dragging their feet and if you are playing a delay game every day is a win.

Trump has a lot of assets but we don’t know how much equity he actually has in them plus they are not very liquid. Just how much cash he can come up with in what would basically be a desperation liquidation sale is very much an unanswered question. How many Jared Kushners are there who are willing and able to grossly overpay for a building or golf course?

I don’t know what the laws are when it comes to pending judgments or fines and bankruptcy. If I were a Trump “creditor” my bigger fear would be that he has offshored his money already or will in short order especially if he feel he is going to lose the 2024 election. (I feel that Trump is hoping reelection will give him a get out of jail free card. Given reentry, I strongly feel that Trump will never leave the White House alive regardless of the calendar or Constitution.

Could Trump go BK? The answer is, I don’t know, but it looks increasingly possible that it will be one of his tactics.

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