Feel Foolish Yet?

I vividly remember a 2016 conversation I had with a friend who is an intelligent swing voter. He was torn as to how he was going to vote. The one thing he liked about Trump was that he perceived him as a successful businessman and therefore thought he would be good for the economy. He wasn’t alone.


Trump was, and perhaps at the moment still is, wealthy. When your daddy gives you over $400 million it is difficult not to be. He certainly didn’t make a fortune with his (non-existent) business prowess.

Two attributes of a good manager (my preferred and gender-neutral word for businessman) are that they can make a profit and manage a crisis. Trump appears incapable of either.

Trump seems to have failed to grasp the elementary definition of a profit: revenue – expenses = profits. The trick here is that the revenue number has to be larger than the expenses number. It’s really just a matter of understanding the number line and arithmetic. Trump’s only apparent talent with regard to that equation is that he is a master of cheating suppliers to reduce the expenses figure but still not by enough to create a profit.

If we stretch the definition of revenue we see another Trump “talent”; he lies to get borrowed or grant money. The old Post Office lease is a prime example. It appears he lied on the application to make himself look like a more credit worthy applicant; just as he allegedly has on multiple bank loans. The word is that despite the shakedown he had going, including with foreign “lobbyists”, at his DC hotel it is still losing money. This “business genius” is the only person I know of who went bankruptcy multiple times in the casino business.

During his presidency the terms of a $300 million loan from Deutsche (a German bank) were renegotiated favorably to Trump. That doesn’t pass the smell test especially considering the history of the participants. If I were laundering money – which Deutsche Bank has a history of doing – the best way to beat an investigation is if a friend in a high place stopped it before it even commenced. Just saying.

In his earlier business ventures on several occasions Trump needed his father to bail him out of a jam. That is one way to handle a crisis but not a very competent one.

Trump appears to be one of those rare people born with a silver spoon in his mouth. The only real crisis of his presidency was the pandemic where he by far had the worst record of any country, not just any advanced country, but any country period.

Neither making a profit nor managing a crisis is one of Trump’s strong suits. Losing in business, much like in sports, is part of the “game”. Remember every conference goes .500 at the end of the season. Trump not only lost but he cheated and still did. That is really both bad and sad!

If you. Like my friend, thought Trump was a successful businessman in 2016 do you feel foolish to have been deceived yet?

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