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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Who figures Donald Trump would be a germophobe?

That’s not the only surprising thing contained in this article. Aside from the various comparisons between what Trump claims about himself and what’s reality, there’s this:

Actually, it’s hard to know exactly what percent of Trump’s net worth is tied to the casino business because most of Trump’s portfolio is in privately held companies that don’t report earnings. He’s described himself as “a billionaire many times over,” but there are skeptics who believe Trump has $300 million, tops. And the guy has a reputation for, let’s say, shading the news in a light that reflects his enthusiasms.

Is The Donald less of a mogul than he puffs himself up to be? If so, it explains why he never continued with his professional sports ownership, started in the USFL (which brought him to prominence in the first place). Think about it: If he really was serious about pursuing an NFL team, he’d have to disclose his personal finances to the league. This would be an unacceptable level of transparency, given the persona he’s built. So he found other ways to promote Trump the Brand.

Ultimately, it’s been a winning strategy:

The larger point is the way Trump is viewed as a businessman. As a private developer, he’s gifted and relentless at crafting deals, winning allies, fighting enemies, exploiting legal loopholes, charming, bullying and making sure the cement is delivered on time. He knows his market, the upscale buyer seeking conspicuous luxury that is heavy on pink marble and gilt. His properties have always commanded a premium because of the marquee value of his brand.

But stock and bond markets view Trump as a bit of a joke, which is what happens when shares in a company you run plunge by 99 percent. So Trump is saddled with the paradox of life as highly public but erratically successful executive: The people who know the least about business admire him the most, and those who know the most about business admire him the least. Which irks the man who is forever complaining that his achievements as corporate rainmaker are overshadowed by his latest brand-name spinoff and his soap-opera love life.

This is a guy who nearly went bankrupt in the early ’90s, when his real estate holdings were so over-leveraged he needed a bank bailout to stay afloat and was forced to sell some of his most treasured assets. Anyone else might have retreated. Trump buffaloed his way back into the game and turned the fiasco into a best-selling book, The Art of the Comeback.

The beautiful part is that Trump the caricature and Trump the man are essentially the same person. This isn’t an act. He brings a genuinely unembarrassed joy to the role of high-rolling, model-squiring aristocrat, and he doesn’t know the meaning of “overexposed.”

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/14/2004 10:29:17 PM
Category: Business, Celebrity
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  1. OMG, of course he’s a germophobe.

    Puffed-up, super-wealthy mega-landlords feeling a need to control the environment down to the microbe level? Yeah, sounds about right.

    Although he’s pretty on target with that whole hand-washing thing. Hand-washing is underrated.

    Comment by r* — 09/15/2004 @ 12:20:24 PM

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