Personal Vs Corporate Bankruptcy
One point of clarification: Trump has never filed personal bankruptcy, only corporate bankruptcy related to some of his business interests. I have never gone bankrupt, Trump has said.
Here is a look at the six Trump corporate bankruptcies. The details are a matter of public record and have been widely published by the news media and even discussed by Trump himself.
Stocks Bonds Funds And Similar Holdings
Trump’s personal financial market investment portfolio is concentrated in the financial and commodities markets. The investment portfolio generates income and cash flow from a variety of mechanisms as dividends, capital gains, and compounded carried interest. He invested a minimum of $70 million in stocks.Though real estate is still his most preferred asset class, Trump became an active financial market investor in 2011 following disappointment from the depressed American real estate market and various investments in the Federal Reserve’s interest yields on CDs were next to nothing. Trump stated that he was not enthusiastic to be a stock market investor, but that prime real estate at good prices was hard to find at that time and that stocks and equity securities were cheap and generating good cash flow from dividends. He profited from 40 of the 45 stocks he purchased which he sold in 2014, making it almost a 90% success rate in capital appreciation in addition to millions in earned dividends. The biggest gainers in his stock portfolio were Bank of America Corporation, The Boeing Company and Facebook, Inc earning a windfall profit of $6.7 million, $3.96 million and $3.85 million, respectively.
On a government form submitted in 2015, Trump reported holding an amount of physical gold, valued at between $100,001 to $250,000.
How Is Donald Trump Able To File For Bankruptcy So Many Times
Prior to the 2016 presidential election, when people discussed then-candidate Donald Trump, they often focused on his personal finances and how he had run his businesses. One of the common refrains had to do with his bankruptcies. According to pundits and critics, Trump had been unsuccessful in business, having to file bankruptcy several times in order to get by. Some people may have seen those stories and read the reports only to wonder how a person can declare bankruptcy so many times. For someone with the wealth of Donald Trump, how is it possible to keep declaring bankruptcy?
Donald Trump and personal bankrtupcyTo understand Donald Trump and bankruptcy, one must first understand the distinction between personal finances and business finances. Businesses are separate entities according to the law. In particular, corporations have their own legal personhood. They are specifically created so that people can avoid personal financial liability if things happen to go wrong. With this in mind, Donald Trump has actually never declared personal bankruptcy. In each instance, his bankruptcy has been a result of a business failure rather than a personal failure.
There have been many other business bankruptcies. Most of those have involved casinos. While Trump has tried hard in the casino business, he has had a number of failures there. On top of that, his Trump Plaza Hotel had to declare bankruptcy in order to seek ample protections.
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Used Law To Protect Interests
Critics have cited the Trump corporate bankruptcies as examples of his recklessness and inability to manage, but the real estate developer, casino operator, and former reality-television star says his use of federal law to protect his interests illustrates his sharp business acumen.
Trump said in August 2015:
“I have used the laws of this country just like the greatest people that you read about every day in business have used the laws of this country, the chapter laws, to do a great job for my company, my employees, myself and my family.
Examining Donald Trumps Chapter 11 Bankruptcies
personal bankruptcyFact-checking claims about Donald Trumps four bankruptcies.Chapter 7Chapter 13Joel R. Spivack Esq. is an experienced bankruptcy attorney who specializes in helping individuals through personal bankruptcy. Contact him today to help you explore your legal options so that you can move on with your life and make a fresh financial start. Examining Donald Trumps Chapter 11 BankruptciesSpivack Law
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Were Watching Trumps 7th Bankruptcy Unfold
As a businessman, Donald Trump ran 6 businesses that declared bankruptcy because they couldnt pay their bills. As the president running for a second term, Trump is repeating some of the mistakes he made as a businessman and risking the downfall of yet another venture: his own political operation.
In the 1980s, Trump was a swashbuckling real-estate investor who bet big on the rise of Atlantic City after New Jersey legalized gambling there. He acquired three casinos that by 1991 couldnt pay their debts. The Taj Mahal declared bankruptcy in 1991, the Trump Plaza and the Trump Castle in 1992. Lenders restructured the debt rather than liquidate and Trump put his casino holdings into a new company that went bankrupt in 2004. The company that emerged from that restructuring declared bankruptcy in 2009. Trumps 6th bankruptcy was the Plaza Hotel, which he bought in 1988. It went bankrupt by 1992.
Trumps surprise victory in 2016 paralleled the arrival of the brash upstart in Atlantic City more than 30 years earlier. But in the fourth year of his presidency, the Trump operation is once again reeling. Voters give him poor marks for handling the coronavirus crisis, underscored by an outbreak at the White House that infected Trump himself. Democrat Joe Biden is beating Trump is most swing states and an Election Day blowout is possible. Trump has suggested he wont leave office if he loses, threatening a constitutional crisis and his own political legacy.
What Is At Stake For Donald Trump Its Certainly Not Just The Election
The brilliant businessman must repay more than $400m within four years. Next weeks vote could determine whether he can
Going bankrupt once is unfortunate. Going bankrupt twice looks like carelessness. Driving your companies into bankruptcy six times, however, as Donald Trump has done, makes you a brilliant businessman.
That is according to the US president, anyway. Trump, a self-described king of debt, is proud of his multiple business bankruptcies, boasting frequently about how he has brilliantly exploited corporate bankruptcy laws in order to wriggle out of his companies financial obligations. Time and time again, Trump has managed to make others employees, investors and banks pay for his failures. Trump, who has never declared personal bankruptcy, has been able to protect his own assets and move on to the next fiasco.
But is Teflon Dons luck finally running out? With just days to go until the US election, Trump is facing a potentially crippling combination of financial stressors. His business empire has been hit hard by the pandemic according to a recent report by the Washington Post, Trumps golf clubs and hotels are practically empty. They were not doing that well before the pandemic: the New York Times investigation into Trumps taxes last month found his businesses were losing money at a staggering rate.
Arwa Mahdawi is a Guardian columnist
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Bankruptcy In The United States
Like the economy, bankruptcy filings in the U.S. rise and fall. In fact, they are like dance partners where one goes, the other usually follows.
Bankruptcy peaked with just more than two million filings in 2005. That is the same year the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was passed. That law was meant to stem the tide of consumers and businesses too eager to simply walk away from their debts.
The number of filings dropped 70% in 2006, but then the Great Recession brought the economy to its knees and bankruptcy filings spiked to 1.6 million in 2010. They retreated again as the economy improved, but the COVID-19 pandemic easily could reverse the trend in 2021. It seems inevitable that many individuals and small businesses will declare bankruptcy.
Other Unsuccessful Trump Business Ventures
As outlined by Rolling Stone in 2016, the Trump brand has been associated with many business duds. Over the years, Trump has attempted to expand into multiple markets, some tangentially related to real estate, most not at all.
During the 2016 election, one of the biggest stories was a lawsuit over Trump University, a for-profit real estate seminar series that purported to teach Trumps business techniques. Some students paid upward of US$20,000 for tuition in the pseudo-university in which Trump had essentially no role.
Despite saying he would never settle the lawsuit, shortly after winning the 2016 election, Trump did settle and agreed to pay US$25 million to former Trump University students.
Another business venture was Trump Vodka, an attempt to get into the high-dollar liquor market that completely shut down in 2011. This was an unusual endeavor because Trump has insisted throughout his career that he doesnt drink.
Other failed ventures included Trump Steaks, Trump Magazine, two nonalcoholic beverages Trump Fire and Trump Power and GoTrump.com, an attempt to get into the online travel booking industry .
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Under Attack For Bankruptcies
During the Republican primary prior to the 2016 election, Trump was not the only businessperson attempting to win the presidency, though he was certainly the one who received the most press coverage.
One of Trumps challengers was the former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina, who used a debate performance in September 2015 to land one of the few attacks on Trump that appeared to bother him.
Discussing the issue of federal debt, Fiorina questioned if Trump was the right person to tackle the issue.
You ran up mountains of debt, as well as losses, using other peoples money, and you were forced to file for bankruptcy not once, not twice, four times.
Trump fired back, saying it was normal for businesses to declare bankruptcy as a strategy. I used the law four times and made a tremendous thing, he said. Im in business. I did a very good job.
After the debate, the nonpartisan PolitiFact website ran the article, Fact-checking claims about Donald Trumps four bankruptcies, in which it rated Fiorinas statement Mostly True. Trump had indeed declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy four times, but, the site qualified, Fiorinas statement doesnt tell the whole story.
They Will See How Great It Will Become 2009
When Donald Trump has been pressed on his casinos performance during his presidential campaign, he has repeatedly said he left Atlantic City at the right time.
Atlantic City is a disaster, and I did great in Atlantic City, he said during a Republican Party debate last September, according to a transcript. I knew when to get out. My timing was great. And I got a lot of credit for it.
That would suggest Mr. Trump willingly left sometime around 2006, the year that revenues peaked in Atlantic City and that Pennsylvania allowed its first casino to open, a development that marked the start of a rapid downward spiral in the city. The drop-off was exacerbated by the recession that began in 2008.
But in early 2009, as Trump casinos lurched toward bankruptcy for the fourth time, Mr. Trump was still trying to hang on. At loggerheads with board members who had been selected by bondholders after the 2004 bankruptcy, he offered to buy all or a part of the casino company bearing his name. He was rebuffed, and he quit the board soon after.
Testifying in bankruptcy court in Camden, N.J., Mr. Trump argued that the company could not use his name, since shortly before filing the bankruptcy it had stopped paying him the $166,000 a month he received under the services agreement. He testified that his brand was worth $3 billion. He also testified that he was personally negotiating the settlement of a lawsuit in Florida that would yield more than $100 million for the company.
Employees And Contractors Left Out In The Cold
While filing for Chapter 11 reorganization is, as Trump has said, a normal part of doing business, it doesnt wipe the slate clean for everyone. When a business fails or goes bankrupt, it can leave employees and contractors stranded without receiving payment.
So while Trumps purchase of Trump Shuttle initially saved or created 1,000 jobs, the positive news didnt last long for the airlines employees. As Trump Shuttle faltered in 1990, the company laid off 100 employees. In 1991, when the deal with Northwest failed, 160 union employees found themselves fighting to attain their earned pay and benefits.
The failure of Trumps casinos has frequently had ripple effects for employees. In Atlantic City, when the three Trump-owned casinos Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Marina and Trump Plaza went belly up in 2004, many workers lost their retirement savings. The Trump company had pushed employees to accept company stock in lieu of other retirement savings. When the stock crashed in the wake of the bankruptcy, 400 employees lost US$2 million.
In addition to being sued for discriminatory hiring practices at the Gary, Indiana riverboat casino, Trump was sued by eight business partners who said they were cheated out of money on the deal.
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Trump Contractors: ‘it Was The Beginning Of The End For Us’
Trump takes umbrage at the idea that he went bankrupt, always pointing out that he never filed personally and that he used the bankruptcy laws to get richer.
Connolly said taking his casinos into Chapter 11 was “reasonable and responsible” and the right decision for Trump and his bondholders.
“It looked like a fair deal and actually kept them going,” Connolly said.
But Mike D’Antonio, author of the book “Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success,” said the bankruptcies shouldn’t come with bragging rights.
“Donald likes to say his bankruptcy filings were just a tool he’s been using for his businesses,” D’Antonio said. “He’s had a string of failures. And you’re not just talking about big investors. You’re also taking about bond holders, not big banks…people who invested their retirements.
“So, you can call it a legal tool that he’s using, but lots of people have been hurt along the way. Its been a badge of shame for him.”
Tom Winter is a New York-based correspondent covering crime, courts, terrorism and financial fraud on the East Coast for the NBC News Investigative Unit.
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Trump Entertainment Resorts 2009
His most recent bankruptcy came in 2009, after the company missed a $53.1 million bond payment. That was pretty much the end of the road for Trump in Atlantic City. While his name remained on three casinos, he resigned from the board and gave up his remaining stake in the company.
“I had the good sense, and I’ve gotten a lot of credit in the financial pages, seven years ago I left Atlantic City before it totally cratered,” he said during the debate.
The two Atlantic City casinos that still had the Trump name filed for bankruptcy yet again in 2014. At the time Trump made sure people knew he was no longer running the company, and sued to have his name removed.