Donald Trump Reality Check

So here is Donald Trump, entrepreneur par excellence, so much so that he has begun his own university for would-be entrepreneurs. In fact, my previous post on Trump’s call for workers to continue to labor for him, even during their vacations came from his university website. Compare Trump’s exaggerated presentation of himself as an entrepreneur with his own business performance. Here is the verdict from the New York Times columnist Floyd Norris:

Norris, Floyd. 2007. “Trump Deal Fails, and Shares Fall Again.” New York Times (6 July).

“Trump Entertainment’s predecessor company, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, went public, owning just two of Mr. Trump’s casinos, in June 1995. The shares did well for a time, but plunged after deals in which Mr. Trump sold his two other casinos to the company, at prices some deemed excessive.”

“When the company went into reorganization [polite expression for bankruptcy], the old shares were all but wiped out. Each share, which cost $14 at the initial public offering, got 88 cents in a cash distribution, and one-thousandth of a share in the new company. Shareholders also got warrants to buy new shares at $14.60. If they exercised the warrants, which have since expired, they have new losses. All told, ignoring the warrants, a shareholder who invested $10,000 in Mr. Trump’s empire when the casino company went public in 1994 would now have about $636. That performance came at a time when the casino industry was blossoming across America, as more states accepted more gambling as a way to raise revenues.”

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