Says Trump didn't lose that much money: We'll have to admit we thought the same thing when we watched Joe and Mika clowning around this morning.
From 1985 through 1994, Donald J. Trump lost $1.17 billion? That's what the New York Times is reporting, the dither-rich duo said.
We'll have to admit we thought the same thing. How could Donald J. Trump have lost that much money? Where did he get the $1.17 billion in the first place?
Every good liberal will quickly intuit the Approved Tribal Answer—he must have borrowed the money from Dad. Unfortunately, Josh Barro, at New York magazine, says that ostrich won't fly:
BARRO (5/8/19): Now consider Donald Trump’s life in the period between 1985 and 1994... [T]his period ended with his near-financial ruin, so it is plausible his net worth was often in decline. But to the tune of much more than $1 billion? Where would he have gotten so much wealth to begin with?You can read the rest of Barro's piece, most of which you won't understand, especially the parts about Haig and Simons. Our summary, though, would be this:
We could start with “his father,” but Donald Trump’s inherited wealth, while substantial, isn’t nearly large enough to make this math pencil. A previous Times investigation found Trump received at least $413 million in wealth transfers from his father, Fred, but that figure has been inflation-adjusted into 2018 dollars, while the $1.17 billion in losses are in nominal dollars for the years in which the losses were reported. In 2018 $413 million was equal to only $212 million in 1990. And because Fred Trump did not die until 1999, it is unlikely Donald Trump had already received the entirety of these wealth transfers by 1994, the end of the period these tax documents cover.
Maybe Donald Trump had massive income in the years before 1985, allowing him to build up a billion-plus-dollar fortune and then later lose it. But those were the early years of his real-estate career, when he took on smaller projects than the ones that later nearly ruined him, like the Trump Shuttle and the once-planned Television City development on the Upper West Side. Trump has long claimed to be a billionaire, but it’s unlikely those claims were true so far back in the past.
The likelier explanation is that Trump never lost close to a billion dollars in the Haig–Simons sense...
Joe and Mika had no idea what they were yukking it up about. Truth to tell, no one at home could have explained this fandango either.
This is all tribal war. It's needed to keep selling newspapers and to keep attracting eyeballs to cable. But it truly is inane "fake news," and it will lure exactly no one to the anti-Trump side.
No one has the slightest idea how such arcane financial matters work; screeching about this latest "bombshell" is entertainment all the way down. Meanwhile, Trump's approvals seem to be inching up, despite our furious attempts to jail him; Gallup now has him two points ahead of Obama at a comparable point. Our dull-witted team just keeps insisting it's because they're all racists out there.
On cable, the children gambol and play with their utterly pointless 2020 polls. We're so old that we can remember that Trump couldn't win the last time!
We humans! We're just gossip and fiction, Harari has said. Plus a strong dose of intolerance!