Donald Trump is a Terrible Businessman

For all of Mitt Romney’s flaws as a presidential candidate, at least he could credibly claim to have had a very successful business career.  Not so much for Donald Trump.

By now, you have surely heard about the fraud that is Trump University.  You have probably heard about the aborted disasters that are Trump Shuttle, Trump Steaks, and Trump Vodka.

What you may not be fully aware of is that, even in his career-defining role as CEO and Chairman of the Board of the publicly traded Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts company — since privatized as Trump Entertainment Resorts — Trump had a truly horrible business record:

The Republican front-runner has made much of his supposed “success” in business and says he now wants to do the same for America.

But the only part of his business track record for which we have the full picture shows that Trump wasn’t a successful executive but an absolute catastrophe.

For 10 years between 1995 and 2005, Donald Trump ran Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts — and he did it so badly and incompetently that it collapsed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. His stockholders were almost entirely wiped out, losing a staggering 89% of their money. The company actually lost money every single year. In total it racked up more than $600 million in net losses over that period.

Trump was chairman of the board throughout the entire time, and CEO as well for about half of it.

This is the sort of record usually associated with an Enron or a WorldCom or a Pets.com.

Meanwhile, over the same period, all his competitors were enjoying an enormous boom…

While Trump was running Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts into the ground, the Dow Jones index of gambling stocks — the index that Trump himself cited in public filings as his best benchmark — soared 160%. Investors in Harrah’s saw their stake go up by nearly 150%. MGM quintupled. These people were making out like bandits.

Donald Trump ran the worst performing casino company on the stock market. This isn’t a matter of “opinion.” This isn’t speculation or politics. It’s a matter of plain fact.

You should read the full MarketWatch piece.

Corporate performance is the be-all and end-all metric of a combined CEO/Board Chairman for a publicly traded entity — perhaps even more symbolically so for someone who lends his name to the company title.  Trump failed epically during the time his own company was publicly traded.  All in all, per MarketWatch, “Donald Trump pocketed $32 million over nine years, while his public stockholders lost more than $100 million.”

If there are two business skills that Donald Trump has “mastered” over the years, they are (1) narcissistic eagerness to lend his name to any and all possible side enterprises, no matter how terrible the ideas might be; and (2) unusual intimacy with the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.  And yet this guy claims to be the champion of the little guy — infamously, now, of the “poorly educated.”  What a joke.  I’d just as soon believe Barack Obama if he said he is taking the wife and kids tomorrow on a Fijian resort vacation with Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Netanyahu.

Your humble blogger can actually anecdotally personally attest to Mr. Trump’s business non-success.  In July 2010, I once stayed in Atlantic City at the second-rate Trump Marina hotel.  Less than a year later, Mr. Trump was forced to sell the Marina to Landry’s, Inc. as part of a Trump Entertainment bankruptcy proceeding.  (He has actually had one more even recent bankruptcy, in 2014.)  Landry’s has since renamed the Marina to the Golden Nugget Atlantic City.

Good riddance.  Hopefully Landry’s is less stingy on the cocktail pours.

About the author

Josh Hammer

Texas-based conservative activist. Sen. Mike Lee/#CruzCrew alum. Constitution, free enterprise, liberty, sovereignty, moral clarity, counter-jihadism. Follow me on Twitter at @josh_hammer.

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