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Trump’s Ailing Empire

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Donald Trump upended the American presidency after stepping away from the company that made him rich and famous. Four years later, returning to his empire after losing the White House, what he finds may upend him.

Trump’s net worth is down to $2.3 billion from $3 billion when he became president, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The pandemic he promised would disappear is walloping his company, and the riot that got him impeached for a second time is wounding his brand.

His financial disclosures and loan documents, interviews with former executives and industry analysts, and a host of legal fights and investigations reveal just how much trouble Trump and his company could face. Covid has been hard on office buildings key to his wealth and hotels and resorts that bear his name. The fallout from the Capitol assault has hurt his relationships with brokers and lenders. At least $590 million in loans come due in the next four years, more than half personally guaranteed by Trump, and his scrapyard of failed enterprises has only gotten more crowded.

But Trump, whose company declined to comment, has bounced back before. A post-pandemic economic recovery could reinflate the value of his properties. He could continue his run of bestsellers, pivot back to television or start a rival to the social media platforms that have shunned him. Even if things go poorly, he could make the best of losses by using them to slash his tax bills, as he’s done for years.

Only Trump knows what he’s thinking as he contemplates the defeat he denies and teases another run. When he looks around, much of what he sees will be sad and some will be a total disaster. Inside his empire is a grab bag of opportunities that no former politician can rival and threats that no tycoon would want.

More details at Bloomberg

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