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Donald Trump Might Not Fully Grasp The Definition of Personal Wealth

You say potato, Trump says "I'm worth $10 billion."

Remember how venal New York City-based contractor Donald Juarez Trump said he was worth about $8 billion, and then a few weeks later said it was more in the ballpark of $10 billion, and then he filed a 92-page financial disclosure with the Federal Election Commission to prove it?

Well, it turns out that the $10 billion might have been more of like a guesstimate.

According to Bloomberg, El Donaldo's FEC filing reveals that he is actually worth about $2.9 billion, which is, like, a lot less than $10 billion.

How, you might be asking, does someone so wildly miss the mark on valuing their own wealth? Well, we'll let Bloomberg explain but overall it seems like presumptive President-Elect Trump might have a very liberal philosophy when it comes to the notion of things like "ownership," "wealth," and "value."

The majority of Trump’s fortune is derived from real-estate holdings that include a partnership with Vornado Realty Trust in Manhattan’s 1290 Sixth Ave. and 555 California St. in San Francisco; resorts such as the Mar-a-Lago and Trump Doral resorts in Florida; and Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York, according to the Bloomberg index. Other properties include Turnberry in Scotland and Doonbeg in Ireland, both golf courses.
The Bloomberg index values the real estate based on income it currently produces. Trump’s retail spaces could fetch higher rents if vacated and leased to new tenants at prevailing rates. It doesn’t value Trump’s brand beyond accounting for cash held in accounts for his licensing deals and business partnerships. Trump’s own estimations include much higher values for his brand.

Donald has literally valued the Trump name at $3.3 billion, which would be absurd if it was anyone else but Donald Trump, but since it is him it's... still totally absurd but also kind of awesome.

All fun aside, at the end of the day Trump is a real estate guy. He understands what buildings are worth, like all those buildings he "owns" and that he reported to be worth sh!t-tons of money. What about those, Bloomberg?

The 30 percent stake in the two office buildings that are majority-owned by Vornado is valued at a combined $640 million net of debt.

Oh. Well what about those golf courses? Trump has the finest golf courses in the world. They're really quite fantastic and everyone wants to play on them. And those that have been lucky enough rave about them because they're just the best...

Anyway, what about those?

Trump’s golf and resort properties are valued at a combined $570 million, based on price-to-sales ratios for similar properties. Trump said last month that these holdings are worth $2 billion based on the June 2014 figures, without disclosing his methodology. 

That's because his methodology appears to be that of an adolescent philosopher debating the very idea of intrinsic value. Trump seems to be just throwing numbers on things and daring people to disagree because he "owns" it and they don't know what they're talking about because they're a dummy... and not attractive art all.

And Donald seems to keep up that methodology on stuff even when he doesn't, like, technically own it.

While we are all for revolutionary ideas in the field of financial thinking, if he wants to be President, Trump needs to brush up on the finer points of accepted personal accounting practices. Maybe he can even dust off some of those old Wharton textbooks and refresh himself on liabilities since, according to Bloomberg, he's got a $350 million personal example to use as a case study.

And while he's studying, he might want to ask his lawyer Michael Cohen to brush up on New York's marital rape laws, because there also seems be some confusion there as well.

Here's Our Tally of Donald Trump's Wealth [Bloomberg]


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