How good a businessman is Donald Trump?

“THE APPRENTICE makes me $3m a day. Ker-ching. That’s the music it makes. It sure beats bricks and mortar, hey?” So a British businessman, imitating Donald Trump’s distinctive drawl, recalls a conversation the two men had by telephone years before Mr Trump became president. It was a high point of their relationship that the Brit still savours.

Broadly speaking, Mr Trump was right. As the New York Times reported on September 27th, after trawling through almost two decades of his long-concealed tax records, the president’s 50% stake in the reality-TV show, which helped craft his image as a successful tycoon and catapult him to the White House, was the shrewdest business move of his career.

Yet the self-styled property Midas almost blew the windfall on bricks and mortar. Before becoming president Mr Trump spent much of his money on golf courses, hotels and other trophy assets that the Times says have since racked up huge tax losses. Thanks to that red ink, it said he paid a mere $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016, the year he was elected, and his first year in office—and not a cent in ten of the previous 15 years.

In the presidential debate on September 29th Mr Trump disputed the account, saying he had paid “millions” in income taxes. A lawyer for the Trump...

via Business Feeds

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