Trump owes Wall Street bigly
We don't know much about Trump's fortune. But now we know this, from today's Wall Street Journal:
The debts of President-elect Donald Trump and his businesses are scattered across Wall Street banks, mutual funds and other financial institutions, broadening the tangle of interests that pose potential conflicts for the incoming president’s administration.
Hundreds of millions of dollars of debt attached to Mr. Trump’s properties, some of them backed by Mr. Trump’s personal guarantee, were packaged into securities and sold to investors over the past five years, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of legal and property documents.
Mr. Trump has previously disclosed that his businesses owe at least $315 million to 10 companies. According to the Journal’s analysis, Trump businesses’ debts are held by more than 150 institutions. They bought the debt after it was sliced up and repackaged into bonds—a process known as securitization, which has been used for more than $1 billion of debt connected to Mr. Trump’s companies.
As a result, a broader array of financial institutions now are in a potentially powerful position over the incoming president. If the Trump businesses were to default on their debts, the giant financial institutions that serve as so-called special servicers of these loan pools would have the power to foreclose on some of Mr. Trump’s marquee properties or seek the tens of millions of dollars that Mr. Trump personally guaranteed on the loans.
“The problem with any of this debt is if something goes wrong, and if there is a situation where the president is suddenly personally beholden or vulnerable to threats from the lenders,” said Trevor Potter, who served as a general counsel to the presidential campaigns of Republicans George H.W. Bush and John McCain.
The good news is that Trump didn't make any speeches to Goldman Sachs that we know of so he's in the clear on the corruption thing.
There's nothing wrong with debt, of course. His businesses are no different than most in that regard. It's standard business practice. The problem is that he's going to be president with tremendous power over the institutions with which his businesses are involved. The conflicts of interest are ... well, you know.
But this is our new reality and we'd better get used to it. This morning this happened:
This is how our economy works now. Businesses must pay fealty to the president and ensure that he thinks they are doing what he tells them to do, or else. (They don't have to actually do it, just give him credit for anything that will get a good headline.)
Weirdly he hasn't said anything about the fact that his former partner, Macy's announced that it's closing 60 stores with potentially 10,000 layoffs. And Trump's new labor secretary, Andy Puzder's company announced it's laying off fast food workers
But Trump only cares about jobs that are done by big, brawny men in factories. Retail and service jobs don't interest him. Not very sexy. And they employ a lot of young people, women and people of color. Who cares about them?