Trump Worth Far Less Than He Claims

By on November 21, 2017

Since the president has not done what all recent chief executives have done when they ran for office and released his tax returns, it’s hard to know just how much he and his family business are worth. Given his penchant for exaggeration and hyperbole about himself, it should come as no surprise that Trunp inflates his net worth.

And at Crain’s New York Business, which runs an annual list of the largest privately-held companies in the city, Trump’s firm was usually among the top rankings alongside such gilt-edged names as Hearst and Boomberg. But this year it plummeted from #3 to #40.

Why? Because public filings showed that the firm’s income for last year was less than a tenth of what was claimed. The Trump Organization said it earned $9.5 billion in sales. But the filings show somewhere between $600 million to $700 million.

The Crain’s reporter who complies the list, Aaron Elstein, feels like Trump had been feeding him bull. “It was obviously important to Donald to have his company at the top of the list and I don’t know why he felt that way but the numbers that he presented are just flagrantly untrue,” he said.

Some but nowhere near all of the discrepancy can be chalked up to a downturn in business. Crain’s notes how “The average price per square foot for a Trump Tower apartment has fallen by 23 percent since 2015, according to The Wall Street Journal, while prices have held steady at other Midtown towers, excluding new developments. At the Trump International Hotel and Tower on Central Park West, the average price per square foot is down 24 percent.” The Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx saw a 16 percent drop in rounds played since its owner took office.

Trump also fell from #156 last year to #248 this year on the Forbes list of the richest people in America. Plus a recent YouGov poll found that even Republicans have low positive opinions about the Trump Hotels and Resorts hotel chain.

Trump likely thought being president would burnish his brand and enhance his income and worth. Turns out it hasn’t worked that way.