Who provided more than $400 million for 14 acquisitions?
Trump’s Access to Cash for Buying Binge
A report in The Washington Post raises questions about the finances of the Trump Organization.
The article details how Donald Trump’s company spent more than $400 million in cash on new properties from 2006 to 2015. Fourteen of the purchases were paid in full, without borrowing from banks, in defiance of standard real estate industry practices.
The Trump Organization discloses few details about its finances, but three Post reporters — including David Fahrenthold, who has tracked Trump’s assets, tax payments, and suspect donations to charities — used public records to how Trump had access to far more cash than previously known, despite six commercial bankruptcies and a troubled real estate industry during the recession from 2008.
Much of the Trump Organization’s money is tied up in golf courses and buildings, raising questions about how it found the cash for the 14 acquisitions.
The purchases began with a $12.6 million estate in Scotland in 2006. In the next two years, two homes in Beverly Hills, five golf clubs along the East Coast, and a winery in Virginia were purchased.
In 2014, Trump paid $79.7 million for large golf courses in Scotland and Ireland. The clubs have lost money while Trump renovated them, requiring another $164 million in cash.
During the eight years, the Trump Organization relied largely on one major financial institution for new loans — Deutsche Bank, which provided $295 million for projects in Miami and Washington. Other banks refused to extend credit because of Trump’s history of bankruptcy.
Donald Trump’s son Eric, who helps manage the company, maintained that none of the cash came from outside investors or from selling off major Trump Organization assets.
Instead, Eric Trump said, existing businesses — commercial buildings in New York, licensing deals for Trump-branded hotels, and clothes — produced so much revenue that this could be used:
He ]Donald Trump] had incredible cash flow and built incredible wealth. He didn’t need to think about borrowing for every transaction. We invested in ourselves….It’s a very nice luxury to have.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump bragged about he had used funds from others to support his project:
I do that all the time in business: It’s called other people’s money. There’s nothing like doing things with other people’s money because it takes the risk. You get a good chunk of it, and it takes the risk.
The statement could be seen to beg the question: Who provided the “other people’s money” for the 14 properties?