Politics - News Analysis

Trump’s Businesses are Losing Money BIG TIME and His Brand Has Become ‘Stagnant’

We saw this coming from a mile away.

Remember back in October of 2018, when CBS cameras caught workers taking Donald Trump’s name off a building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan?

They were 3-foot-high gold letters, as usual. The scene was symbolic of the awakening of image-conscious companies and real estate holdings to just how much damage could be done by associating with the former president.

That wasn’t even the first time such a thing was caught on film. Five months earlier, a dispute over management of a hotel in Panama ended with workers doing the same, only to letters not quite as tall and gaudy.

But how is the Trump brand doing these days, now that he’s safely ensconced in a Twitterless cage, powerless to bark orders at underlings and blow dog whistles during nationally-televised rallies? According to a report from NPR, it looks much the same for the failed real estate magnate.

Sure, Trump has famously bankrupted more businesses than most entrepreneurs will ever have a stake in. He’s demolished lines of vodka, ties, and steaks, committed massive fraud in the form of Trump university, and even driven the hardest of businesses to fail in — casinos — into the ground.

Somehow, though, he ended up surviving all of that.

But how long can he keep it up? Forbes just de-listed him as one of the richest 400 Americans for the first time since Bill Clinton was president. And his current holdings, mostly in office buildings and swanky hotels, are embattled by the pandemic: People are working from home and eschewing deluxe getaways.

If only he had listened to ethics experts at the beginning of his presidency, when they told him he should sell off his conflict-of-interest-addled assets and stick to investing like the presidents who came before him. He’d probably be about $4.5 billion richer, as NPR noted.

But the basic problems remain, and always will with Donald Trump:

• His business practices are shady. His most recent venture is Trump Media & Technology Group, which he skirted SEC rules to lure investors into, and its flagship network, Truth Social, which he stole the code for.

• He continues to be the same relentlessly terrible person, as publicly as possible. As this point, only companies that buy in to his political and cultural rhetoric will risk being associated with him. This is, after all, a guy who saw “fine people” at a gathering of Nazis in Virginia a few years back.

Although he likely lays awake at night thinking about the devaluation of his brand, it’s not stagnancy that’s hurting him the most. It’s the guy in the mirror.

meet the author

Andrew is a dark blue speck in deep red Central Washington, writing with the conviction of 18 years at the keyboard and too much politics to even stand. When not furiously stabbing the keys on breaking news stories, he writes poetry, prose, essays, haiku, lectures, stories for grief therapy, wedding ceremonies, detailed instructions on making doughnuts from canned biscuit dough (more sugar than cinnamon — duh), and equations to determine the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow. A girlfriend, a dog, two cats, and two birds round out the equation, and in his spare time, Drewbear likes to imagine what it must be like to have spare time.


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