How Donald Trump Build His Legacy Today
It is mostly the degree of intentions that counts rather than the surface which defines a person. The wild geographical map of Donald Trump’s legacy often leaves the public at wonder, and intrigue about the configuration of his character and the origin of his empire.
From dominating the business league to conquering the highest level of governmental power, all trace back to the roots of Trump’s DNA and the cardinal points to his business history. Behind the man who was praised for the rise in his career, even acknowledging its fall, is a mastermind in working his way around victorious sales and negotiations.
Donald took advantage of the damage left by his lineage and built an empire from scratch. By figuring out the circuits within his family business, he cultivated strategies and tactics to become a billionaire. He entered the scene of Casino gambling and exposed himself through a reality TV show, The Apprentice. He marketed himself as the face of wealth across America and became the embodiment of maximizing privileges given and tools to advance in the realm of business.
He maneuvered a tax abatement by filling the lack thereof during a financial meltdown in New York City, through the redevelopment of Manhattan Hotel into the Grand Hyatt in 1970s, which is his first big project while carrying the Trump legacy at his back.
At the crude stage of the 1990s, a period when his empire was hanging on a thread, he put the Trump brand on the frontline to sway the creditors not to foreclose. Consequently, the perceived value and his name were washed away far from his vision of lowering interest rates and working out a repayment schedule. The failures of Trump, namely the bankruptcies during 1999, 2004, and 2009, were his fuel to redeem himself and multiply the gains.
As Trump embedded his name on the market and earned his celebrity status, criticisms and remarks started pouring on him. Unending static from the public was not a hindrance for him and only gained him momentum. The demolishment of the context by the media, and distortion of his identity permitted him to elevate himself from those circumstances.
For years, the impression from Trump’s colloquial language coupled with his billionaire standing has heavily affected the public’s perception of him. The misinterpretation of people towards Trump ironically drives them to the stigma of hate, and division.
To arrive at an understanding of Trump, it is important to look back at the relationship he had with his father, which heavily influenced and molded him into the man that he is today. Fred Trump has a familiar pattern in handling expertise as his son. He used government subsidies and loopholes to build housing developments during the 1940s and 1950s.
The profits made from Fred’s enterprises have contributed to Trump’s ventures in the 1980s and 1990s, which also distinguished them apart from each other—two different centuries in which they played their own separate game.
The mirroring image of Donald with his father holds a part of his upbringing, and the nature of work ethic is in the genes when it comes to the business horizon. He stated in his autobiography, “I learned from my father that every penny counts because before too long your pennies turn into dollars.”
In contrast, they roll the dice differently and walk their singular paths far from each other. For Fred who used his money into constructing common homes, Donald led an opposite direction towards constructing luxury buildings, taking risks in gambling business into a rising television star. But the apparent competition between the two only complemented their strengths and weaknesses.
In 1966, Trump bought the $400 million Plaza Hotel in New York. With the help of his ex-wife, Ivana Trump, renovations and redecorations were done upon purchasing the building which cost $50 million.
The purchasing did not stop there. Trump bought another apartment building and an adjacent hotel in Manhattan. Plans on buying another building also came to his mind, but unfortunately, it was curtailed by the city’s rent control program.
That did not stop Trump from his dream to accumulate more buildings and infrastructures. He even disclosed his plans about acquiring an $88 million complex on the West Side of Manhattan, called ‘Television City’. But then again, the competition was very tight during those times that even real estate tycoons were involved.
Trump’s dream project faced difficulties and lengthy disapproval that in the end, the project was rejected.
Back in the early 1990s, New York experienced some economical struggles which affected Trump’s income. That instance led to the interruption of Trump’s winning streak. Soon after that, he was already having a hard time paying for the interest payments that he has borrowed to financially support his business. His debt continuously piled-up, which totaled for about $975 million.
Trump has to find a solution for that matter, so what he did was to make an appointment with four of his major lenders which are Citibank (C), Bankers Trust, Chase Manhattan Bank, and Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co.
Unfortunately, he did not succeed in convincing them to foreclose his properties, as they too would lose a dreadful amount of money. To be able to pay some of his debts, Trump sold his assets, like his airline company, named Trump Shuttle and his yacht to which was sold to Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.
The continuous selling of assets did not end there. Trump also auctioned his controlling stake in the Plaza hotel and re-designed his beach house in Florida into a resort.
The Trump Company famously disclosed in 1990 that it had been $5 billion in the hole, with Donald Trump personally promising the full amount as $1 billion. Due to a combination of bailout and deferment from more than 70 banks, the company flourished.
Some point to the Taj Mahal Casino acquisition in 1988 as a major cause of the Trump debt process. During this, there is some truth; particularly after Trump unsuccessfully attempted to finance the construction of its sister casinos in 1989 through mostly junk bonds.
On most of his assets, the bailout package allowed him to take out second and third mortgages. Leverage is a familiar theme for Trump, who has famously struggled four times with insolvency. Trump used his lenders’ extra rope to shore up loans, put up his rentals, and buys other businesses, including more casinos.
For the Trump Organization and Donald’s market ambitions, the early 1990s had been turbulent. Two of Trump’s Atlantic City casinos (the Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Plaza Hotel) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1991 and 1992, which forced them to restructure their debt.
As a result of the crippling debt, in 1991, Trump was forced to turn over 50% of Taj Mahal’s assets to his bondholders in return for reduced interest rates and additional deferrals. Shortly thereafter, Trump merged his three Atlantic City casinos into a new corporation called Trump Entertainment Resorts.
Tables have turned
Fortunes had started to improve in 1995. Trump founded Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, Inc. that year and took public ownership of the company, ultimately selling 13.25 million shares at $32.50 per share in 1996 for a tidy capital gain of $290 million over its original shareholding.
Also, in the mid-1990s, one of Trump’s initial investments, the Grand Hyatt House, which opened in 1980, was quite good. Trump immediately sold his stake back to Hyatt for $140 million.
Later in 1995, Trump purchased the former Manhattan Trust Bank building on 40 Wall Street. This building will continue to become one of its most prominent properties. He said that he purchased the house for just $1 million. The building was available at a discount, but after another contract with former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos had expired, the owners of the building had become desperate. The net worth of this building, better known as the Trump Hotel, is now $327 million, according to Forbes.
His freshly restored fame provided an incentive for Trump to license his name and logo. He started selling Trump’s name to a variety of projects in real estate that he didn’t create himself. According to Forbes, Trump’s real-estate licensing company, with more than 30 licensed properties worldwide, is one of his most valuable assets, estimated to be worth more than $500 million.
Although Trump achieved popularity and recognition in the 1980s through his business deals and dramatic TV shows, he grew to a new level of success when he published his first book. The Art of the Deal was released in November 1987. This has spent 51 weeks on the bestseller list and has sold about one million copies so far, according to most estimates.
The Art of the Deal is again making headlines in 2016, following a contentious interview with co-author Tony Schwartz in The New Yorker.14 Schwartz says that he wrote, “every word” of the famous novel. “Donald Trump made a few red marks when I gave him the file, but that was it,” he said in an interview with ABC Good Morning America.
Schwartz, who studied Trump almost every day for 18 months before he wrote The Art of the Deal, identifies Trump as a volatile sociopath whose successes were mythologized in The Art of the Deal. Schwartz said to The New Yorker that he regrets writing the book, saying that he feels a profound sense of guilt that has contributed to Trump’s image in a way that has brought Trump more attention and made him more appealing than he is.
In response to Schwartz’s Good Morning America interview and New Yorker’s report, Trump’s camp sent a letter to Schwartz and asked Schwartz to send a check to Trump for the Art of Deal royalties, plus his advance.
The President’s report revealed that the Art of the Deal received royalties from $50,000 to $100,000 in 2015. Further disclosure was done, announcing the revenue between $1 million and $5 million for his November 2015 book, Broken America: How to Make America Great Again. Trump’s 2015 personal financial statement showed that the billionaire had earned book sales ranging from $85,000 to $215,000.
Trump has also linked his name to a wide variety of businesses, including the ill-timed Trump Mortgage, which closed in 2007. Besides real estate, his name featured on Trump Buffet, Trump Catering, Trump Ice Cream Parlor, and Trump Bar.
There was also a Trump-branded range of clothes, a fragrance, several food and beverage items, such as Trump Steaks and Trump Vodka, and Trump Magazine. Trump University, which opened in 2005, vowed to teach students the ins and outs of real estate business. The operation closed in 2010 and was the target of multiple lawsuits.
Business enthusiasts might wonder how Trump was able to bring back his place in the real estate world despite encountering multiple rejections and failed business projects. In this section, Donald Trump’s attitude toward business making will be covered.
Like his father, Trump has a reputation for saving every single penny. He called it a wise business strategy to delay payments on contracts when he doesn’t like work, forcing the other side to agree on a lower rate. He told Reuters that he re-negotiated contracts between 10 % and 15% of the time.
The ‘U.S Presidents “fighting like hell” style has led to a variety of well-publicized legal battles. He is facing a complaint against Trump University and has been sued in the past by a former employee and public pension funds.
He also used the litigation as a device. He sued a former Miss USA contestant for criticizing the pageant he owned. He sued Deutsche Bank for failing to give him an extension of the loan for a building project in Chicago.
Despite the multiple battles where Trump was involved, others still praise him for his smart business decisions.
Donald Trump’s current estimated net worth
In May 2016, Fortune Magazine reported that Trump was worth $3.9 billion, up from $3.7 billion in 2015. Fortune said that the income used in his personal financial statement did not suit someone’s net worth of $ 10 billion. Nevertheless, the magazine claimed that the 2016 presidential campaign had a positive impact on its finances.
The said Magazine company concluded that rather than damaging his brand, Trump’s notoriety appears to be boosting his business, and making him even wealthier. By our best calculations, Trump’s net worth has indeed grown over the 10 months since the last filing,” Fortune said.
Digging deeper into his 2020 net worth, Forbes has shaved $1 billion of Donald Trump’s net worth as the economic effect of coronavirus is taking a toll on his property empire and listed its assets at $2.1 billion, compared to $3.1 billion in October 2019 and $4.5 billion in September 2015. In particular, Forbes said Trump’s $125,000 square feet of prime real estate near Fifth Avenue in Manhattan was hit.
Another estimation from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index reported that Trump’s worth as of April 2020 is about $2.97 billion, lower than the $3.02 billion that was projected at the beginning of his presidency. While Trump claimed his company to be worth $3.3 billion, Bloomberg did not put much interest in the figure. It priced the name at just $35 million.
These estimations may seem to be confusing as they provide different figures on what Trump really has now in his pocket, but that does not hinder the fact that he is indeed a billionaire at all cost.
The trademark of wearing a billionaire’s skin is only the external layer, underneath is an expression of—often unseen and uncredited—intentions. Trump is a visionary beyond his time, despite the symbolism embedded in his image and the public scrutinizing him, one cannot ignore the mechanisms of hard work in establishing an empire from the fragments of pieces his predecessors left him.
Donald, setting him apart from the turmoil in the political landscape and the media’s glare, has devoted half of his life in the business world. From the environment he grew up in did not allow him to frown upon the setbacks. His empire molded him into who he is today.
Throughout his career, his well-oiled tactics made him advance two steps farther from losing games. To wholly get the picture of Donald requires a microscopic lens towards the inner workings of his experiences as a business mogul and his bumpy road in materializing his dreams. “Success comes from failure, not from memorizing the right answers.” Trump reflects on reality, negativity, and education.
Donald divided himself into multiple leagues. Wherein in each, he thrives in the expertise of combining his skills and experiences altogether. The magnified way of thinking, building bridges from destruction, his energetic action, and creation define him all at once.
Trump managed to get into a system with a role in mind, and while engaging with the inevitable danger and wildness of risks, from opposite ends, he reaps the rewards and learns from errors. It is vital to take a look at the unexamined parts of Donald Trump as a President at the moment and as a businessman. An unbiased understanding, and immunity to sensitivity, one might see how a successful empire is built.