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You think someone in debt would be smart enough to prod half the country as sheep into voting for him? Ha. America got trolled and was given the middle finger. We get it, you're upset. But listen to what the Democrat thought leaders are saying: stop dividing the country with your continued rhetoric in your comment.

- Software engineer at Google in Mountain View, California




Trump has been bankrupt four times and relies heavily on debt to finance his real estate ventures. It's well documented that he took on hundreds of millions of debt in the form of "junk bonds" (so called because of the high risk of default and the resulting high interest rate - 14%) in order to pay for his casinos in Atlantic city, for example. He defaulted on many of those obligations, in some cases ultimately paying only pennies on the dollar. This is what Trump is talking about when he says things like "I love debt." Because of some tax loopholes for real estate investors that existed at the time (they were closed in the 90's under Clinton, actually), he was also allowed to claim the losses as his own, rather than those of his creditors - that's how he managed to claim nearly a $1 billion net operating loss in a single year.

Piecing together information from his financial disclosures (total revenue) and leaked documents (revenue net expenses), it appears at least one of his properties in NY has been modestly successful in recent years - but that property had well below $5 million in profit in 2014 and was losing money before that. We know nothing at all about his personal obligations to creditors. That lack of information, along with his refusal to release his tax returns, is what has lead to so much speculation about what may be in those returns.


> Several of Trump's corporations have been bankrupt 4 times...

FTFY.

> relies heavily on debt to finance his real estate ventures

Real estate has high start-up costs but holds lots of value. Debt is the perfect vehicle to finance real estate, ever wonder why most people take out mortgages to buy homes, but give up equity to fund tech start-ups? You use the investment vehicle that makes sense for the type of business.

> It's well documented that he took on hundreds of millions of debt in the form of "junk bonds" (so called because of the high risk of default and the resulting high interest rate - 14%) in order to pay for his casinos in Atlantic city, for example.

Of course, casinos are high risk. Bond rates depend on risk. Also, most business debt requires a higher rate than say, sovereign debt.

> it appears at least one of his properties in NY has been modestly successful in recent years - but that property had well below $5 million in profit in 2014 and was losing money before that.

And? With real estate you don't need profit, you just need to build equity.

Tl;dr: Real estate isn't like other businesses, it has its own set of rules, accounting and financial practices, etc... Just like tech companies are different from factories which are different from restaurants, real estate is (gasp) different...


I was responding to the parent comment which claimed Trump was unlikely to be in debt. I don't think I criticized the use of debt as an investment vehicle for real estate, per se - my goal was to lay out a few facts about Trump's past business practices and the reasons why people are interested in his tax returns and concerned about possible conflicts of interest. You're right that debt is an excellent vehicle for real estate investment. I have a mortgage - it would be pretty hypocritical of me to disagree.

The vehicle for the conflict of interest isn't what's interesting. I would still be concerned if a tech founder with a bunch of unknown private investors were to be elected to public office. More concerned if that founder refused to release any information about those investors, the amounts invested, or cap table. Even more concerned if that founder refused to put their stake in the company in a blind trust.

Many of our laws and the powers we grant our public officials rely on the assumption that someone who is in high public office got there for reasons other than to enrich themselves. In Trump's case, he may have other motives, but he's flaunted historical precedent in not releasing his tax returns or even attempting to remove the appearance of conflict of interest. Whatever you think of Clinton's relationship to the Clinton Foundation, we have the data because it was all publicly disclosed. We know nothing about Trump.


I think if you give an unconscionable liar a megaphone and don't challenge him on his lies, he can get the poorly educated to buy into those lies. I also think that if you get told repeatedly that there's a terrorist threat just waiting to kill you and there are poor migrants waiting to take your money and your culture, that you might be inclined to just take that at face value after a while.


The onus is on him to stop inciting (and personally inflicting) violence against women, Muslims, Latinos, and more. That's what's dividing the country. I'm not going to rely on Democrats to lead any kind of thought until they grow a backbone.


> stop inciting (and personally inflicting) violence against women, Muslims, Latinos

Care to be specific? What do you consider to be "inciting violence"? Actual, explicit endorsement of violence; or just something interpreted as sexist/racism, that might then embolden people to commit these acts?




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