How Donald Trump became Deutsche Bank’s biggest headache

 Since Trump’s election, Deutsche has fielded numerous calls from the media on a possible financial trail to Moscow. Photograph: Pool/Getty Images


Since Trump’s election, Deutsche has fielded numerous calls from the media on a possible financial trail to Moscow. Photograph: Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump has become a big headache for Deutsche Bank. Here’s how.

The language was scathing, the tone sarcastic. “[Donald] Trump proclaims himself the archetypal businessman, a deal-maker without peer,” the memo said.

It mentioned Trump’s boast that he was worth “billions of dollars”. And it listed his interests in “numerous extraordinary properties” across the world, from New York to Panama, not to mention his latest golf course in Scotland.

Another document noted: “Trump is no stranger to overdue debt.”

The angry memos were written by lawyers acting on behalf of Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest lender, which was suing the billionaire.

It was November 2008. Three-and-a-half years earlier the bank had loaned Trump the cash to build one of his grandest projects yet: a hotel and mega-tower in Chicago.

Trump had given his personal guarantee he would repay the $640m. As per agreement, he was now due to hand over a large chunk, $40m.

There was only one problem: the future 45th president of the United States was refusing to pay up. Deutsche initiated legal action. Trump responded with a blistering, scarcely credible writ of his own, a 10-count complaint in New York’s supreme court, in the county of Queens.

In it, Trump adopted a highly unusual defence, known as “force majeure”. He claimed that the 2008 economic crisis was a “once-in-a-century credit tsunami”, an act of God that was equivalent to an earthquake.

Since it couldn’t have been anticipated, and it wasn’t his fault, he wasn’t obliged to pay Deutsche anything. It wouldn’t get the $40m or the outstanding $330m, his writ said.

He went further. Trump claimed Deutsche Bank had actually helped cause the crunch. Therefore it owed him. Trump demanded $3bn from Deutsche in compensation.

Its New York property division first loaned money to him in 1998 at a time when the bank was attempting to expand its commercial real estate portfolio. By that stage, other major banks were becoming cautious about Trump, in part, the Wall Street Journal has said, because of frustration with his business practices.

A decade later, Deutsche was to find out for itself quite how capricious and unpredictable he could be.

Then came Trump’s Scottish golf course venture.

It was what happened next that strikes many in the banking world as unusual – bizarre, even. In 2005 Trump had borrowed money from Deutsche’s commercial real estate division. In 2010 the parties settled their legal differences.

But rather than walking away, the bank’s private wealth division then resumed lending to Trump, the troublesome four-times bankrupt client who had defaulted on a major loan.

Why? It’s unclear what assurances Trump offered. He had given his word before, only to break it.

Deutsche has refused to discuss its lending arrangements to the first family. Its clients also include Trump’s daughter Ivanka, her husband, Jared Kushner, and Kushner’s mother, Seryl Stadtmauer.

Kushner is a senior White House adviser. Just before the US election Deutsche refinanced $370m he owes against commercial property in Manhattan belonging to Kushner’s company.

Sources inside Deutsche say the investment banking side of the business is entirely separate from the private bank that handles the Trumps. Personal relationships also play an important role in private banking.

Even so, banking experts have told the Guardian it is unusual for a private bank to take on such loans, and unbelievable that a bank would continue to deal with a man who had refused to pay his debt, and then countersued using force majeure.

One former Deutsche employee, based in New York, said: “Real estate refused to deal with him [Trump]. Only the private bank is willing to accept personal guarantees.”

Joe Crowley, chair of the House Democratic Caucus, said: “President Trump’s web of global financial entanglements are of serious concern. When a foreign-owned bank that is under investigation by the Department of Justice holds hundreds of millions in personally-guaranteed debt for the president, that is problematic for ethical, diplomatic, and judicial reasons. This is why we must know more about all of Donald Trump’s business ties.”

Crowley also said he wanted the president to release his elusive tax returns.

Deutsche has not explained why it continued to bankroll Trump and his real estate deals. Even before the 2008 legal dispute, Trump’s chequered business record was infamous. Other financial houses in New York refused to give him credit, following a string of failed ventures including an airline and a casino empire in Atlantic City.

Bloomberg reported that Deutsche was now trying to restructure Trump’s $300m debt, which is guaranteed by four of his properties. The difficulty is obvious: conflict of interest. The president owes the bank money. At the same time the Trump administration and its Department of Justice is investigating Deutsche over its Russian money laundering scheme.

According to an analysis by Bloomberg, Trump now owes Deutsche around $300m. He has four large mortgages, all issued by Deutsche’s private bank. The loans are guaranteed against the president’s properties: a new deluxe hotel in Washington DC’s old Post Office building, just round the corner from the White House; his Chicago tower hotel; and the Trump National Doral Miami resort.

Trump and his businesses have a long history with the German bank, which this month posted its latest net loss, of €1.4bn. It has been the only financial institution willing to lend Trump significant sums. In the 1990s other Wall Street banks, which had previously extended him credit, turned off the tap after Trump’s businesses declared bankruptcy four times.

Trump remains the bank’s most high-profile client. He is also, increasingly, its biggest PR headache.

Read more on The Guardian newspaper here and here.

 

Donald Trump is America’s Flashman

Donald J. Trump aka Flashman Trump

Donald J. Trump aka Flashman Trump

I find a definite similarity between Donald Trump and Harry Paget Flashman after reviewing Donald Trump’s tweets and comments these past many months.

Harry Paget Flashman, known simply as Flashman, is based upon a minor character called Flashman in ‘Tom Brown’s School Days’ fictional novel by Thomas Hughes. The author, Thomas Hughes, portrayed him as a bully who roasted small boys over open fires but ran away snivelling from anyone bigger than him.

Over the course of 12 books Flashman bullied underlings, betrayed friends, cheated on his wife Elspeth and stabbed in the back anyone who blocked his escape route. Hughes described Flashman as “a scoundrel, a liar, a cheat, a thief, a coward—and, oh yes, a toady.”

The question then becomes, Is Donald Trump America’s Flashman? I’ll look for the answer to that by seeing if Donald Trump is a bully, a liar, a cheat, a thief, and lastly a coward.

Flashman was a bully. Does Donald Trump display characteristics of a bully?

Donald Trump is a bully, according to the Times magzine article titled “Meet the Men Who Taught Donald Trump How to Bully.

The USA magazine questioned whether Donald Trump is a textbook bully in their article titled “Donald Trump not a textbook bully, psychologists say“.

The New York Times posted an article titled “Fearing Trump, Bar Association Stifles Report Calling Him a ‘Libel Bully’“.

Newsweek wrote an article titled “Donald Trump: The Body Language of a Bully“.

Pyschology Today posted a two-part article titled “Trump, Bullying, and Narcissism“, and “Trump, Bullying, and Narcissistic Culture“.

Reading those articles confirmed my belief Donald Trump is a bully and likely a narcissist.  Is Donald Trump a liar as well?

Trump and Flashman are both liars. As for listing articles on the massive amount of lies told by Donald Trump during and after the election would take several thousand more lines just to start. Here are two. If you want more articles just search on ‘trump’ and ‘lies’.

Donald Trump’s File by Politifact.

Donald Trump: The unauthorized database of false things by The Star’s Washington Bureau Chief, Daniel Dale.

Okay, so Donald Trump is a liar and a bully according to those articles mentioned. And likely a narcissist. But there has to be more to Donald Trump than being a bully and a liar.

Flashman certainly was a cheat. Is Donald Trump a cheat too?

From cheating on his wife to cheating at golf Donald Trump has earned a reputation for being a cheat. The Atlantic magazine wrote an article titled “The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet“.

A funny video of Samuel Jackson telling a story about Donald Trump cheating at golf:

After reading all the above articles I’m convinced Donald Trump is a liar, a cheat, a bully quite possible a narcissist, and with those qualities he qualifies as America’s Flashman.

But is Donald Trump a coward?

The Washington Post wrote this article titled: “Behind all the antics, Donald Trump is a coward“.

Personally I feel anyone running for political office who doesn’t disclose their tax returns is a coward. I also believe anyone running for President of the United States should have some military experience as that would likely increase their resolve for peaceful ways of resolving issues. I say that because I’ve known a few soldiers and every one of them prefers peace over war. Donald Trump avoided the military.

Up to this point I know Donald Trump is a liar, a bully, a coward, quite possibly narcissistic, but is he a thief.

Salon wrote an article titled “Donald Trump is a thief: Trump University documents reveal a strictly regimented scam operation“.

National Review wrote an article titled “Donald Trump and Eminent Domain” in which is written “The man has a track record of using the government as a hired thug to take other people’s property.” Now Donald Trump is the government.

Donald Trump is also possibly the only person in the world who could bankrupt a casino and steal from the American people by paying no taxes for 15 years or so.

Donald Trump will soon be the President of the United States and as such representing all Americans. Is there anything else which can be said of Donald Trump?

Bill Maher December 19, 2016 interview on Trump:

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The lies Trump told this week: taxes, bankruptcy and the great ‘depression’

 Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Reno, Nevada, earlier this week. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Reno, Nevada, earlier this week. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

Taxes

“I mean, honestly, I have brilliantly – I have brilliantly used those laws.” – 3 October, Pueblo, Colorado

Donald J Trump did not prepare his 1995 returns, portions of which showed a $916m loss that could have let the businessman avoid 18 years of taxes. Jack Mitnick was Trump’s accountant at the time. This week, Mitnick was asked by CNN if Trump “was brilliant in the way he used the tax code? Smart and a genius?”

“No, those returns were entirely created by us,” Mitnick replied.

He was then asked: “So what kind of involvement did he have?”

Mitnick: “Virtually zero.”

Finally, the CNN hosts asked whether Mitnick, who worked for Trump for years, had “any reason to believe that he does know how to work the tax code as much as he says he does?”

Mitnick: “Not when I dealt with him.”

Bankruptcy

Some of the biggest and strongest of companies went absolutely bankrupt. Which I never did, by the way. Are you proud of me? Would have loved to use that card, but I just didn’t want to do it.3 October, Pueblo

Trump’s father and family repeatedly bailed him out with millions in loans, one of them illegal. Trump has never personally filed for bankruptcy. Yet, his businesses have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy – which allows businesses to find ways to restructure debt and operations without being liquidated – six times in the last 25 years.

In 1991 he declared bankruptcy at his Taj Majal casino; in 1992 he declared bankruptcy at his Trump Castle casino, Trump Plaza and Plaza Hotel; in 2004 he filed for bankruptcy at Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts; and in 2009 his Trump Entertainment Resorts declared bankruptcy.

In a primary debate last October, Trump bragged about four of those bankruptcies.

Other lies Trump told this week may be read on The Guardian newspaper site here.