June 14 was a memorable day for US President Donald Trump, but not for the reasons you might think. Of course, millions of Americans were commemorating Flag Day, and Trump himself was celebrating his 71st birthday, but both of these pale into insignificance when you learn that this was also the day he signed his first financial disclosure form.
One of the most intriguing parts examines Trump’s loans. Now, if you or I need a loan, we can simply go online to companies such as Moneybanker and get one. But when you are the US President, have assets in the region of $1.5 billion and have been made bankrupt four times, or maybe even six, depending on whom you listen to, the question of credit becomes a little more complicated.
The above factors, along with Trump’s generally toxic relationship with the banks might lead you to suspect that Trump would have some difficulty when it comes to credit. However, the disclosures suggest otherwise. In the 98-page statement, he confirmed that he owes more than $310 million to various banks and financial institutions. The largest single creditor is Deutsche Bank, to which Trump owes at least $130 million, and he also has debts of more than $100 million to New York-based Ladder Finance.
The loans were all issued at rates within a two percentage point range of the Treasury-yield benchmarks, despite Trump’s questionable credit history and risk profile.
Trump’s relationship with DB over the years has been nothing if not eventful. It all began with a loan from its New York property division in the late 1990s. Ten years later, DB and Trump had their lawyers at each other’s throats, but today all that seems to be forgotten and they are the best of friends again.
A group of four house members, led by California Democrat Maxine Waters, has pressed Deutsche Bank to disclose the details of an internal review of its relationship with Trump and his immediate family. The group wants to see whether there is any Russian government backing to the loans DB made to Trump. Deutsche Bank has so far stood firm and declined to cooperate with the inquiries.
One rule for us
The financial disclosures make for intriguing reading, but ultimately tell us what we already knew. That when it comes to the biggest players of all, the regular rules just don’t apply.