Forbes just concluded an investigation into Donald Trump’s wealth and found it dropped $800 million within the last year alone. The Republican nominee and real estate mogul’s worth was valued at $3.7 billion after hemorrhaging money all year due to low valuations in the retail and office sectors of the real estate market:
The softening of New York City’s real estate market, particularly in retail and office, where valuations are trending down, has diminished his estimated net worth. New information was also a factor. Of the 28 assets or asset classes scrutinized by FORBES, 18 declined in value, including his trademark Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, his downtown jewel 40 Wall Street and Mar-a-Lago, his private beachfront club in Palm Beach.
The discrepancy between Trump’s own estimation and the $3.7 billion appraisal by Forbes goes a long way in explaining why the Trump camp might be reluctant to release his tax returns. After all, Trump’s financial success is central to his candidacy and $3.7 billion falls extremely short of the $8-11 billion fortune he’s gloated publicly about having in the past.
Pulitzer Prize journalist David C. Johnston, author of New York Times best-seller The Making of Donald Trump, suggests part of the reason Donald could’ve been so wrong is because Trump’s valuation of his worth depends on “how he feels.” Johnston, who has investigated Trump for nearly three decades, found that when Trump was asked how he calculates his net worth actually said “Yes, it’s a function of how I feel” completely seriously, under oath, during a legal investigation.
Well, that’s just absurd, end of story. And honestly, it’s hard to decide which is worse considering both of these characters make up the same man. The loony that estimates his value based on his feelings and comes to find he’s obviously wrong, or the ruthless opportunist exploiting how gullible the masses are to completely lie his way to presidency.
The answer doesn’t matter, and luckily we don’t have to choose, since they’re both empirically horrible choices.
Regardless, Trump would be hard pressed to willingly diminish the value of his brand in the eyes of his constituency, and so still maintains that an audit and “his lawyers” are preventing him from releasing his tax returns. “You don’t learn that much from tax returns,” he said at the presidential debate. “You will learn more about Donald Trump by going down to the federal elections where I filed a 104-page essentially financial statements of sorts.”
Sure, Donald. Whatever you say.