Donald Trump’s massive fortune under attack as banks turn on US President
As he watches his supporters turn their back on him and some of his closest allies walk away, Donald Trump’s famous financial empire is coming under sustained attack.
With an estimated net worth of US$2.5 billion, Trump is America’s first billionaire president, raking in a fortune through his real estate empire, which spans golf courses, wineries and several Manhattan hotels.
However, his brand has taken a further hammering this week after the riots in Washington DC and a move by the Democrats for a second impeachment.
As a result, major stakeholders in his key operations – including the banks that keep them going – are severing ties with Trump. He also stands to lose US$12 million over 10 years in former presidential benefits alone if he is impeached and removed from office.
Another crucial blow could be manifesting in Trump’s hometown of New York City, where he has major contracts with the city council – running two ice skating rinks at Central Park and the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, a city-owned golf course in the Bronx.
Overnight, Democrat NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said the events of the past week are the final straw and he is now considering cancelling the Trump Organisation’s contracts.
“We are looking at that very, very carefully and very quickly,” he said when asked about the contracts at a news conference overnight.
“The President incited a rebellion against the United States government – clearly an unconstitutional act – and people died. That’s unforgivable.”
In other developments, major global bank Deutsche Bank said it will no longer do business with Trump.
Deutsche Bank, which the Trump Organisation owes US$300m has “decided to refrain from personal business with Trump and his money”, a source told Bloomberg.
A spokesman for the bank told The New York Times said there was no other way to end its relationship with Trump before the loans become due in the next few years, other than forgiving the massive sum.
It has been lending to Trump since the late 1990s, and had lent more than US$2b in the two years to November 2020.
However, the bank was allegedly looking for a way to conclude its relationship with the President because of the bad press they were getting.
Last week, the company’s head of US operations, Christiana Riley, wrote on LinkedIn that the riots were “a dark day for America and our democracy”.
“Violence has no place in our society and the scenes that we witnessed are a shame on the whole nation,” she posted. “We are proud of our Constitution and stand by those who seek to uphold it to ensure that the will of the people is upheld and a peaceful transition of power takes place.”
Signature Bank – the go-to bank for Trump, his extended family and network of colleagues – also said it was closing two personal accounts in which the President held about US$5m.
“Signature Bank began the process to close President Trump’s personal accounts,” company spokesman Susan Turkell said in a statement. “Signature Bank pledges it will not do business in the future with any members of Congress who voted to disregard the Electoral College.”
The bank also posted a statement on its website calling for Trump to resign.
“We have never before commented on any political matter and hope to never do so again,” the statement read.
“To witness a rioter sitting in the presiding chair of the US Senate and our elected representatives being told to seek cover under their seats is appalling and an insult to the Republic.”
If he is successfully impeached, convicted and removed from office, Trump will not be entitled to the usual presidential benefits granted to retiring US leaders.
That includes a lifetime pension of roughly US$200,000 a year, travel expenses of up to US$1m each financial year and Secret Service protection.
Yahoo Finance reports that if Trump was to lose his pension benefits along with travel and security payments, it would add up to US$12m lost over 10 years.
However, if a president is impeached, but not convicted and removed, they maintain the benefits outlined in the Former Presidents Act.
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