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Donald Trump's 'Business Genius' Myth: Trump's Companies Declared Bankruptcy 4 Times

Donald Trump is a world class. . .   Bullshitter. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)
Donald Trump is a world class...  Bullshitter, and a bigot, and a sexist. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

By Charles Rex Arbogast
After spending much of the millennium flirting with the idea, Donald Trump actually announced on June 16 that he’s going to make a run for the Republican presidential nomination (or, at the very least, spend as much time as he can drawing attention toward himself during the debates). And while that means the 69-year-old will have plenty of time to air his heady political blend of opinion and charisma, it also means that the flamboyant entrepreneur will fall under more financial scrutiny than ever before. (And, as Trump found out Monday afternoon, after NBC cut ties with the mogul for his much-derided remarks about immigrants in his campaign announcement, there’s plenty of non-financial scrutiny as well.)

While he’s vowed to turn over his records to the Federal Election Commission on time, one of The Donald’s biggest claims—that he’s worth $8.7 billion—has already been called into question. Forbes’s accounting recently put the figure at $4.1 billion. Sure, that means he’s still “really rich”—literally one of the cornerstones of his run—but maybe not as “really rich” as he wants people to believe.

Then there are the bankruptcy filings, which have been a leitmotif in public opera that is The Donald’s long, storied business and media career. As he is quick to remind everyone, he has never actually declared bankruptcy himself. So let’s clear up any confusion there, right away, with some trademark Trump indignation.

https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/611934068050108416

Got it? He never personally declared bankruptcy. O.K.? But just once for good measure: Donald Trump, personally, never declared bankruptcy. We good? Smart!

Still, since 1991, Trump-related companies have filed for corporate bankruptcy four separate times. Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a corporation—which is legally distinct of its shareholders, owners, board, and C.E.O.—to stay in business while it re-structures and attempts to reduce its debt. So, while he’s been able to keep his personal finances in order, the businesses that so proudly trumpet his billion-dollar name are something of a different story.

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