The NYT looks at Donald Trump's business record in Atlantic City, and the news is worse than anyone thought
But a close examination of regulatory reviews, court records and security filings by The New York Times leaves little doubt that Mr. Trump’s casino business was a protracted failure. Though he now says his casinos were overtaken by the same tidal wave that eventually slammed this seaside city’s gambling industry, in reality he was failing in Atlantic City long before Atlantic City itself was failing.
But even as his companies did poorly, Mr. Trump did well. He put up little of his own money, shifted personal debts to the casinos and collected millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and other payments. The burden of his failures fell on investors and others who had bet on his business acumen.
We have an indication here of what he'll do as president: Donald Trump intends to profit from the country's ruination.
Mr. Trump assembled his casino empire by borrowing money at such high interest rates — after telling regulators he would not — that the businesses had almost no chance to succeed.
His casino companies made four trips to bankruptcy court, each time persuading bondholders to accept less money rather than be wiped out. But the companies repeatedly added more expensive debt and returned to the court for protection from lenders.
After narrowly escaping financial ruin in the early 1990s by delaying payments on his debts, Mr. Trump avoided a second potential crisis by taking his casinos public and shifting the risk to stockholders.
And he never was able to draw in enough gamblers to support all of the borrowing. During a decade when other casinos here thrived, Mr. Trump’s lagged, posting huge losses year after year. Stock and bondholders lost more than $1.5 billion.
All the while, Mr. Trump received copious amounts for himself, with the help of a compliant board. In one instance, The Times found, Mr. Trump pulled more than $1 million from his failing public company, describing the transaction in securities filings in ways that may have been illegal, according to legal experts.
Mr. Trump now says that he left Atlantic City at the perfect time. The record, however, shows that he struggled to hang on to his casinos years after the city had peaked, and failed only because his investors no longer wanted him in a management role.
Had Mr. Trump’s revenues grown at the rate of other Atlantic City casinos, his company could have made its interest payments and possibly registered a profit. But with sagging revenues and high costs, his casinos had too little money for renovations and improvements, which are vital for hotels to attract guests. The public company never logged a profitable year.
“There’s something not right when every single one of your projects doesn’t work out,” said Mr. Roffman, the casino analyst.
In retrospect, David Hanlon, a veteran casino executive who ran Merv Griffin’s Atlantic City operations at the time of the Resorts battle, said, Mr. Trump succeeded in repeatedly convincing investors, bankers and Wall Street that “his name had real value.”
“They were so in love with him that they came back a second, third and fourth time,” Mr. Hanlon said. “They let him strip out assets. It was awful to watch. It was astonishing. I have to give Trump credit for using his celebrity time and time again.”
In 2014, the casino company filed for bankruptcy protection for the fifth time. The chief executive cited the debt level after the 2009 bankruptcy as the primary reason.
For a time, Mr. Trump lent a glamorous sheen to the faded resort city. But some of his former investors no longer see the value.
“People underestimated Donald Trump’s ability to pillage the company,” said Sebastian Pignatello, a private investor who at one time held stock in the Trump casinos worth more than $500,000. “He drove these companies into bankruptcy by his mismanagement, the debt and his pillaging.”
I see in these words the future of the United States. Trump voters have demonstrated that they have no interest in policy: They are buying a name brand, and they have fallen for the promises of a celebrity who will tell them anything they want to hear.
Trump's Atlantic City investors committed those very mistakes. Mitt's right: Trump's a con artist.
Nevertheless, many BernOuts will argue that we would do better to allow Trump to run the country the way he ran his Atlantic City casinos, because Hillary Clinton is just sooooo fucking intolerable. Did you know that, on her infamous private email server, Hillary once discussed a "confidential" condolence message to the President of Malawi -- a breach of security which endangered us all? That's much
worse than anything Trump has ever done.
In other news...
Bernie did NOT win California,
despite the inane conspiracy theory
which says he did.
"Bernie Sanders Wins California Landslide But ⅔ of his Votes Aren’t Counted," the Justice Gazette wrote in an eye-popping headline on June 7.
The article added: "In view of the information from polling place workers about Sanders winning by more than a 2 to 1 margin and in view of the removal of 2/3 or more of his votes from the official results, the Justice Gazette declares Bernie Sanders the landslide winner of the 2016 California Primary Election." The Gazette article has been shared widely on Facebook and shows up prominently on web searches about Bernie Sanders and the California primary.
Politifact tears this one to shreds. The actual Justice Gazette story
does not even come close to offering any proof for its claims. It's the lowest form of conspiracy theorizing, in which wishful thinking, tenuous maybes
, wild assertions and rapid-fire topic-switching compensate for the lack of evidence. Justice Gazette appears to be the personal vehicle for former Congressperson Cynthia McKinney
, whose byline appears on most of the articles on the front page.
Come on. Do you really think that a monstrous and widespread election-theft conspiracy could have taken place unnoticed by absolutely everyone except Cynthia McKinney?
That said, there is some chance that Clinton's lead will narrow. It seems that a lot of Bernie's youthful cultists were handed provisional ballots because they had no party affiliation and did not know about this thing called registration. If it were up to me, those provisionals would not be counted, but I'm not the one making that call.
Here's a way to avoid such problems in the future: Keep the primaries closed
I would also argue in favor of euthanizing our ineducable young, whose nescience has rendered them subhuman. After a gentle gassing, they would provide an excellent source of protein for famine victims -- although we should not overlook the vast possibilities offered by the field of sport hunting. If middle-aged Americans rut like rabbits, we can replenish the population in swift order; I am open to suggestions as to what steps we should take to insure that this "replacement generation" is of higher intelligence. (Obviously, we should keep the newborns well away from mobiles and televisions.) Until we embark upon this modest and sensible program to raise the national IQ, don't trust anyone under thirty.
Added note: This story in the Hill
offers an insight into the anti-thinking of the BernOuts, although I suspect that many of the comments are the work of Roger Stone's gang of lovable funsters. One comment in particular -- from someone calling himself or herself "ritualdevice" -- stands out for its idiocy.
Only Sanders supporters found that they had been cut from the voter rosters. There is video documentation of people going into the county clerk's office to find out that their registration had been invalidated by someone prior to the primary, without their notification. If you haven't seen these stories, go look. You should be infuritated too. The fact that no one cared on Hillary's side is one of the most damning aspects of the entire election fraud allegation...
Not one of these nescient ninnies makes the obvious point: A registration list contains nothing but names. It contains no indication of how the named individuals intend to vote. How would anyone know who the Sanders supporters are if they haven't voted yet?
Of course, if you ask a sensible question like that, you'll be derided as a hack and paid shill.
(Theoretically speaking, I can
conceive of a scheme to strike out Hispanic-sounding names -- but such a plot would have benefited Bernie, and therefore the Bots will never discuss the idea.)
There was a time when I thought that David Icke's "aristocracy of reptiles" was the stupidest conspiracy theory ever devised. The Sandernistas make Icke seem like the epitome of sweet reason.