President Donald Trump’s brand is suffering. He’s refused to disconnect from his financial holdings while in office — and the value of those holdings has gone down the drain. Forbes shared this week that he’s dropped a total of 138 spots on their list of the 400 richest Americans.
That fall has been driven by a number of factors, they explain. For instance, Trump can’t get away from the fact that “brick and mortar” installations are suffering while e-commerce booms. Ironically — as they note — Trump has habitually sought to undercut e-commerce while in office, jabbing at Amazon. The suggestions they’re defrauding the U.S. Postal Service — and country — haven’t paid off, though. The company remains on the “leading edge,” having just this week gone so far as to announce a $15 an hour minimum wage for all U.S. employees.
Meanwhile, the Trump business just keeps suffering, losing tens of millions of dollars. Those losses have been driven in large part by the businessman turned president’s own behavior — not just by market trends.
In an infamous example, a whole array of prominent interests cancelled events they had scheduled at Trump’s property after he dragged his feet in responding to 2017 white nationalist fueled violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. That development alone cost the president around $1 million, Forbes estimates.
The hits though, go on. They explain:
‘After Trump won the election, [Trump National] Doral lost 100,000 booked room nights, according to someone who knows the resort’s business. While revenues for the Miami luxury hotel market jumped 4% overall in 2017 according to the data analytics firm STR, Doral’s revenues fell by an estimated 16%.’
Overall, Trump’s golf property business has lost 9% or so in value, the publication explains, with just one property sticking out as a beacon of “hope” — his D.C. hotel. It’s hosted a still going array of political interests, including some associated with overseas governments. That arrangement has prompted allegations of violating the Constitution’s prohibition of presidents accepting foreign gifts, and just recently, a judge ruled a lawsuit from Congressional Democrats challenging the president on that front could proceed. He’s faced other challenges along that front too from government officials and external government watchdogs.
That’s not where the issues with the president’s business end, either. Besides the golf resort side of his business, he also has historically relied heavily on licensing, sharing his name with buildings — and products — around the world. There have been a number of high profile incidents in which Trump’s business partners have kicked him out, including one in Panama that devolved into fist fights.
It’s taking a toll on his profits. Forbes explains:
‘[P]olitics has dragged that segment [licensing] of the Trump hotel empire down about $30 million, by Forbes’ estimates… In 2015, Forbes valued Trump’s product-licensing operation at $23 million. It’s now down to a mere $3 million.’
Efforts to keep his business above water include rent his campaign is paying his own business. Forbes adds:
‘The result: America’s first billionaire president has turned more than $900,000 of donations into revenue for himself, without putting up a dime.’
It all adds up to the unprecedented situation of the president having huge amounts of financial holdings — and losing them.
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