Proving yet again that he’s one of the worst businessmen on the face of the planet, failed, one-term, twice-impeached former President Donald has fallen off the list of the richest people for the first time in a quarter century, according to a new report from Forbes.
The reason Trump is no longer one of the 400 richest people is simple, Forbes notes:
If Trump is looking for someone to blame, he can start with himself. Five years ago, he had a golden opportunity to diversify his fortune. Fresh off the 2016 election, federal ethics officials were pushing Trump to divest his real estate assets. That would have allowed him to reinvest the proceeds into broad-based index funds and assume office free of conflicts of interest.
Ironically, since the COVID pandemic began (and was badly mishandled by Trump as president), his own personal wealth has decreased by $600 million, leaving him with an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, which is $400 million short of the cutoff he would need to make the list of America’s richest people.
Divesting his assets would have allowed Trump to save a cool fortune on capital-gains taxes while also letting him enjoy the perks of investing his money in the stock market, which would have been a gold mine for him:
Close-mindedness has its costs. If Trump had managed to avoid capital-gains taxes, he could have theoretically reinvested $3.5 billion into the S&P 500 on the day he entered the White House. In that alternate scenario, Trump would have been worth an estimated $7 billion by this September, when Forbes locked in estimates for its annual list, enough to earn a spot as the 133rd-richest person in the country. Instead, he’s off the Forbes 400 for the first time in a quarter-century.
The Donald is going to need plenty of money in order to pay the legal bills that are accumulating with him under investigation in multiple venues for crimes ranging from bank and tax fraud to interfering with an election.
Lenders will expect his businesses to pay back an estimated $900 million in the next four years, an alarmingly accelerated timetable that involves more than twice as much debt as the president previously indicated. In order to emerge unscathed, Trump will likely have to engage in a series of high-stakes, big-money transactions—deals that could produce arguably the biggest conflicts of interest that an American president has ever had to face.
About half of the debt coming due from the start of 2021 to the end of 2024 is secured against assets that the president and his children own outright. He will have to pay back loans against his hotel in Washington, D.C., his golf resort in Miami and his tower in Chicago. He’ll also have to sort out the debt against Trump Tower and Trump Plaza in New York City.