According to Bloomberg's Tim O'Brien, Donald Trump is about to leave the political minefield over a second impeachment trial and enter a new minefield where he is faced with enormous loans coming due at a time when the Trump "brand" could hardly be more toxic.
As the only president to be impeached twice exits the Oval Office next week, Trump will turn his full attention to his financial situation valued at over $3.4 billion but heavily loaded down with debt.
With Deutsche Bank announcing earlier in the week that they will no longer lend to Trump and his Trump Organization, and Signature Bank saying it has started closing Trump's personal accounts before calling for the president to resign, the president will find far fewer options when it comes to loans than when he entered office in 2016.
According to OBrien, who has reported extensively on Trump's finances for years, the president shouldn't expect to be able to trade on his name as he seeks financial help.
"What does the Trump brand represent?" he wrote for Bloomberg. "And how valuable has it been, really — even before the president alienated half of the country and untold millions overseas, bungled the federal response to a deadly pandemic and got himself impeached for the second time by convincing a confederacy of dunces, thugs and white supremacists to lay siege to the Capitol?"
The answer, he suggests, was that the Trump name was already damaged for branding purposes before the election after a string of spectacular failures including a "university" that was shut down after being deluged with lawsuits.
"Do you remember Donald J. Trump Eyeglasses, Donald Trump Regency Collection lighting, Select by Trump coffee, Success by Trump cologne, Trump Home mattresses and furniture, Trump Ice bottled water, Trump Steaks, Trump: The Game, Trump Vodka, or the Donald J. Trump Signature Collection of underwear, ties, shirts and suits? Does the Trump PrivaTest at-home urine test ring a bell?" he wrote before pointing out that the majority of Trump's wealth is tied up in high-profile properties like Trump Tower in New York City at a time when commercial properties are facing a downturn due to the COVID-10 9 pandemic.
Adding to that are the president's golf courses that have been bleeding money even before the PGA announced it would no longer hold any more tournaments at Trump-owned properties.
All of this may force the president, who is looking at a reported $421 million in loans to come due in the next two years, to sell off some of his more valuable assets., O'Brien writes.
"Urban real estate, now sideswiped by Covid-19, is the core of Trump's wealth, and has generated some of his most lucrative streams of income. As is his wont, he has saddled his holdings with lots of debt. Forbes estimates Trump's total indebtedness to be about $1.1 billion, and about $900 million is coming due over the next four years, some of it this year," he explained. "Trump is not broke, as some have speculated in recent months, but he could wind up in a very nasty cash squeeze. If his properties don't generate enough money to pay down the debt, he'll have to sell something — and may have to unload trophy properties in fire sales that leave him with less than he might have secured if he'd sold them just a year ago (or if he had properly divested his businesses before he was inaugurated in 2017). If the economy continues to struggle in coming months, the valuations of everything Trump owns will be tested."