Donald Trump has boasted about his business acumen for as long as he's been running the Trump Organization.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump had no problem reassuring his supporters that he'd bring the same business savvy to the Oval Office if elected, often referring to his best-selling book, The Art of the Deal, as evidence.
Not so fast, says Kurt Eichenwald, a fellow best-selling author and contributor for Vanity Fair and MSNBC. In a tweet on Wednesday, Eichenwald made a bold claim: "If Trump had put his inheritance in a stock mutual fund and done nothing, he'd be worth $17B more than he is. Worst businessman ever."
If that's true, it's a pretty staggering statistic. Twitter wanted some additional information:
Luckily, Eichenwald had written a piece for Newsweek in 2016 that he shared, noting that things have only continued to worsen for Trump:
In the article, Eichenwald notes:
In 1982, Trump reported to New Jersey regulators a personal net worth of $321 million, built largely on his father’s connections, as well as loans and guarantees for bank credit. Two years later, a Trump lieutenant testified that his worth had not changed much. In 2004, in reviewing his application for a loan, Deutsche Bank concluded he was worth $788 million. Trump now makes the highly dubious claim that he is worth $10 billion; Forbes estimates that the real number is $3.7 billion. That’s a lot of money, to be sure, but suppose Trump had never done any deals and instead sold all of his assets back in 1982 and invested them in a fund based on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. With dividends reinvested, he would have increased his wealth to $535 million by 1985. By 2004, his personal wealth would have increased to $5.9 billion. And three years ago, he would have exceeded what he claims to be worth now by more than $1 billion; today, he would be worth more than $13 billion, just under three times the Forbes estimate.
So in just a single year, Trump could be worth $4 billion more. Just by not having touched his inheritance.
Twitter seemed appalled by the news, although not everyone was shocked:
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