Category Archives: In the News

Trump real estate finance #4 – What’s at risk?

In the prior post in this series, I looked at where the likely differential between Trump’s self-proclaimed net worth of $10 billion and Forbes’ $3.1 billion estimate came from. In this last post in this series (for now) I want to take a harder look at the Forbes valuation. Skip to the “Trump Businesses at Risk” section at the end… Read more »

Trump real estate finance #3 – valuation baloney

The prior two parts of this series of posts have looked at my take on the basic Donald Trump real estate investment strategy and on his likely issues with collateral. In this and the next posts, I want to take a look at the basic issue of “valuation,” that is, “How much is Trump worth?” First up, we need to… Read more »

Trump real estate finance #2 – the collateral

A brief Twitter flurry recently has been pondering the reason for the odd-looking sale of storage units between different Trump Organization entities for the price of zero dollars. The most-likely reason: Collateral management. An appropriate subtitle for this post is “What does Eric Trump do all day?” In an earlier post I laid out the most-likely basic financial strategy and… Read more »

Trump real estate finance – a primer

I heard a legal podcaster comment recently that, while she understood Bob Mueller’s investigations into obstruction of justice, she was having a hard time getting her head around the financial crime allegations floating around the Trump election and presidency. In general, the media, with some exceptions, has not asked good questions about where the Trump and Kushner wealth came from,… Read more »

A legislator’s guide to tax reform

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The Iowa state legislature is back at the table trying to tackle tax reform for the umpteenth time. Prior business tax preferences have not had their anticipated effect of raising total revenues. Indeed, the total cash available for crucial government spending has fallen well short of the estimates of the Republican-dominated revenue prediction team for the last several years. So,… Read more »

The “double taxation” myth

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The debate over the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 resurrected a lot of conflicted thinking about what a corporation is and is not. It has become a common talking point that corporate profits are “double taxed,” first at the corporate level and then as part of the owner’s income. This particular code revision has expanded this theme in… Read more »

The power of “magic spells”

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I don’t believe in magic. But I have become convinced that some very real psychological state exists that can only be a “magic spell” without the magic. I have watched friends and relatives become so enraptured with Donald Trump that they have cast aside many of their most treasured religious and cultural norms in order to attest to the man’s… Read more »

North Korea and Game Theory

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A recent post on this blog noted that the current North Korea nuclear showdown is not far afield from what I call “the first ethical dilemma.” This dilemma dates from the time in our distant hunter-gatherer past when our emerging extended-family “mini-civilization” was threatened by the encroachment of another extended family group into “our space.” I presented a 2×2 decision matrix… Read more »

Health insurance at Fox News

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There has long been a wide gap between the conservative view of “the insurance I want” versus “the insurance I want you to have.” You would think that some of the “free market” bastions in American media would institute “message-appropriate” forms of health insurance for their own employees, but you would be wrong. I have made several inquiries regarding the… Read more »

Privatization is not capitalism

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The slow-roll collapse of the ill-advised Iowa Medicaid privatization, which was put in place by former Governor Terry Branstad, continues under his successor, Kim Reynolds, to harm the lives of real Iowa citizens with disabilities and chronic medical conditions. Because of that fiasco, I thought it would be useful to dispel some widely-held myths about government privatization efforts in general…. Read more »