Have you ever asked a bank to forgive your loan because you couldn’t pay? The chances are that the thought never even crossed your mind because banks are known to be very hard-nosed and demand that you pay them back every penny you owe. That is because you are small fry and they will not even lend you any money unless you provide them with sufficient collateral that can cover the debt and that they can seize if you default.
A new report into Trump’s finances reveal that banks were willing to forgive $287 million in loans that Trump owed them.
More Donald Trump money news: a new New York Times report diving into Trump’s tax returns reveals that Deutsche Bank and other lenders have forgiven about $287m of the president’s debt that he failed to repay.
A large chunk of the money went toward constructing the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago in 2008, a dream project that failed to meet Trump’s vision and has become what the Times describes as “another disappointment in a portfolio filled with them”, particularly because of slow construction and a lack of tenants.
The story gives an exhaustive look into how the story of the Chicago tower is just another part of a pattern often seen in Trump’s business playbook: “a cycle of defaulting on debts and then persuading already-burned lenders to cut him a break”.
But I still don’t really understand this. Why were the banks willing to forgive these loans? What benefit did they gain by doing so? What harm would they have suffered by demanding payment? And why did they keep giving him loans given his history of being a deadbeat?
ProPublica tried its hand at providing answers. It doesn’t quite get there because of the bank and Trump’s secretiveness but they do point to some disturbing coincidences that suggest that two of them may have had a relationship that went beyond the loans given to Trump.
The remarkably troubled recent history of Deutsche Bank, its past money-laundering woes — and the bank’s striking relationship with Trump — are the subjects of this week’s episode of the “Trump, Inc.” podcast. The German bank loaned a cumulative total of around $2.5 billion to Trump projects over the past two decades, and the bank continued writing him nine-figure checks even after he defaulted on a $640 million obligation and sued the bank, blaming it for his failure to pay back the debt.
The bank was “laundering money for wealthy Russians and people connected to Putin and the Kremlin in a variety of ways for almost the exact time period that they were doing business with Donald Trump,” Enrich said. “And all of that money through Deutsche Bank was being channeled through the same exact legal entity in the U.S. that was handling the Donald Trump relationship in the U.S. And so there are a lot of coincidences here.”
So was the bank willing to deal with a deadbeat like Trump and lose money with him because it enabled them to gain access to shady people from whom they could get more money to offset those losses?
That certainly is more plausible than that the banks were gullible dupes taken in by a conman.