We have seen Trump’s palpable panic, many times. Most of us perceive it to be a reaction to his sinking political fortunes, and that is certainly true. There may never have existed a man who wants to be “ex-president” less than Trump, for several reasons. But Trump’s fear may have another basis, too. He may have already lost up to one-third of his net worth, and we’ve barely begun this crisis.
GQ – a magazine that Trump has difficulty spelling – reports that Forbes magazine had listed Trump’s wealth at approximately $3 billion, and most of it due to money he inherited from his father. That three billion figure isn’t as strong now:
But on Thursday, a result of the downward spiraling stock market, Forbes downgraded its appraisal of Trump’s fortune, estimating that he lost roughly $1 billion in value from his commercial real estate, residential real estate, hospitality holdings, hotel licensing and management, golf courses, and luxury properties. While these calculations are based on market changes since the outbreak began, New York City real estate broker Eric Anton told Forbes that the analysis is “as good as any other way I can think of.”
Of course, the lesson to be learned is that Trump would be far richer had he simply taken the money that he inherited from his father and put it in an index fund that simply matched the Dow or the Nasdaq. Similarly, had Trump followed South Korea or Taiwan’s approach to the coronavirus, we would likely not have had to shut down our economy, and Trump would not have lost such a significant degree of wealth, nor would the nation.
We have more reason than ever to watch Trump and how he handles the stimulus funding because he is not one to stand for “losing money” as president, even if he is the ultimate cause. He will try to get his losses back, whether Congress prohibited him from benefitting or not, and will likely succeed short term.
But at least we can know that Trump has already paid a price – one billion, it would seem – for his incompetence. Of course, that is nothing compared to the price paid by those who have suffered and died. But it is a price.