Question rokitit Finance & Economics

The business credentials of Donald Trump

Donald Trump has declared bankruptcy several times - to what extent can he really be described as a good businessman?

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Answer Expert #26342

On the 8th of November 2016 Trump was elected as the 45th US President (The Economist, 2016). Trump has claimed to be a successful businessman, while his opponent pointed out that his companies have faced six bankruptcies, undermining his position as a successful business person (Lee, 2016).

Trump portrays himself as successful in business (Trump, 2004). He has claimed to have personal wealth of $10 billion, while independent estimates place the value closer to $3.9 billion and growing, indicating success in business (Tully, 2016). His business, the Trump Organization, has approximately 500 subsidiaries generating net profits (Thielman, 2016). At a basic level, firm are classified as successful if they are going concerns (Elliott and Elliott, 2013). However, while Trump’s businesses are going concerns, and so may be seen as successful, this is only a basic assessment.

Trump’s companies have faced six bankruptcies, and he has a history of over-leveraging firms while withdrawing large fees and borrowing irresponsibly (O’Harrow, 2016). Strategies to protect personal wealth may indicate a degree of savvy business practices, but is this good business? This is a short-sighted approach; while Trump benefited, it caused significant losses for suppliers and employees. Furthermore, it is not simply Trump’s financial management that is questionable, but the tactics used to gain opportunities and concessions; for example, misleading or lying to commissions/authorities, as seen with his testimony to the FBI on casinos in the 1990’s (Eichenwald, 2016).

In conclusion, Trump may have successful businesses, but as an individual he appears to be a poor businessman, having lead companies into 6 bankruptcies, where the domino caused many losses to many businesses. He has also been shown to be unethical in the way he will purposeful mislead people to gain advantages. These are not traits that most people would associate with good business practice.

References

Eichenwald, K., 2016. Why Donald Trump isn’t the Successful Buisnessman he Claims to Be. The Independent. [online] Available at: .

Elliott, B., and Elliott, J., 2013. Financial Accounting and Reporting. London: Pearson.

Lee, M., 2016. Fact Check: Has Trump declared bankruptcy four or six times? The Washington Post. [online] Available at: .

O’Harrow, R., 2016. Trump’s bad bet: How too much debt drove his biggest casino aground. The Washington Post. [online] Available at: .

The Economist, 2016. Donald Trump is America’s 45th president. The Economist. [online] Available at: .

Thielman, S., 2016. The Trump brand: what happens to his business when he becomes president? The Guardian. [online] Available at: .

Trump, D.J., 2004. Trump: The Way to the Top: The Best Business Advice I Ever Received. New York: Crown Publishing Group.

Tully, S., 2016. Here’s How Much Donald Trump’s Net Worth Jumped in the Past 10 Months. Fortune. [online] Available at: .