Trump l’oeil: a case of sleight of mouth


Richard Lutz takes a look at Donald Trump’s failures when it comes to the candidate’s business acumen.


It’s all about the Olympics this week, and what a suitable first gold medal in Rio – to an American with a rifle.

Enough said for the United States’ favourite sport; shooting a weapon. Back in the daily grind of the presidential election, Donald Trump is being re-directed away from his usual diet of delusional lunacy and urged by advisors to talk about economics, using his self-proclaimed success story as a narrative to re-energise the United States.

A lot of heat has been generated in the anti-Trump camp about his bankruptcy past. And thanks to a website called, which separates fact from fiction, here is actually what the Republican leader messed up in when it comes to his checkered business deals.

First of all, Trump is not a personal bankrupt. But on four occasions he has been involved in corporate bankruptcy by filing under Chaoter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code which allows companies to reduce debt and restructure a business so it can stay open. Mega firms like General Motors, Delta Air and Macy’s Department Store have been helped by this clause.

Here is his corporate bankruptcy history, much of it linked with fancy hotels and casinos:

  • Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City – $3 billion in the red
  • Trump Castle – $338 million in debt
  • Trump Plaza – $550 million in debt
  • Trump Entertainment – $1.3 billion in the red
Chapter 11 victim

Chapter 11 victim

On on top of this quartet of busts, there are some lesser-known failures. They include:

Trump University – this distance learning scheme for business students is subject to a $40 million lawsuit in two separate courts. A judge called the scheme “a phoney university” which misled 5,000 customers. They were each charged $35,000 for an education package.

Tour de Trump – a cycling race that went downhill and disappeared far from the finishing line.

Trump Ice – no-sodium water that dried up fast.

Trump Airways – this crashlanded when Trump defaulted on his loans. Ownership was spread among creditors.

Besides this shabby list, there are other failures lying around the hard shoulder of the Trump Journey: Trump Vodka, Trump Magazine, Trump Steaks and The Trump Network.

This is all part of the Trump legacy…things he doesn’t like to mention when he points to his business acumen. Things he omits from his CV. It is Trump l’oeil, a sleight of mouth to bluster his way into the White House.

3 thoughts on “Trump l’oeil: a case of sleight of mouth

  1. There has to be a book in the failures of Donald Trump – with Trump University being a particularly choice chapter.

    I remember his press conferences of a few months ago, surrounded by his products including a tray of Trump steaks…

Comments are closed.