Donald Trump can't even run a profitable casino. The itch to gamble may be the most powerful known addiction, and in cities where casinos are allowed, there is no such thing as the free entry of potential competitors: the established players have their safe niche. An inability to make a profit in this circumstances should be, well ... suspicious as to one's chief-executive cred.
Yet Trump's Atlantic City casinos filed for bankruptcy protection twice.
A very perceptive observer of the financial scene, Gary Weiss, has explained some of the background:
He sold junk bonds to finance his casinos and, by 1991, was so overleveraged that he was seeing his empire stripped by the banks. "Already more than $3.8 billion in the hole and sliding perilously close to a mammoth personal bankruptcy, the brash New York developer had no choice but to accept the dismantling of his vast holdings," Time magazine reported. Leave it to Trump to fail in a business that became a money machine when run by high school dropouts like Meyer Lansky.
In January 2002, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed cease-and-desist proceedings against Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc. for making misleading statements in the company's third-quarter 1999 earnings release. "The Commission found that the release cited pro forma figures to tout the Company's purportedly positive results of operations but failed to disclose that those results were primarily attributable to an unusual one-time gain rather than to operations," said an SEC release at the time. I view this as one of Trump's most towering achievements: He actually got Harvey Pitt's SEC to do something! Just think of the kind of motivator he would be as president of the United States.
Thus, I have included a photo of Weiss, not of his Hairness, above.