Before he became US President, Donald Trump had become a globally recognised symbol of wealth. But now his empire could come crumbling down.
Before he became US President, Donald Trump had become a globally recognised symbol of wealth. But now his empire could come crumbling down.

Trump’s massive fortune under attack

As he watches his supporters turn their back on him and some of his closest allies walk away, Donald Trump's famous financial empire is coming under sustained attack.

With an estimated net worth of $US2.5 billion ($A3.2 billion), Mr Trump is America's first billionaire president, raking in a fortune through his real estate empire, which spans golf courses, wineries and several Manhattan hotels.

However, his brand has taken a further hammering this week after the riots in Washington D.C. and a move by the Democrats for a second impeachment.

As a result, major stakeholders in his key operations - including the banks that keep them going - are severing ties with Mr Trump. He also stands to lose $US12 million ($A15.4 million) over 10 years in former presidential benefits alone if he is impeached and removed from office.

Another crucial blow could be manifesting in Mr Trump's hometown of New York City, where he has major contracts with the city council - running two ice skating rinks at Central Park and the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, a city-owned golf course in the Bronx.

Overnight, Democrat NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said the events of the past week are the final straw and he is now considering cancelling the Trump Organisation's contracts.

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"We are looking at that very, very carefully and very quickly," he said when asked about the contracts at a news conference overnight.

"The President incited a rebellion against the United States government - clearly an unconstitutional act - and people died. That's unforgivable."

In other developments, major global bank Deutsche Bank said it will no longer do business with Mr Trump.

Deutsche Bank, which the Trump Organisation owes $US300 million ($A389 million) has "decided to refrain from personal business with Trump and his money," a source told Bloomberg.

A spokesman for the bank toldThe New York Times said there was no other way to end its relationship with Mr Trump before the loans become due in the next few years, other than forgiving the massive sum.

It has been lending to Trump since the late 1990s, and had lent more than $US2 billion ($A2.6 billion) in the two years to November 2020.

However, the bank was allegedly looking for a way to conclude its relationship with the President because of the bad press they were getting.

Last week, the company's head of US operations, Christiana Riley, wrote on LinkedIn last week that the riots were "a dark day for America and our democracy".

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Mr Trump has made a fortune through his real estate empire.
Mr Trump has made a fortune through his real estate empire.

 

 

"Violence has no place in our society and the scenes that we witnessed are a shame on the whole nation," she posted. "We are proud of our Constitution and stand by those who seek to uphold it to ensure that the will of the people is upheld and a peaceful transition of power takes place."

Signature Bank - the go-to bank for Mr Trump, his extended family and network of colleagues - also said it was closing two personal accounts in which the President held about $US5 million ($A6.43 million).

"Signature Bank began the process to close President Trump's personal accounts," company spokesman Susan Turkell said in a statement. "Signature Bank pledges it will not do business in the future with any members of Congress who voted to disregard the Electoral College."

The bank also posted a statement on its website calling for Mr Trump to resign.

"We have never before commented on any political matter and hope to never do so again," the statement read.

"To witness a rioter sitting in the presiding chair of the US Senate and our elected representatives being told to seek cover under their seats is appalling and an insult to the Republic."

 

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If he is successfully impeached, convicted and removed from office, Mr Trump will not be entitled to the usual presidential benefits granted to retiring US leaders.

That includes a lifetime pension of roughly $US200,000 ($A258,000) a year, travel expenses of up to $US1 million ($A1.3 million) each financial year and Secret Service protection.

Yahoo Finance reports that if Mr Trump was to lose his pension benefits along with travel and security payments, it would add up to $US12 million ($A15.5 million) lost over 10 years.

However, if a president is impeached, but not convicted and removed, they maintain the benefits outlined in the Former Presidents Act.

Mr Trump is also facing a backlash from the golf world that could cost him, with leaders of the sport racing away from the embattled US leader for what they say is the good of the game.

The PGA of America stripped the 2022 PGA Championship from Trump National at Bedminster, New Jersey, on Sunday, days after Trump supporters attacked the Capitol building.

PGA of America chief executive officer Seth Waugh said associating with Mr Trump would be harmful for the organisation's brand and its mission to grow and support the sport.

"It became clear to us that our brand was at stake," Mr Waugh told The Golf Channel on Monday. "We thought we were putting at risk that mission if we were to hold the tournament at Trump Bedminster."

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On Monday the R&A, global golf's governing body, said that Trump Turnberry, a past regular stop for the British Open, was not in current plans for the championship.

"We had no plans to stage any of our championships at Turnberry and will not do so in the foreseeable future," the R&A said in a statement.

"We will not return until we are convinced that the focus will be on the championship, the players and the course itself and we do not believe that is achievable in the current circumstances."

Trump Bedminster hosted the 2017 US Women's Open, the US Golf Association pressing ahead despite protesters outside the club. It was awarded the 2022 PGA in 2014 by the PGA of America, which called removing the event a business decision rather than a political one.

"Right now in the country almost anybody views any decision being made as political," PGA of America president Jim Richerson told Golf Channel.

"We tried to take politics out of it and just get back and focus on our brand and what's best for the game of golf. We all believe it was the right decision."

Mr Trump's trademark love of golf includes ownership of at least 17 worldwide golf properties and hundreds of rounds played during his presidency.

- with AFP

Originally published as Trump's massive fortune under attack


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