Yield of Dreams

People Pissed at Trump? What Else is New?

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Donald_TrumpDonald Trump has been known as the king of the real estate investment world. But a recent New York Times article reports that more than 300 people who bought apartments with the Trump name on it are suing the real estate mogul, claiming that Trump had no involvement with the developments. Now their properties are going down the tubes, and they're pissed. Here's what the Times said:
Over the last few years, according to interviews and hundreds of pages of court documents, the real estate mogul has aggressively marketed several luxury high-rises as “Trump properties” or “signature Trump” buildings, with names like Trump Tower and Trump International — even making appearances at the properties to woo buyers. The strong indication of his involvement as a developer generated waves of media attention and commanded premium prices.

But when three of the planned buildings encountered financial trouble, it became clear that Mr. Trump had essentially rented his name to the developments and had no responsibility for their outcomes, according to buyers. In each case, he yanked his name off the projects, which were never completed. The buyers lost millions of dollars in deposits even as Mr. Trump pocketed hefty license fees.

Trump has since denied the allegations and blasted the Times reporter.

This is certainly not the first time people have been pissed off at the Donald. In fact, it reminds me of something that happened in my home town of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., where he developed Trump National Golf Course right along the cliffs of this small beach town. Residents and city officials (not I) were enraged when Trump erected a 70-foot flagpole a few years ago, claiming it was a violation of city code. (In reality, it just obstructed their ocean-front views, which people pay millions of dollars for.)

Stephen Colbert jokingly paid tribute to Donald at the time of the conflict, calling him a patriot. He recently played the clip again on the Colbert Report. Gotta love it!

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Casting a gimlet-eye on asset management issues.

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