Despite years of efforts to brand himself as a business genius, former President Donald Trump's business practices paint a different picture under scrutiny.
Whether it's his numerous failed business ventures or the shady claims in his financial documents, Trump's dealings have landed him millions of dollars in debt and there's reason to believe some of them operated outside the law.
Among Trump's properties, his two resorts in Scotland have proven to be the most financially unstable, with neither turning a profit since they opened.
The resorts, Turnberry near Glasgow and Trump Golf Links International in Aberdeenshire, are "dependent on loans from Trump and US-owned entities to stay afloat," according to Business Insider. The UK's Companies House records indicate the properties are £113,425,000 (around $160 million) and £44,400,049 (around $63 million) respectively.
But, according to the Companies House reports, the loans were created in British Pound Sterling and issued interest-free. Compared to the U.S. dollar, the pound's value has plummeted since Trump issued the loans. As a result, when those loans are paid out in dollars, Trump will receive significantly less than what he originally doled out—tens of millions of dollars less in fact.
Business Insider spoke to investment analyst Stephen Clapham, who said Trump's loss results from his failure to hedge his investments:
"Hedging is what every business does unless there's a specific reason you can't do it - for example, you're investing in ... somewhere where the capital markets aren't developed enough to allow you to hedge the currency ... The most likely explanation is that Trump has made this loan and incurred a significant loss."
Trump's purported business acumen once again saw skepticism.
FAILING TO HEDGE CURRENCIES??? HOW CAN YOU ATTEND WHARTON AND TOTALLY MISS THIS MOST BASIC FUNDAMENTAL STRATEGY???… https://t.co/bHCrpsWgbp— Neil Gerardo - MRX Chairman - ID#32140089 (@Neil Gerardo - MRX Chairman - ID#32140089) 1623511990.0
So just as bad with his own $ as ours. Trump lost $40 million on his Scottish golf clubs by failing to implement a… https://t.co/EueBRCwQOr— April Green (@April Green) 1623520990.0
Clearly this guy isn’t a great businessman ... https://t.co/47zOCmRJT7— Al Wright (@Al Wright) 1623525750.0
Others speculated the loss was part of a money laundering scheme, though there's no evidence now to support that claim.
It's called money laundering!!! https://t.co/Fb9EVTZOcW— public/private safety expert (retired 01/21/21) (@public/private safety expert (retired 01/21/21)) 1623519806.0
suppose this is a money washing operation in Scotland? https://t.co/phYx2b7C1c— Dr Meaux Dawn Lee (@Dr Meaux Dawn Lee) 1623595746.0
Either way, it doesn't look good for Trump.