What's this—monetary distress for Donald Trump, the richest man in the universe? Trump is being sued by Deutsche Bank for failing to pay off a loan for his new Chicago high rise tower, which he personally guaranteed to the tune of $40 million. That makes it a great time to raise the perpetual question, "How much is Trump really worth?" A safe guess: far less than he was the last time anybody took the trouble to calculate:
It's always been a parlor game for the financial press to try to reconcile the Donald's own inflated tally of his net worth with reality. The Times' Tim O'Brien wrote a book in 2005 recounting how Trump almost went broke twice in the 90s, and calling bullshit on Forbes' estimates of his wealth. (Trump sued him for it).
Forbes itself took its deepest look in 2006, and pegged Trump's wealth at $2.6 billion, broken down like so:
More recently, Forbes put Donald's wealth at $3 billion in a list published last September. But the stock market has taken a long ride down since then. So how would that list look today? The biggest chunk, his real estate licensing, is based on "8% to 15% of other developers' gross condo sales." Since condo sales have been in the toilet for months now, that figure has certainly plunged. His casino revenues have also plunged—gambling goes off a cliff along with the economy at large. And you can assume that the individual properties he controls are all having a more or less bad time, along with the wider real estate market.
O'Briend thought that Forbes' estimate was way too high even back then. Regardless, Trump's net worth is far lower than that today. Feel free to estimate in the comments. [Pic via]