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Post Trump's "Mission Accomplished" and Financial Shenanigans; from Ric Mauricio
Created by John Eipper on 04/15/18 2:13 PM

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Trump's "Mission Accomplished" and Financial Shenanigans; from Ric Mauricio (John Eipper, USA, 04/15/18 2:13 pm)

Ric Mauricio writes:

To paraphrase Mark Twain, "The reports of Trump's successes are greatly exaggerated."

In an earlier WAIS posting, I posted his investment underperformance relative to the passive S&P 500 and conservatively leveraged commercial real estate.

Of course, this underperformance is really not surprising, given his "successes."

The Trump Taj Mahal, which opened in 1990, went through 4 bankruptcies, 1991, 2004, 2009, and 2014 before being sold to Carl Icahn, closing in 2016. During the time that Trump owned it, the casino paid a $10 million fine for willful violations of the US Bank Secrecy Act (which targets money laundering) and admitted doing it on purpose. When an investment analyst issued a "sell" on the Taj Mahal stock, Trump was so angry that he had the analyst fired and destroyed his career.

The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Baku, Azerbaijan, was abandoned in 2016 and remains empty. Side note: The project developers Elton and Anar Mammadov are known as the "Corleones of the Caspian." Duffel bags of cash were used to pay contractors. Hmmm. Money laundering, anyone?

The Trump SOHO in New York was foreclosed upon in 2014 and was renamed the Dominick Hotel by CIM Group, a California real estate investor, in December 2017. Trump's partners were Feliz Sater, a Russian who had pled guilty of stock manipulation, and Tamir Sapir, a Russian mobster. Financing for that hotel came from an Icelandic bank with ties to Putin.

The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto, Canada was never owned by Trump but managed by the Trump Organization until June 2017 and the hotel renamed Adelaide Hotel Toronto. Side note: The developer, Alex Shnaider, sold a business to a Russian-controlled bank where Vladimir Putin was chairman of the board. He arranged for the project to be financed by another foreign bank, accused of acting as a conduit for Russian money laundering. Trump's first partner was Leib Waldman, who fled the US after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud and embezzlement.

The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver, British Columbia is not owned by Trump but managed by the Trump Organization. The FBI is investigating Ivanka Trump, who oversaw the hotel's interior design. Joo Kim Tiah, the hotel developer and son of tycoon Tony Tiah Thee Kian, is also under investigation. Kian pleaded guilty for Malaysian stock manipulation and barred from corporate boardrooms for five years.

The Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower opened in 2011 in Panama City. On March 5, 2018, the majority owner obtained a court order and physically removed Trump Organization personnel from the building. The project's lead broker, Alexandre Nogueira, admitted to money laundering and was arrested for fraud and forgery in other projects. He has fled the country, probably staying at the Trump Tower. All-cash deals for condos, a red flag for money laundering, were commonplace at Trump Panama. Convicted drug-money launderer Colombian David Guzman bought 10 condos. Russian money launderers Andrey Bogdanov and Ivan Kazanikov bought a dozen.

And reports of Trump's failures are greatly exalted. Yes, he is so smart, outsmarting the IRS with a $19 million loss.

As an aside, Mao's corpse in the mausoleum is a waxen figure. The story is that they tried to preserve his body for posterity, but the body continued to decompose, and finally, since they had already created the wax figure, they decided to utilize that instead. No one knows what happened to the real body. When I was in Beijing, my wife asked me if I was going to buy a souvenir with Mao's visage. Knowing his history, I refused to do so. The only thing I have with his visage is a picture of that huge picture of him at the entrance to Tiananmen Square and the few bits of paper currency.

JE comments:  My mind is thoroughly boggled, Ric.  One thing has emerged from this weekend's missiles and tweets:  Trump and Putin are no longer BFFs.  Although wouldn't a healthy spike in oil prices be just what Vladimir Vladimirovich needs?

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  • Fooling Some of the People, All of the People... (John Heelan, UK 04/17/18 5:04 AM)
    Congratulations to Ric Mauricio for his superb analysis (15 April) of "SuperTrump."

    It seems to me that the President's boasts are acquiring the same reliability as street scene facades on Universal Studios film sets.  They look good but have no depth and could be blown away by a sudden squall.

    Perhaps Trump should remember the dictum on fooling people attributed to Lincoln but more likely first elucidated by the Frenchman Jacques Abbadie in 1684: "Ont pû tromper quelques hommes, ou les tromper tous dans certains lieux & en certains tems, mais non pas tous les hommes, dans tous les lieux & dans tous les siècles." "One can fool some men, or fool all men in some places and times, but one cannot fool all men in all places and ages.")

    See https://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/12/11/cannot-fool/

    JE comments:  Proof of the polarized times we live in:  Trump has fooled some of the people all of the time, and the rest of the people none of the time.

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  • Andrei Bogdanov (Boris Volodarsky, Austria 04/19/18 5:06 AM)
    I have only one very unimportant question to the impressive post by Ric Mauricio of 15 April:

    Is Andrei Bogdanov, whom Ric mentions as a known money launderer, this same Bogdanov?


    Thank you, Ric.

    JE comments:  Ric?  The Bogdanov linked above wears several hats, including the Chairman of the Communist Party of Social Justice and Grand Master of the Russian Freemasons. 

    Freemasonry was always one of Professor Hilton's topics of interest.  In the "old days," the Masons were implicated in conspiracy theories of every stripe.  There was even a significant American political movement in the 1820s, the Anti-Masonic Party.

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