Though the president’s business has reportedly made grafting off the federal government its business over the past three years, the coronavirus stimulus explicitly forbade the Trump Organization from accessing federal money: On the informed hunch that the president may want to self-enrich his family’s empty resorts, Democrats included a restriction in the bill prohibiting elected officials and cabinet-level heads from receiving assistance.
With the bailout money off the table, the Trump Organization is looking to other sources for financial support to offset hotel and golf club closures, according to the New York Times. Like many Americans unsure about mortgage or rent payments, the business reached out to Palm Beach County on whether or not it still had to make its five-figure payments for its 27-hole golf club on county land.
Like in the past when the Trump Organization has needed money and no other institution was prepared to give it to them, the family has reportedly turned to Deutsche Bank:
Late last month, Mr. Trump’s representatives contacted their relationship managers in Deutsche Bank’s New York private-banking division, which caters to wealthy customers. They wanted to discuss the possibility of delaying payments on some of the hundreds of millions of dollars of outstanding loans that the Trump Organization has from the bank, according to a person briefed on the talks. The discussions are continuing.
Deutsche Bank has lent Mr. Trump and his companies about $2 billion since 1998, the only mainstream financial institution consistently willing to do business with Mr. Trump and his companies. At the time he became president, Mr. Trump owed the bank about $350 million, including on loans to buy and renovate the Doral golf resort near Miami and to develop a luxury hotel in the Old Post Office building in Washington.
Like any deal involving the business interests of a president who refused to divest his assets, ethical questions are clouding the decision-making process. The Trump Organization’s requests are making their lenders and landlords choose between a financially responsible decision and making a cantankerous president content. But the coronavirus is a particular disaster for the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago. Because of his history of defaults and bankruptcies, Deutsche Bank required that Trump provide a personal guarantee on the loans for the skyscraper, so that the bank can seize his personal assets if he is unable to pay the money.
According to the Times, Deutsche Bank executives have worried what would happen if Trump were to default while in office, as they’d be stuck between seizing assets from the President of the United States or letting him off another million-dollar hook. (In that first scenario, the bank would also have to consider whether or not Trump would use the regulatory agencies his administration oversees against them, in the way he has wielded the Justice Department to do his bidding.) As the coronavirus continues to shred profits in the hospitality industry, that doomsday choice could become Deutsche’s reality.