by Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Wall Street on Parade
Donald Trump has made a big deal about Hillary Clinton being beholden to Wall Street. That’s true. Wall Street’s mega banks and hedge funds have been major donors to Clinton’s campaign committees after showering her and Bill Clinton with millions of dollars for speeches. But Donald Trump is just as beholden to Wall Street’s mega banks because they are financing his business empire, doing so frequently behind an opaque curtain.
On August 21, the New York Times ran a front-page article by Susanne Craig that pegged Trump’s business debt at $650 million. Three days later, Fortune’s Shawn Tully took a closer look and pegged Trump’s debt at $1.11 billion.
According to Trump’s financial disclosure form updated in May of this year, hundreds of millions of dollars of Trump’s business debt will “mature” over the next seven years. But we don’t actually know what “mature” really means. Are these adjustable rate loans and the interest rate will simply reset on the maturity date? Are these interest-only loans with balloon principal payments at maturity? Are the loans subject to rollover based on a positive reappraisal of the value of the underlying collateral of the commercial real estate?