"Post-Trump syndrome."

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donaldtrumpcalm.jpgA lot of people have lashed themselves to the mast of the Trump empire, from the First Minister and his predecessor to, most divisively, the upper echelons of the Aberdeenshire Liberals. His golf course and holiday chalets will apparently bring £1bn to the area, 6,000 jobs, and extend the very tourist season itself. Never mind the protected status of the site, this scheme would secure the international glamour (left) other sand dunes can only dream about.

It's lucky for all these brave cheerleaders for Mr Trump that he's such a reliable businessman. Otherwise, one might wonder whether the whole thing is what geeks call vapourware. 

You can ignore his casino business, which has filed for bankruptcy over and over again, because he quit the company last month. Presumably he jumped before he could have his catchphrase used against him. I'm sure these guys are wrong about why that might be, so let's look only at his construction projects.

The $790m Nakheel project in Dubai: suspended. The Trump International Hotel and Tower: loan default, blamed by Trump on the "act of God" known to everyone else as the recession, unfinished, with lawsuit. Trump Tower in New Orleans: on hold. Trump Parc in Stamford: falling debris. Trump Soho condos: breached planning regulations, being nimbied to death.

The list goes on and on, but a particularly scandalous example popped up today. A scheme he was running in Baja California has collapsed, leaving some very angry people who've lost millions in deposits. That article has some extraordinary elements, worth quoting at length.

  • Ivanka assured buyers in an October 2007 newsletter that all Trump projects were immune to a slowdown.
  • All that remains of Trump Baja is a highway billboard with a large photo of Donald Trump that advertises condos for sale.
  • Admiration for the celebrity developer and star of "The Apprentice" has now turned into anger and disbelief as Trump's luxury hotel-condo plan collapsed, leaving little more than a hole in the ground and investors out of their deposits, which totaled $32.2 million.
  • "I can't even stand to see Trump's face on TV."
  • Homeowners and brokers in Baja welcomed the publicity and higher prices that Trump brought. Now they wish he never came.
  • "Everybody is shellshocked. I call it post-Trump syndrome."

I wonder if John Swinney will end up feeling like Guadalupe Mendoza when his unimpeachable decision to clear the Menie plans starts to unravel. Describing her purchase, Mendoza told AP: "I did it in less than a minute. I remember my head was hurting and thinking, 'My God, what was that?' I was thinking maybe I should have asked questions. It was like a roller-coaster ride." 

Martin Ford was right: this obscene scheme should never have gone ahead. The silver lining is obvious, though. The markets and Trump's own incompetence now seem so likely to scupper it that we shouldn't even need the fallback plan.


I've never understood why a man who has filed for bankruptcy so many times is so often held up as a financial genius. I guess he is, in a way. He mostly seems to lose *other people's* money.

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