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Trump's obsession with interest rates? Check his loan portfolio…

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Trump‘s obsession with interest rates? Check his loan portfolio…

by digby

If you are wondering why Trump is so obsessed with interest rates, you can bet this is contributing to it. The Washington Post reported Saturday, that Trump‘s businesses could save millions of dollar in interest payments if rates fall:

In the five years before he became president, Trump borrowed more than $360 million via four loans from Deutsche Bank for his hotels in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, as well his 643-room Doral golf resort in South Florida.

The payments on all four properties vary with interest rate changes, according to Trump’s official financial disclosures. That means he has already benefited from falling interest rates that were spurred in part by a cut the Federal Reserve announced in July, the first in more than a decade—and his payments could drop by millions of dollars more annually if the central bank grants Trump’s wish and further lowers short-term rates, experts said.
The central bank’s benchmark rate is one factor in determining interest owed on variable-rate loans, the kind the president has on his properties. Mortgage rates have also been driven down because of the trade war with China and anxieties about global growth.

Mother Jones: When Trump became president, he refused to divest from his vast array of business ventures—despite the obvious conflicts of interest they pose. His hotels and clubs have continued raking in money from foreign officials (though the Trump Organization says it donates these profits), and he’s threatened to impose tariffs on wine imports that compete with his winery. Now he stands to benefit from bullying the Federal Reserve.

Trump never divested his holdings for a reason. He’s obsessed with money and never leaves a dime on the table. Of course he’s aware of how his policies will affect his bottom line and certainly makes economic decisions that will favor them.

Recall that the 1920s law that allows the congress to access any tax returns was instituted to determine if Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon was self-dealing with tax policy. The same concerns should determine the issue in terms of Trump. He didn’t divest, which means the argument for getting his returns is almost exactly the same. His hotels and clubs are making money hand over fist as wealthy people seeking access to the president from all over the world put money directly into his pockets. He owns a winery and threatens to put tariffs on his competition. His sons are overseas selling access to the most powerful man in the world. Now he’s trying to manipulate interest rates which could greatly benefit his bottom line.

These are impeachable offenses but it appears the congress is afraid to do anything but sweep all this lawbreaking and grotesquely unethical behavior under the rug so they can pretend it isn’t happening. I guess we just have to just hope that Republicans will wake up one morning to see the errors of their ways and spontaneously decide to act in good faith going forward.


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