r/worldnews – New Trump golf course provokes fury in Scotland

This remains the single biggest mystery of Trump’s finances. The freaking scottish golf courses. NY Times Deutsche Bank expert David Enrich:

This is kind of perplexing, given how badly his existing courses are performing and how his businesses overall appear to be bleeding cash.

His Scottish courses have always been, and will be for the foreseeable future, money pits that devour hundreds of millions in renovation without ever turning a profit. His tax returns revealed that they have soaked up every bit of liquidity he has, so that he has virtually nothing at hand to pay off the $400 million in debt coming due in the next few years.

Deutsche Bank finally turned off the spigot in 2016 when he tried to bail out the Turnberry course, and refuses to loan him any more money for these courses, Turnberry in particular.

They make absolutely no sense. So why does he put every penny he has into them? The cover story is that it’s wistful nostalgia for the homeland of his mother, and in fact this new course is going to be named “MacLeod” after her. Seems a little on the nose for a man who shows no capacity for sentimentality.

The more likely reason? Money-laundering. Golf courses have basically no comps, so they are very difficult to value. Renovation (like Turnberry) and construction (like this new course) are perfect vehicles for money-laundering, and in fact Trump got all of his wealth initially – some $400 million – via a massive tax evasion scheme orchestrated over decades by his father, which routed payments to him via a fake construction contracting company called “All County Building Supply and Maintenance”. And Scotland has notoriously weak laws against money laundering, and is a popular haven for Russian money laundering in particular.

Amazingly, Eric Trump himself reportedly confirmed to Golf Writer James Dodson in 2014 that all of the money they were spending on golf courses was coming from Russia:

“And this is what he said. He said, ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’”

Somewhat shockingly, Mueller obeyed Trump’s order not to look into his finances out of fear of getting fired. Thankfully, private citizen Trump will have no such leverage at his disposal.

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