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The Bankruptcy Next Time

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Donald Trump is about to be in serious financial trouble, and as of noon tomorrow will not have his best basis for both making money and avoiding consequences:

Not long after he strides across the White House grounds Wednesday morning for the last time as president, Donald J. Trump will step into a financial minefield that appears to be unlike anything he has faced since his earlier brushes with collapse.

The tax records that he has long fought to keep hidden, revealed in a New York Times investigation last September, detailed his financial challenges:

Many of his resorts were losing millions of dollars a year even before the pandemic struck. Hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, which he personally guaranteed, must be repaid within a few years. He has burned through much of his cash and easy-to-sell assets. And a decade-old I.R.S. audit threatens to cost him more than $100 million to resolve.

In his earlier dark moments, Mr. Trump was able to rescue businesses he runs with multimillion-dollar infusions from his father or licensing deals borne of his television celebrity. Those lifelines are gone. And his divisive presidency has steadily eroded the mainstream marketability of the brand that is at the heart of his business.

That trend has only accelerated with his evidence-free campaign to subvert the outcome of the presidential election, which culminated in the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. In its wake, his last-ditch lender vowed to cut him off. The P.G.A. canceled an upcoming championship at a Trump golf course, and New York City moved to strip him of contracts to run several venues.

Trump’s palpable desperation to keep doing a job he otherwise has no interest in for four more years was far from irrational. He’s facing a lot of financial and legal consequences, and the MAGA riots have finally seemed to have damaged the elite immunity from both that he has relied on his whole miserable life.

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