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Was Losing Trump's Plan All Along?

Many have wondered aloud why Donald Trump would risk the value of his brand ("Trump") on what looks to be a soon-to-occur 2016 General Election loss. That outcome (while not guaranteed) looks every more likely with each passing day.

How could someone whose personal mythology and self-image is so based in winning put all that at risk on what appears to be a near-certain loss? Is there a rational explanation?

What if the 2016 Election loss and subsequent devaluation of his own Trump brand was always the goal?

Consider the following:

  • Based on the small sampling of Donald Trump's tax returns that were released (by a still-unknown leaker), we can be certain that he took an over $900M loss resulting from the sale of Trump Airlines and other businesses.
  • It has been suggested by numerous sources that a as much as half of Trump's self-declared wealth (as much as $10B+) is made up of his own valuation of his brand itself.
  • Many have suggested and reports are now being released showing that Trump's participation in the 2016 Election has caused vast damage to that brand.

Was this the plan all along? If so, why?

If this campaign indeed devalues the brand, Trump could then declare the "lost value" for his brand as a loss - deductible from his taxes and eligible for carry-over across multiple years. Interestingly, losing value from his brand would really just be a paper loss that had very little impact to Trump himself (aside from being a tax sheltering windfall)! For hard asset businesses, a $3-5B loss would be catastrophic. For a celebrity such as Trump who is experiencing it in his brand valuation, he loses almost nothing at all!

Sadly to his legions of fans, he will claim that running for President "cost" him those "Billions of dollars" and they will believe him! He will have run a campaign based almost solely upon Earned Media, spend very little of his own money, claim to have "spent" Millions (if not Billions), and likely enjoy the resulting tax shelter for the remainder of his life.

P.T. Barnum is famously quoted that "There's a Sucker is born every Minute".

I can only assume that Barnum himself would have been amazed at what Donald Trump stands to have accomplished in fleecing Suckers and getting them to thank him for it!