Donald Trump Conspiracy

Bloomberg reports that during the year that Donald Trump went “from a long-shot presidential candidate into the presumptive Republican presidential nominee,” his fortune has increased to $3 billion, up from $2.9 billion a year ago. According to the Bloomberg article, the value of Trump’s  golf courses and Trump Tower in NYC have risen as his debt nearly doubled to $630 million in total debt from $350 million in 2015:

Trump’s riches have been debated for decades, and the billionaire’s estimates have been higher than those made by others. Since becoming a candidate, he has repeated his assertion that he’s worth more than $10 billion, which he says is proof of his success as a businessman. Estimates in the past year by Fortune and Forbes magazines have come in at less than $5 billion.

Bloomberg’s calculation was conducted in line with its methodology for valuing the fortunes of the world’s richest billionaires. It uses information compiled from Trump’s financial disclosure to the Federal Election Commission in May, mortgage filings, property records, leasing agreements, annual reports from Trump’s European golf courses, market data on rent, occupancy and capitalization rates, sales of hotels and condominiums and interviews with people familiar with the assets who asked not to be identified because they’re closely held.

The big difference in Trump’s and Bloomberg’s estimate of just how rich The Donald is depends on the value of his personal brand:

Trump has said his ability to license his name and likeness to everything from international hotels to mattresses is worth $3.3 billion. Bloomberg assigns it a value of $35 million, or one times sales from ongoing licensing deals.

While Trump hasn’t explained how he arrived at his figure, it would indicate a sales multiple of almost 100, based on the average revenue he disclosed for management fees and royalties, adjusted for 12 months. The highest price-to-sales ratio for any company in the S&P 500 Index is 18 times sales. Bloomberg values the licensing enterprises lower because their structure and profitability is unknown, and because some agreements from which Trump derived such revenue last year have been suspended amid controversy generated by his campaign.

As Trump’s licensing revenue diminishes, his brand derives most of its value from cost-savings in earned media for his campaign, said Edgar Baum, chief executive officer of Toronto-based brand-valuation firm Strata Insights.

While Trump nearly doubled his debt, his liquid assets shrunk to about $170 million from $225 million. Still, $100 million isn’t a too shabby annual increase in wealth while running for president. Is that what self funding means?