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  #101  
Old 02-03-2019, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Magiver’s arguments boil down to “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” Which is bar-napkin philosophy.
I think you're giving his arguments too much credit. You make it sound like he's presented a coherent line of reasoning that at least has a point.
  #102  
Old 02-04-2019, 01:04 AM
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To really answer the question, the question is not particularly interesting? You're comparing someone who has made their entire image out of being a genius businessman and dealmaker, to someone who went from academia into politics, without a big stop in private enterprise along the way. Comparing Trump and Obama's business savvy is a bit like comparing Obama's acting skills to Chuck Norris's - Chuck is probably better, but it's a very silly comparison, because Obama isn't an actor, and him not being an actor isn't really a big deal when it comes to any of the reasons we care about him. And Chuck ain't exactly a "great actor"; he's kind of awful. He just kinda wins by default.

Meanwhile, Trump is a businessman, but it's quite clear that he's kind of terrible at every aspect of business except marketing, and marketing only gets you so far. Trump took hundreds of millions of dollars of support from his family, and maybe parlayed that into billionaire status (which we don't know, because we still haven't seen his tax returns, and he lies about everything else). What little we do know about his finances is fairly damning - even if he did turn hundreds of millions into a few billion, he drastically underperformed the S&P 500 given his starting capital. He's run quite a few businesses into the ground, he's considered a completely toxic investment by most banks that are on the level (as tends to happen when you declare bankruptcy for your businesses six times), and he's pretty infamous for stiffing contractors. We know that his persona in "art of the deal" is a fantasy - his ghostwriter has written at length about this. There's no reason to believe that Trump is good at what he does. The only thing he's convincingly good at is marketing himself - pretending that he's really good at what he does and convincing others of the same for long enough to scam them.

So as a whole, a pretty silly question.
  #103  
Old 02-04-2019, 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by KidCharlemagne View Post
A good businessman goes to where the money is.
No, no they don't. A good businessman concentrates on the business that he or she knows best. It takes more than 'good' to be able to successfully branch out into fields he or she knows little about. That takes the sort of smarts very few people have. Also, Trump seems to have enjoyed his field of work. I'm gonna give him some sort of credit for choosing a career he thrives in. He may have been richer(but probably not) investing in stocks or futures but I have to assume he would not have enjoyed that path as much.
  #104  
Old 02-04-2019, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Fuzzy_wuzzy View Post
No, no they don't. A good businessman concentrates on the business that he or she knows best. It takes more than 'good' to be able to successfully branch out into fields he or she knows little about. That takes the sort of smarts very few people have. Also, Trump seems to have enjoyed his field of work. I'm gonna give him some sort of credit for choosing a career he thrives in. He may have been richer(but probably not) investing in stocks or futures but I have to assume he would not have enjoyed that path as much.
The point of saying he's doing worse than a simple index fund is not to say that he should have just invested. It's just that out performing the market is considered the bare minimum to be considered a success in anything financial.

If your business actually adds value to the market, then it will outperform the market. And a successful business will add value to the market.
  #105  
Old 02-04-2019, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by DrFidelius View Post
So please, expand on your thesis.
it is clealry "political opponent bad" and then made up pseudo observations to justify.

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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
. It's just that out performing the market is considered the bare minimum to be considered a success in anything financial.
No. It is considered a benchmark for the general market financial investing. It is not very relevant to the success of an operating business unless the benchmarking is against the actual performance of a set of peer companies.

The business of the financial investing is not at all the same subject or the same skill set or the same actions as the business of managing an operating company of any type. Success in one is irrelevant to the success in the other.

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If your business actually adds value to the market, then it will outperform the market. And a successful business will add value to the market.
No, this is not at all true, and misunderstands what 'the market is.'

The market index like that reflects the index of the publicly listed corporations, which is a very narrow sub-set of the companies in any given economy. It is not representative in reality of the actual sectors as significant numbers (by number, by value of market share, etc) of companies in any sector will not be listed on the bourse at all.

A business adding value to "the market" is not even a coherent statement - an index value is an average in any case. It is like saying to be a decent driver you have to be better than average, it is a mathmatically incoherent statement. To be an Excellent driver or company you need to outperform your peer set, that would be a coherent analysis.

The comparison of Trump performance is against the peer companies - so for a real opinion on business performance (contre a political attack opinion) one can compare his performance according to the components like the Casino companies (I would think some of these may be listed on the public market but not perhaps the majority), to the Real Estate development companies, etc.

that is the coherent benchmark. It is not really anything but a political talking point to assert a comparison to a Bourse index (and in any case not a coherent benchmark of business skill as it would be perfectly possible to decide to go by prediliction into a lower returning than broad market average industry, but perform well against that industry own performance benchmark).
  #106  
Old 02-04-2019, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
The point of saying he's doing worse than a simple index fund is not to say that he should have just invested. It's just that out performing the market is considered the bare minimum to be considered a success in anything financial.

If your business actually adds value to the market, then it will outperform the market. And a successful business will add value to the market.
It's your implication of what 'the market' is that is off in this context. Trump's market is real estate with a heavy emphasis on NY real estate. That is his market. Has Trump outperformed the NY real estate market? I'm going to suggest no-one has a clue as we don't exactly know what he started with and neither do we know what his worth is now. The figures bandied about are little more than guesstimates. I do know that when his father was sole head of the company it was not big enough to be listed on the Fortune 500. His father was rich but not THAT rich. The inheritance was also distributed between siblings.

I'd say Trump has been a success in business, not as big a success as he'd like us to believe, but a success nonetheless. Anyone emphatically disagreeing either way is probably using disputed figures and unfair parameters.
  #107  
Old 02-04-2019, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Fuzzy_wuzzy View Post
Has Trump outperformed the NY real estate market? I'm going to suggest no-one has a clue as we don't exactly know what he started with and neither do we know what his worth is now. The figures bandied about are little more than guesstimates. I do know that when his father was sole head of the company it was not big enough to be listed on the Fortune 500. His father was rich but not THAT rich. The inheritance was also distributed between siblings.

I'd say Trump has been a success in business, not as big a success as he'd like us to believe, but a success nonetheless. Anyone emphatically disagreeing either way is probably using disputed figures and unfair parameters.
Well, I don't know about that. I don't have exact figures for the NYC real estate market, but I think its done very well over the time Trump has been active. And without knowing exactly how much, I think its undisputed that Trump got many millions in seed money from his family, and not just in the inheritance.

What is more, he had access to a family knowledge base that had been involved in the same market from before he was born.

Given those initial advantages and investing in a very strong and growing market, he managed to go bankrupt not just once but six times, screwing up so badly that he is considerd toxic by US banks. Once may be considered a misfortune. Twice begins to look like carelessness. Six times...

I don't think we need to know the exact figures to say that this is very significantly below average business acumen. And I mean compared to the general population.

Last edited by Grim Render; 02-04-2019 at 06:33 AM.
  #108  
Old 02-04-2019, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Magiver View Post
Obama's net worth has nothing to do with any business acumen. It is a result of him receiving large sums of money for speeches or books about himself. We won't even go into the legitimacy of it. It's enough to note the money was not legitimately earned as a result of any skill. His financial legacy is based entirely on his celebrity status.
He had enough skill to crush two Republican presidential candidates, one of whom was the most famous non-president Republican of the 20th and 21st certainty.

I'd say that's a skill.

Y, u jelly?
  #109  
Old 02-04-2019, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by viakix View Post
Trump is a billionaire real estate mogul. Obama is a former Harvard Professor. Who do you think has more business acumen -- Trump or Obama?
Wrong, and wrong.
  #110  
Old 02-04-2019, 10:25 AM
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Trump's net worth has nothing to do with any business acumen. It is a result of him receiving large sums of money from his father, as bank loans and for books (which he didn't write) and TV shows about himself. We won't even go into the legitimacy of it. It's enough to note the money was not legitimately earned as a result of any skill. His financial legacy is based entirely on his celebrity status.
  #111  
Old 02-04-2019, 11:12 AM
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OK, a good businessman will go into a line of business that he knows. But do you know how much you need to know to keep up with the market? You need to buy an index fund, and then sit on it. That's it. There's absolutely zero special skill, familiarity, or expertise required. That, to be generous, is what Trump knows. And he isn't even enough of a businessman to "go into a line that he knows", because his expertise in real estate is clearly even worse than that.
  #112  
Old 02-04-2019, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Vinyl Turnip View Post
His financial legacy is based entirely on his celebrity status.
I recognize that you're mirroring Magiver's (rather silly) argument. But I think here you should say:
"His financial legacy is based entirely on his inheritance."
Also, I wouldn't be super surprised if his net worth now was less than the amount he inherited. Guess it depends on what his kickback was for laundering dirty Russian money.
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  #113  
Old 02-04-2019, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Evil Economist View Post
I recognize that you're mirroring Magiver's (rather silly) argument. But I think here you should say:
"His financial legacy is based entirely on his inheritance."
Also, I wouldn't be super surprised if his net worth now was less than the amount he inherited. Guess it depends on what his kickback was for laundering dirty Russian money.
He just recently complained that being President was costing him money.

I don't believe that for a second. If it really was costing him money, he would have quit long ago.
  #114  
Old 05-09-2019, 07:44 AM
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I think we have pretty conclusive proof now.
  #115  
Old 05-09-2019, 08:22 AM
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Im not reading through all the responses now that this has been bumped, but why the hell would younwant someone with "business smarts" instead of "leadership smarts" as Chief Executive?
They are very divergent skill sets.

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  #116  
Old 05-09-2019, 10:17 AM
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If "business acumen" emphasizes greed and cut-throat tactics, then Trump is the winner. However, although Obama's work an an "organizer" with non-profits is widely ridiculed by the Liars and Hypocrites, it was successful enough to earn him an award in 1993 from Crain's Chicago Business newspaper.
  #117  
Old 05-09-2019, 10:22 AM
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With the information available now it's clear that the kid at your door with a hot pizza in a thermal bag has more business sense than Trump.
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