This past month New Jersey Judge Judith Wizmur refused the request of shareholders to file a competing bankruptcy plan for Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc. which eliminates the key obstacle to court confirmation of the casino company’s Chapter 11 reorganization. The denied motion would have stripped Trump Hotels of the exclusive right to propose a plan to pull the severely struggling company out of bankruptcy. Just think, if only Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom and Ken Lay of Enron had reality television shows their fate might have been much different. There is nothing like a little celebrity to allow individuals from taking responsibility for their actions.
The plan put forward by the “Trumpster” calls for bondholders to take control but keeps Donald J. Trump on as chairman and CEO. Not only does DJT get to remain on as the big boss, but he gets a $2 million a tear salary, a 25% stake in the Miss Universe Pageant and right of first refusal to serve as contractor for any construction project over $35 million that is undertaken by the company after in emerges from bankruptcy. Not a bad deal for someone who has failed for over 15 years at the venture. Did I happen to mention that this is the second time this company has filed for bankruptcy? Did I also mention that under the astute leadership of Trump, his casinos have continued to drastically lose market share? Did you know that this company lost $6.65 a share this past year? How about that $53 million in back taxes that the company owes? Last but not least, do you know who Marvin Roffman is?
Marvin Roffman was a gaming analyst for Janney Montgomery Scott, a brokerage firm based in Philadelphia. In 1990 he was fired by his firm after making very critical analysis about the bonds being issued by the Donald to finance his casinos. Marvin Roffman predicted that the Trump Taj Mahal bonds would fall into default. His analysis really ticked off the Donald. So much so, that DJT demanded a retraction from Roffman and the firm. Marvin Roffman, one of the good guys refused and two days later was fired. When he was being escorted from the building by security Roffman recalls hearing the following words of advice: “Keep your mouth shut or you’ll never work in this business again.” As it turns out Marvin Roffman was right all along about the bonds.
I have to admit DJT’s reality show The Apprentice is addicting. I have to admit that I TIVO it every week. What’s hilarious is how week in and week out DJT fires a contestant for failures such as lack of leadership, creativity, or just plain failure; however, he is guilty of all three. It is time for Trump to point the “Your Fired” finger at himself and step aside from the casinos. However, I put the likelihood of that happening up there with the possibility of Omarosa taking over the reigns at Microsoft.