Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Thursday, March 9, 2017



Adam Davidson, an investigative reporter for the New Yorker, printed a bombshell article this week. A week prior to assuming the office of the Presidency, The Donald quietly pulled out of construction of Trump Tower Baku. Although almost completed, the 25-story building was mired in problems. The largest is the subject of Davidson's piece. It seems Trump's partners, the Mammadov Family, have direct links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. It comes as no surprise: Azerbaijan is one of the world's most corrupt nations. How bad is it? Last year, President Aliyev appointed his wife as Vice-President...and no one cared. Let's look at how the other five overseas Trump Towers are doing.

Trump Towers Istanbul. Another enormous financial venture with an Islamic nation, this unique structure is actually two buildings in one. Architects conjoined two skyscrapers in diagonal fashion, creating one of the city's most noticeable buildings. One side is for offices, clocking in at 40 stories. Next door are 38 levels of luxury apartments. A five star restaurant boasts the largest wine cellar in Turkey-16,800 bottles. Trump's anti-Islamic rants have hurt business lately and President Erdogan has requested his name "be removed immediately" but it remains in place today.

Trump Tower Manila. Perhaps the most spectacular of the Tower family, this building features curious peal-away corners. Designed by famed architect Jason Pomery, it is one of the tallest buildings in the nation. Like Baku, it too finds itself at the center of a 'Conflict of Interest' issue. See, Trump's Filipino business partners have government connectinos. This puts the US president on the Filipino national payroll. Another mess involves the neighboring businesses. Next door is the 'Mixed Nuts & Ladyboy Bar,' where greased up women wrestle and midgets box.

Daewoo Trump Towers Seoul. Towering 41 stories in the fashionable Gangnam District, Daewoo Trump Towers can be seen in the background of the famous 'Gangnam Style' video. It opened in 2002 to grand fanfare. The Daewoo Corporation had helped construct the original Trump Tower in Manhattan, and the partnership continued to flourish in Korea. The luxury apartments are sold-out with a long waiting list. The two twin towers boldly display the Trump name in 30-foot high capital letters. Koreans are not known for angry protests and there have been few disruptions since the election.

Trump Towers Panama. The only entry for Latin America, the Trump Ocean Club opened in 2011. Dominating the city's skyline, the behemoth, 70 floor hotel is just steps from the beach. From there, guests can take a quick ride to the private resort on Vivernos Island. Shaped like a sail, many noted the similarity to the iconic Burj Dubai Hotel. Donald says this is merely coincidence, and the lawsuit remains stalled somewhere. Meanwhile, the project has been amazingly successful. In addition to the private island, guests love the 600 slot machines recently installed in the Casino.

Trump Tower Toronto. The final entry might be the most impressive. Toronto's fourth tallest building is also very wide. It totals 380 condominiums and apartments, with two penthouses on top that would blow your mind. Sadly, in addition to continuous protests, the building has been besieged with financial issues. During construction, a nasty row between investors involved multiple 'breach of contract' lawsuits. Despite this, on Opening Day in 2012, 261 units were occupied. The future looks dim. JCF Capital, the firm overseeing operations, fined for bankruptcy last year. This is one investment Donald will be happy to walk away from.

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