US President Donald Trump lost 10 per cent of his fortune since he took office

File image of Donald Trump | Commons

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New York: As the presidential election nears, American voters are sure to be asked if they’re better off financially than they were four years ago.

Donald Trump isn’t. The president’s net worth has declined $300 million in the past year to $2.7 billion, erasing 10% of his fortune since he took office, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The drop marked the sharpest decline since Bloomberg began tracking his fortune in 2015. It started with a decrease in income across the Trump Organization’s portfolio of office buildings and was compounded by the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on property markets.

Trump’s critics would say some of that is his own fault. They have accused him of failing to take the pandemic seriously as it spread, pushing a dubious drug therapy instead of mask-wearing, and leaving states to bid against each other for scarce medical supplies. The president has falsely claimed the country would have fewer cases if there were less testing.

Some corners of the economy are holding up, thanks to massive stimulus efforts by the government and the Federal Reserve, and a rapid acceleration of e-commerce. Still, the toll on real estate, travel and leisure continues.

Declines in the value of the president’s office building at 40 Wall Street, his iconic Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and properties owned jointly with Vornado Realty Trust accounted for some of the biggest hits to his net worth. His golf courses also lost value amid a broader slide in prices, as fewer young people take up the sport.

The nation’s high infection rate and death toll have rocked businesses belonging to the commander in chief at a crucial time. Late last year, Eric Trump, who’s been running the business while his father is in the White House, began floating a potential sale of their hotel in Washington. In June, Vornado said it was exploring options to “recapitalize” two office towers it co-owns with the Trump Organization. The pandemic and uncertain outlook for the economy and property market make finding new investors a challenge.

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