Trump the billion dollar loser I was his ghostwriter and I saw it happen ,
On Tuesday, the New York Times scooped the world on the news that from 1985 to 1994, Donald Trump incurred the biggest business losses of any single taxpayer in American history.
What was it like for him to lose more than $1 billion in a decade? Was he perpetually ashen-faced with fear? Or smirking at the thought of outwitting the IRS “for sport,” as he said in a Wednesday morning tweet?
I happen to know, because from late 1988 to 1990, I was his ghostwriter, working on a book that would be called Surviving at the Top. Right in the middle of this period, I can tell you that the answer is that he was neither.
Except for an occasional passing look of queasiness, or anger, when someone came into his Trump Tower office and whispered the daily win/loss numbers at his Atlantic City casinos, he seemed to be bored out of his mind.
I tend to see my time with him — the first part of it, anyway, before things started going bad in a hurry — as his “King Midas” period. I never said this to him; if I had, he probably would have thought I was suggesting he enter the muffler business.
But it was a stretch of months when everything he touched turned into a deal. The banks seemed to accept the version of him depicted in his first book, The Art of the Deal ,
Which we now know from his previous ghostwriter, Tony Schwartz, was entirely invented. They believed it over what they saw on his balance sheets or heard coming out of his mouth, and never said no to his requests for more money .