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IPFS News Link • China

China Builds 27 Empty New York Cities

•, by James Dale Davidson

What does this mean to you? There are a lot of carry-on effects from wasting so many resources. As you delve into a thought exercise to get more acquainted with the ruinous consequences of credit bubbles, be grateful that you don't really have to worry about malicious genies magically tagging you with mortgaged deeds.

That could be scary. Imagine that some cruel genie took a perverse dislike to you. What worse instance of malevolent magic could the genie perform than to present you with deeds to the astonishing inventory of 70 million empty apartments structures accumulating dust throughout China.

You might think it would make you a billionaire, a real estate magnate on par with Donald Trump. But think again.

This may be a good moment to retell an uncharacteristically charming story Trump told on himself, dating to the savings and loan crisis (S&L crisis) of the late 1980s and early 1990s. That was a time when 1,043 out of the 3,234 savings and loan associations in the United States failed as they tried to digest billions in over-mortgaged real estate properties.

At that time, Trump found himself walking the streets of the Upper East Side of Manhattan one evening with his girlfriend of the moment. As they walked, they came upon a bum in a tattered peacoat lying on a grate. Trump remarked to his companion, "That guy has $1 billion more than I do." She responded, "But he doesn't look like he has a penny." Trump replied, "He doesn't."

When he said that, Trump's fortune was hostage to the banks to which he owed about a billion dollars more than his properties would have realized in a fire sale. I describe this "as an uncharacteristically charming story" because Trump is hardly famous for making jokes at his own expense. Nonetheless, he confirmed to me in a conversation that the above account I share with you is valid. It shows Trump humorously acknowledging the implications of double-entry bookkeeping at his best.

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