Now that the cat is out about his nearly one billion dollar loss in 1995, Trump, and his cronies, have been claiming Trump is a genius because he "came back" stronger each time after his four bankruptcies. Trump, himself, claims to know the tax and bankruptcy laws intimately and expertly (actually, "better than almost anybody else", but this can be attributed to his usual "puffing") and boasts of his use of them. In fact, listening carefully to his campaign rhetoric and coupling it with what he has said about his financial practices in the past (in interviews and print), he, essentially, claims to know, and has more experience than, the vast majority of like empire-builders, although he also claims that "everyone does it".
Taking him at his word, shouldn't he, then, know how to stave off bankruptcy, which wreaks havoc on investors, suppliers, communities and, most deeply, employees? Shouldn't he be able to "see the signs" of impending financial difficulty, or take precautions to weather temporary financial or property recessions or business dips?
As a financial fiduciary, doesn't he owe a duty to investors? As a consignee of a contract, doesn't he owe the co-contractor a debt of good faith attempts to pay for the product or service contracted for, especially upon its completion. As a business member of the community, doesn't he owe the community that granted him license to be a responsible and civic-minded tenant? And, as an employer, doesn't he owe his employees a sense of security and loyalty?
Perhaps he does see the "signs of doom", but stopping it may not be part his greater plan.
Trump's Explanation for Not Paying Income Taxes
Trump claims it’s his “fiduciary duty” to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more than what’s legally required. Putting aside the fact that a "fiduciary duty" cannot, by law, run to his family nor to his employees (although a quasi-legal duty does run to them as above described), the term "fiduciary duty" entails far more than trying to maximize net gain (his true goal in manipulating the tax law system). Trump appears to have a "hole in his head" since he omits a vast amount of what being a fiduciary entails.
(I apologize for being specific, but, given Trump's perversion of the role of fiduciary--and the tendency of his supporters not to care--and for context, the following "lesson" needs teaching.)
Fiduciary, a Person Instilled with an Obligation to Act "in Good Faith":
A whole area of contract law is devoted to the term "fiduciary". In essence, it is one who has been entrusted to act in good faith (fairly and honestly and never selfishly) on behalf of others, for THEIR benefit, and being bound to act in THEIR best interests. The relationship between "fiduciary" and "entrustor" (the one(s) to whom the duties are owed) is borne in contract or "by operation of law". The specific duties acquired when one accepts (or has been imposed with) the role of fiduciary derive from, first, the contract, but also from laws and court precedent, and varies with the nature of the enterprise and the specific needs of the entrustor(s).
In general, there are seven duties imposed on fiduciaries. The two most important are:
1. a duty to exercise care and skill in line with the that promised by the fiduciary or as imposed by law. The requisite "standard of care" is to be the highest; the skill is to be that ordinarily expected from similar fiduciaries unless the fiduciary has offered or demonstrated a greater skill;
2. a duty of loyalty, investing entrustors with the legal right to rely on the honesty of their fiduciary. This trust includes the right to rely upon the fiduciary always acting in the best interests of the entrustor, even if it is contrary to the interests of the fiduciary.
(The other five are listed below. Again, apologies)
Violation of Any Duty is a Breach of Trust
When a fiduciary violates any of the seven duties (or any other as exists), a "breach" occurs, which is actionable. Trump has, often, been sued and lost, due to numerous violations over the years.
When a pattern of recurring events is shown that demonstrates a reckless or conscious disregard for the rights of entrustors by a fiduciary, then an inference of premeditation can be drawn. When that pattern can be tied to a plan of action that deliberately leads to entrustors' loss (or loss by any faction that has legally-recognized trust in the actor), and enures to the benefit of the fiduciary (or corporate officer or contract-signee or employer), then a claim of actionable fraud can be made.
Given the statements of Trump of his superior knowledge, superior insight, superior empire-building plan and in the wake of forecasted failures his companies (thus, damage to investors, suppliers and employees) have suffered, can anyone deny Trump may have intentionally caused or allowed these failures in order to further his greater business plan?
Given that the information about his activities has been leaked bit-by-bit over a prolonged period of time, and, only now has Trump fessed up to his "genius" in building his empire, is it no wonder that no one, yet, has sufficiently matched all the pieces to his purely selfish and self-serving empire-building puzzle?
Perhaps, now, some one will ... sufficiently to present a case to the Attorney General to put this ... person into an eight-by-twelve cell.
3. a duty to account; reveal as needed, requested or under law, the transactions and accounting undertaken on the entrustors' behalf;
4. a duty of confidentiality;
5. a duty of full disclosure; reveal as needed, requested or under law, to the entrustors that which concerns the enterprise;
6. a duty to act fairly; since the fiduciary is an agent of the entrustors, what the fiduciary does can "relate back" to them, opening them up to legal proceedings, even though wholly done independently by the fiduciary; and
7. a duty of good faith and fair dealing. "Good Faith" means that when a fiduciary exercises discretion to act, it must be for a purpose within the reasonable contemplation of the parties (expected or anticipated to be done in order to further the enterprise). "Fair dealing" means an honest and reasonable belief that the action to be taken is rightful.