Ex-Crain’s New York editor: Why I ran Trump’s fake worth
Greg David, the former editor of Crain’s New York Business and a current columnist for the paper, writes about why he published Donald Trump’s obviously inflated net worth in the early 1990s.
David writes, “Only weeks later, Trump’s financial empire began to crumble. In May, Forbes retracted its previous estimate, having unearthed nonpublic documents that suggested a cash squeeze for the no-longer billionaire.
“Felder was right and I was wrong. Donald Trump could not be trusted.
“However, privately held companies are not required to disclose their revenues. The privately held companies list was (and is) one of the most popular publications by Crain’s and other regional business publications. We didn’t have the resources to research all 200 or so companies we ranked, nor the legal authority to audit them in any event. We hoped companies would be deterred from providing inflated numbers because it would get them in trouble with their bankers or suppliers or customers (which sometimes did happen). And we told readers the numbers were volunteered by the companies.
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