(c) – Stock.Adobe.com

Out of the Circle

April 28, 2024

When I wrote this Donald Trump had just won a legal appeal to have the bond in one of his cases reduced from almost a half-billion dollars to $175 million. On its face that seems like a huge victory.

If I had twelve more lifetimes making what I made in this one, I would still probably not earn even the amount of interest on either of those amounts. It is a huge decrease.

I have been following this story. I initially thought that Mr. Trump had to put up the half-billion before he could appeal his loss in his fraud trial. He apparently thought so too because that was what he was ‘Truthing’ initially. I misunderstood. We both did. He was able to appeal. What the bond does is to prevent the seizure of his assets while the appeal is processed. The person to whom a judgment is granted wants to be sure that they will get their award if the verdict is upheld. The bond is to make sure the money is available when the matter is finalized.

Mr. Trump rightly pointed out that if his property were seized and sold and he ultimately won his appeal, he’d have lost his property. He’d get the proceeds of the seized asset(s) and I believe nine percent interest. But the property would be lost, and Mr. Trump has some very impressive properties. He stood to lose a lot. This bond decrease was a huge lifeline for his wealth situation. I have a better understanding of how these things work now too. No dog in the fight here but as anyone who knows me knows, I’m very curious. I ask lots of questions and think about what I learn.

In a related story, Alina Habba, Mr. Trump’s attorney in the trial, made a victory-lap statement including the following, in regard to Letitia James, the Attorney General who won the huge settlement against Mr. Trump, et al. Ms. Habba made the following public statement in regard to Ms. James:

“I hope she took a little piece of humble pie today because that’s what was served to her. Just a little. But we’ll be serving a lot more of that in the next couple of years.”

The first thing that came to mind when I heard this was a joke I heard years ago.

There was a guy in a very little car who cut off an 18-wheeler. As soon as he could, the driver of the 18-wheeler forced the guy off the road and blocked him from escape. The trucker got out of his truck, went to the back, and got out a sledgehammer. He walked back to the driver’s side of the little car and told the driver to get out of the car. He walked him over to the side of the road and drew a circle in the dirt of the berm of the road. He then pointed menacingly at the car driver and motioned for him to stand in the circle. “You stay in that circle. Do NOT move.” The car driver meekly complied in the shadow of the much larger, sledgehammer-wielding truck driver. Then the truck driver went over to the little car and proceeded to demolish it in a frothing rage. It took almost 30 minutes for the trucker in a blind rage to finish his destruction. Exhausted and sweating profusely, he turned back to the driver who was laughing uncontrollably. The trucker could not believe what he was seeing. He walked back to the driver and said “I just destroyed your car. It is beyond repair. What in the world are you laughing about?” The car driver, struggling to complete sentences for laughing as hard as he was said, “Yes, you did, but while you were doing it, I jumped out of the circle three times and you didn’t even see me.”

Mr. Trump was given a huge gift allowing him to post a smaller bond, but he still owes the half-billion dollars. If he wins on appeal, not a sure thing according to many experts, he will get his posted bond back with interest. If he does not win, he owes the full 460+ million. Plus whatever interest accrues in the meantime. NOT the 175 million he posted. I believe the interest on his penalty accrues about a million dollars every nine days. The interest already accrued is more than I have earned over my whole career; Will ever earn. As an interesting aside, the validity of that 175 million is being challenged in recent news throwing more shade on the whole story.

I have no dog in this fight. It does seem to me, though, that Alina Habba is a lot like the guy who got his car smashed celebrating what seems like a win; A momentary “win”. 175 million is still a huge number. It is a win ONLY because 175 is smaller than 464 (and counting).

There is a similar football-related maxim about spiking the ball on the five-yard line… in other words, celebrating before you actually have the points on the board. I don’t know how this is all going to resolve. This particular case is not going to add or take away anything from my life or finances. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy,

“The person who thinks he has the tiger by the tail often ends up inside”.

If a fall is coming, it will indeed have been preceded by proud words.

I have always believed the most painful words to blow back in your face are your own. The hardest to eat. If things don’t work out the way Ms. Habba expects, she will have to eat her words. With a side of humble pie.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Subscribe to our newsletter

White Cane Coffee presents Coffee & a Conversation

Don't Miss