What’s In a Name? Donald Trump and his casino arm, Trump Entertainment, filed for bankruptcy for a third time in February 2009. This third bankruptcy filing is not too big of an indictment on Trump given that the economy has hurt the gaming industry nationwide. Trump tried to flip a deal in which he would buy out the bondholders but those who owned the bonds didn’t go for it but it was announced in November 2009 that Trump and his daughter Ivanka would retain a stake in the company and take it out of bankruptcy in a new deal. But there was a fly in the ointment. That fly was none other than Carl Icahn who is a very prominent investor. Seems Ichan bought a bunch of the bonds and Icahn announced a rival plan to take over the Trump casinos.
So, now the two titans face off in bankruptcy court and the most interesting charges flying have to do with the “Trump” name. Icahn want’s to buy the casinos and keep the name without Donald or Ivanka. Some say that the Trump image has been tarnished by a number of financial battles in which The Apprentice star finds himself. In fact, Icahn lawyers in court filings said that, “The Trump name may no longer be ‘synonymous with business acumen, high quality and style, a luxury lifestyle and enormous success’ as Mr. Trump asserts.” Say what you want about Donald’s hair but there is no way that Mr. Trump would allow an attack on the family name to go unanswered. He implied under crossexamination that Mr. Icahn’s name has been associated with some less-than-successful deals of his own saying, “Well, Mr. Icahn has led companies into many, many bankruptcies.”
So the fight goes on. Trump is arguing that Icahn does not have the right to take his name if he takes the casinos. Icahn says that he does. But, there’s the kicker and perhaps the ultimate insult. A Wall Street Journal article says that the main reason Mr. Icahn wants to retain the Trump name is that it would cost $15 to $20 million to change the signs. He says that, otherwise, the name has nothing to do with the future success of the properties. Ouch! In court, Trump says that Icahn should not be able to to take over the casinos at all, painting an unflattering picture of a quick buck artist, perhaps not unlike Gordon Gekko. Trump doesn’t say that Icahn won’t spend money to rebuild the casinos and the brand name, the New York Post reported that he says Icahn is a “cheapskate” who wouldn’t spend three dollars. Mr. Trump says, “If Carl spends $3, I’d be shocked.”
Now, who knows how this whole thing will come out in the wash. But, the fact that anyone is saying that the only reason he wants to keep the Trump name on the buildings is becuase he doesn’t want to spend the money to change the name is amazing. It may support Trump’s assertion about Icahn or it may be Mr. Icahn’s way of sticking it to a rival. Either way, it seems rather odd for someone to be able to lose his name if he loses his business. I suppose it has happened before but still…a Trump named casino without a Trump? I guess it’s better than an alternative like “Icahn Casino” which is pronounced Eye Con. Somehow I think that there may be a bit of a difficulty in the marketing department with attracting customers to I Con Casino. It workd for ConAir which was a ficticious movie starring Nicolas Cage and it works with bug killer..D-Con…but I’m just not certain about a Casino. Maybe the Trump name is worth more than Icahn is letting on.
Weather Bottom Line: We did get to 41 but largely, the day was just like Sunday which was still cold and not feeling like much of a warm up. A system is running along the Gulf Coast and will take a turn across Georgia and then off the North Carolina Coast and up the eastern seaboard. Look for more snow stories from the Northeast this week but not as dramatic as the last couple of storms. The bulk of this guy should stay far enough offshore as to not affect more than coastal regions with snow, but it still may be significant in some areas. As the low passes us to the South, the long wave pattern will again adjust with the base of the trof to our South. A couple of flurries will be possible Tuesday night or early Wednesday but the moisture will more or less be cut off by the Appalacians so it doesn’t look like a big deal. I still think that we don’t get out of the 30’s on Tuesday or Wednesday and maybe even Thursday. We get some sun on Friday and move to the low 40’s before getting into the average range for Saturday…which is about 51. So don’t break out the tanning butter. But, if we can’t have snow, I say go to 70. This Houston-type of winter weather in the 40’s and clouds stinks. If its gonna be cold, then lets have some exciting snow. If not, then let spring hurry up and get here and let me plant my sunflowers. A little rain Sunday or Monday won’t be out of the question as the long wave pattern may be breaking after about 2 months of it being stuck.