26 April 2018

The Long Con

In criminal lingo, a long con is a scam that can take a lengthy time to set up and operate but then potentially pays huge rewards. Arguable the best example of a long con would be Bernie Madoff's elaborate Ponzi scheme that bilked tens of billions from unsuspecting investors.

On Monday, The Washington Post published a revealing article (link here) by a seasoned writer who, when young and inexperienced, had been conned by Donald Trump into including him on the Forbes 400 List of the wealthiest people in the world. As part of this scam, Trump pretended to be someone else to verify his false claims about wealth.

The writer still has recordings from those now-debunked verification interviews, and it's obvious Trump is pretending to be someone else.

Thanks to his inclusion on the super wealthy list, Trump began to cultivate the false impression that he was super rich when he was actually far less so. The first big payday for this scam was when he landed the lead slot on the first season of The Apprentice as an allegedly successful billionaire and one of the world's allegedly richest men.

The Apprentice made Trump a worldwide celebrity and significantly boosted his chances when he ran for President. This despite the reality that Trump was close to broke when he started on The Apprentice and almost filed for personal bankruptcy. His businesses ultimately filed for bankrutcy six times.

Bloomberg Media ran a great follow-up article (link here) with the title "How Long Can Trump's Long Con Last?" The writer of that piece thinks that Trump's window of opportunity on this elaborate con is about up. Good. Bring down his scam.

Was this long con planned or was it accidental? We'll probably never know for certain, but Trump doesn't seem to have the vision, intelligence, discretion, or patience to set something like this in motion. I'd argue that he was extremely lucky and helped by coincidence.

And a long history of shameless lying certainly helped, too.

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