Trump’s Russian Loans Are An Irrelevance – He Could Refinance Within His Own Cabinet – Forbes

I’m watching this haring off after any information about Donald Trump and possible loans from Russia with an increasing sense of mystification. Not because there seems to be almost no information upon which people can base any conclusions but because of the obvious economic point that whatever did happen is an irrelevance. Loans or no loans, from Russia, Russians or people connected with Russia, it simply doesn’t matter. For imagine that there are some such loans. No, just imagine–what possible problem could they cause? What leverage is there?

None.

And thus I do find all of this entirely mystifying:

The former head of MI6 has said Donald Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis.

That would be interesting of course but it’s also quite obviously not true. The Russian state is not in the habit of handing out loans to real estate tycoons. That’s also not quite what was said:

As for the president’s personal position, he said, “What lingers for Trump may be what deals—on what terms—he did after the financial crisis of 2008 to borrow Russian money when others in the west apparently would not lend to him.”

There’s a certain weight on that “apparently” there. For we are in that usual fog surrounding intelligence matters of not having a great deal of information. Do note that this is all entirely different from the allegations about contacts during the election campaign. Where it seems that GCHQ did have something to do with it:

Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told.

That “has been told” is the British newspaper code for “this is from an official source but we’re not allowed officially to say so or which one.”

But to this idea of Russian loans in 2008. Consider the economics of the matter right now. The concern is that the President owes some chunk of money, or at least his business does, to some people we would prefer he didn’t. Owing that money might produce some form of leverage that the people owed the money have over the elected head of state. That’s what the concern is, isn’t it?

And it’s a ridiculous concern. Does anyone really believe that the sitting President of the United States could not refinance a loan? “Hi Jamie, the Russians are pressuring me over that money I owe them, wanna help me out bigly?” Half his cabinet seems to have worked for Lloyd Blankfein at one time or another. In fact, given the make up of his cabinet they could probably finance it by a whip round while sitting at said cabinet table.

Whether or not Donald Trump borrowed money from Russia or Russians is interesting, of course it is, but it’s economically irrelevant. Given the ease with which the President could refinance any borrowings he does have there’s simply no importance here, none.

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