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Donald Trump on Bank Loans, Economic Woes

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," September 30, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, so, will all of this government spending come back to bite us in the butt and then get out of this range, maybe in another downward range?

Well, Donald Trump is no fan of big-government spending or taxes. He joins me now by phone.

Now, Donald, you are getting mildly more optimistic, but not dramatically, so. In fact, you said that there is still plenty of trouble to come. When did you mean by that?

DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & CEO, TRUMP HOTELS & CASINO RESORTS: Well, there is trouble, but I feel much better than certainly I did a year ago. A year ago, we were looking at the Great Depression. And, right now, Neil, it looks like things are certainly getting better.

The bigger problem is, if you have a deal, if you want to build something, no matter what you want to do, if you go to a bank, they won`t loan money. They won`t loan money to anybody, no matter who it is.

And, you know, without the loaning of money...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Is that still — is that still the case?

TRUMP: Oh, it`s absolutely the case.

CAVUTO: Really?

TRUMP: In fact, I would even say probably more so now than it would have been two or three months ago. And two or three months ago, it was stifled. But the banks are not loaning money.

Now, perhaps they`re building up their balance sheet. I don`t know what they`re doing. But, if you go to a bank, anybody going to a bank can not get money for any project, to purchase anything. No matter what you do, there is no money out there.

CAVUTO: Can you?

TRUMP: I don`t need the money. That is the nice part.

CAVUTO: All right. All right.

TRUMP: I`m using own money...

CAVUTO: OK. But...

TRUMP: ... fortunately, because, if I wasn`t, I wouldn`t be doing anything.

CAVUTO: The reason why I mention — I understand, but the reason what I mention it is that everyone has been waiting for next sort of financial shoe to drop. And they say it is in commercial real estate, and — and that that is just beginning.

What do you say?

TRUMP: Well, I`m a little bit lucky, in that I have buildings that are fully lease, and I have leases that were signed in many cases two years ago. So, I have good rates them. And, if you don`t, I mean, you`re in serious trouble.

If you have empty space, it is not doing very well right now. Ideally, I could — I could look at a building and see when a lease is signed and I will tell you if they made a good deal or a bad deal.

The other problem is, if you have buildings with debt coming due on the building, even if you have a good, successful job, and with good leases, the banks probably won`t do much to renew you, although, generally speaking, they don`t want to take over the building.

So, if you have debt coming due over the next year or two years, you’ve got yourself a problem.

CAVUTO: All right. But we have got indications from a number of top Wall Street guys today, one saying, you know, interest rates are going to start jumping, appreciably — not good, I would imagine, for guys who rent or buy from you, let alone you. Are you worried?

TRUMP: It is not good for anybody. And rates, I don`t know if they`re going up. It`s sort of interesting. The rates are very low, but you can`t get money. Normally, when you can`t get money, the rates would be through the roof.

CAVUTO: Right.

TRUMP: But, you know, I see these two percent and one percent rates. I even have them. I have some rates that are so low, I can`t believe it. But if you go out and get money, you would think they would say, OK, give me four percent, give me five percent.

They don`t have any money. They say they don`t have it. And it is a very troubling situation, and especially when you look at unemployment. Beyond deals, when you look at unemployment, how is employment going to be taken care of if the banks aren`t loaning money for jobs?

CAVUTO: All right. But the — what we are seeing the government tell the banks is, we`re going to keep the spigot rolling. In other words, we are going to keep being a backstop for you and we`re going to keep, you know, stimulating the economy. We are going to plan health care now.

Do you think the government is doing too much? Or do you think that Wall Street is either properly ignoring it or whistling past the graveyard?

TRUMP: Well, I think, a year ago, the government did the right thing, or, really, I believe we would have been in a depression. I saw things that I had never seen in my life before. So, I think they really did...

CAVUTO: What was the right thing they did? The financial rescue?

TRUMP: The right thing is, they stuffed — they stuffed the banks with money.

CAVUTO: I see.

TRUMP: They gave them money, or you would have had a run on every bank. And the strongest bank can not stand — withstand a run.

So, they did the right thing in that way. Stimulus is questionable. What’s going to happen when the stimulus wears off? Are they going to do it again? Who is going to be paying for this? Is it going to be my grandchildren? I mean, the debt of this country is so enormous that you say, you know, where is all this money coming from?

The problem is, with all of the money that has been given to the banks, some of it paid back, the banks are not loaning the money. And that wasn`t the deal.

CAVUTO: All right. But the government still spends money recklessly. I mean, you could handle this problem for all of us if you simply cut a check, Donald, but that`s, I guess, not...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Well, that would be a nice thing to do. And I will tell you what. If I could do it, I would do it. I would be very happy to do it, if it would solve the problem.

CAVUTO: But, you know, the rich — rich folks like yourself are being asked to pony up more, maybe a lot more. What do you make of that, that it`s going to go well beyond the 40 percent top Fed rate, that we might go to 50 percent, maybe even 60 percent?

TRUMP: Well, once you take away the incentives from people like myself and other people, all of sudden, you don`t have jobs, and we go elsewhere, I guess. I`m not speaking for me. I`m speaking for a lot of other people. You go elsewhere. You go to other countries. You do other things outside of this country.

And this country already has enough of that problem. There are enough people in this country that are going elsewhere. So...

CAVUTO: What would make you go? Would you ever entertain that?

TRUMP: I don`t know. I like this country.

CAVUTO: At what level does Donald Trump say, enough?

TRUMP: I`m getting too old say I want to go and travel for 22 hours.

But I will tell you this. There are a lot of people that will be leaving this country and investing elsewhere if they start raising rates.

CAVUTO: All right. Donald Trump, always a pleasure, my friend. Thank you very much.

TRUMP: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Donald Trump. All right.

END

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