Bad Bets

How Donald Trump lost $916 million in 1995, probably

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One of the great remaining mysteries from the bombshell New York Times report revealing that Donald Trump lost $916 million in 1995 is this:

How in the hell does one person lose $916 million in a single year?

1995 came in the midst of an economic boom in America, remember; and according to the economist Alan Cole, Trump’s $916 million claim would represent almost 2% of the entire country’s net operating losses in 1995.

So how did the genius businessman bleed so much cash in 1995?

Here are a few plausible guesses, based entirely on what we know about Donald Trump, and his questionable business record, and the glorious year 1995:

Donald Trump spent $35 million on Pogs.

Donald Trump put down a $40 million non-refundable deposit into licensing rights for all future sequels and spinoffs to the movie Waterworld.

Donald Trump installed a solid gold Zima tap in his pool house.

Donald Trump bet $85 million that Buzz Lightyear murdered Woody at the end of Toy Story.

Donald Trump spent $5 million on a life-sized Furby likeness of himself.

Donald Trump opened a specialty store in the heart of Times Square to sell the Apple Newton.

Right before the release of Clueless, Donald Trump made an aggressive bet against schoolgirl plaid couture.

Donald Trump poured $20 million into the ill-fated Donald J. Trump Waterworld Memorabilia Store and Family Seafood Restaurant.

Donald Trump launched an unsuccessful bid to make himself “the Crystal Pepsi King of the Susquehanna Valley.”

Donald Trump endowed a chair at the Arizona State University to investigate whether “there are actual mermaids, and whether they are horny.”

Donald Trump attempted to form a wholesome boy band, The T*R*U*M*P Boys, bankrolling their first single “Baby Let’s Stay Up All Night (at Trump Tower).”

Donald Trump bet on the Cubs.

Donald Trump paid a gaming studio $48 million to produce “Phog,” an ethereal computer game where the player must solve a series of puzzles in order to obtain the ultimate goal: a bonus chapter of The Art of the Deal.

Donald Trump invested $65 million in Waterworld World, a Waterworld-themed amusement park that offered “post-apocalyptic fun for the little ones.”

Donald Trump paid Sophie B. Hawkins $15 million to follow him around and perform “As I Lay Me Down” as he went mattress shopping.

Donald Trump rented out the Lincoln Center movie theater so that he could be alone with the series finale of Dinosaurs.

Donald Trump gave $3 million to a fraudulent Japanese tourism company to take him on a hunting mission where he could “murder a real Pokemon.”

Donald Trump doled out $65 million to a construction company to erect a 6,000-foot residential tower before realizing he was dealing with a 12-year-old SimCity player.

Donald Trump paid a private investigator $1.2 million to discover “the current whereabouts and activities of my arch-nemesis, the fetid & devious Frito Bandito.”

Donald Trump provided $10 million to an Italian machinist who promised to build him a working RoboCop suit that he could wear to the CableACE Awards.

Donald Trump was forced to eat over $25 million in losses after Cinemax turned down the broadcast rights on his hourlong special, “The Donald J. Trump Hip-Hop Magic Spectacular featuring David Copperfield and Coolio.”

Donald Trump wasted $6 million on magical finger extension potions.

Donald Trump lost hundreds of millions of dollars on New Jersey casinos because he’s not a talented businessman.

Donald Trump saw Waterworld in theaters 23,000 times.