July 13, 2005

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Dollars and The Dons

"Reality" TV rarely lives up to its name. Take Donald Trump. The man has gone bankrupt twice, yet his "The Apprentice" is based on the premise of eager business school types striving to learn at the feet of this supposed master business man. Now Mr Trump is suing Hong Kong tycoons Henry Cheng and Vincent Lo (and others) for US$500 million, alleging they have sold some prime NY property at below market rates. The short story is Messers Cheng and Lo bailed Trump out back in 1990 when he went bust, and turned around and sold the properties last year. Trump kept a 30% interest and now alleges these savvy businessmen sold the property despite significantly higher offers (an allegation which defies belief). In the words of the SCMP report:

The dispute is a lesson for fans of Mr Trump's television show, The Apprentice: retain majority control of an investment or else be left in the dark.
Can't wait for that episode.

Perhaps New York's The Don could learn from our home grown version. Despite running in an election who's outcome was not in doubt, and facing only 800 voters, Donald Tsang managed to raise HK$27.1 million in donations to his campaign. This literal embarrasment of riches was despite Donald Tsang's limit of HK$100,000, put in place to avoid "money politics". Below the jump is the SCMP's graphic of who gave what. Never let it be said Mr Tsang is in trall to the tycoons of this city. Hong Kong's The Don couldn't spend even a quarter of the money raised in one of the world's most expensive election campaigns (he spent HK$5,125 per voter). Even his campaign director donated not just his time but HK$100,000. The balance of the monies were given to various Hong Kong charities.

When does Hong Kong's The Apprentice, starring our very own The Don, start? Maybe Donald Trump could watch and learn.

From the SCMP, Donald Tsang's election campaign monies:


posted by Simon on 07.13.05 at 09:35 AM in the


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