Dueling Fools Dueling Fools
April 22, 1998

Playing the Trump Card

One of my favorite Donald Trump anecdotes stemmed from an incident where his limo blew a tire and a passing motorist pulled over to help fix the flat. When Trump asked how he could repay the favor, the man only asked for Trump to send a bouquet of flowers to the man's wife. Well, Trump sent the flowers, a florist's shop worth, and a note -- explaining that the man's house had just been paid off.

For shareholders who have seen their faith in Trump rewarded with a stock price that has cratered to a third of what it was just two years ago, where did the white picket fences go? Does the elevator from penthouse to pavement have a return address?

This week, Dale Wettlaufer and Paul Larson are Dueling Fools. Is the debt-heavy Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (NYSE: DJT) destined to thrive or barely survive? The chips are down for this war of wagers, and I bet you will enjoy this one.

You Get to Vote!

After reading all of the arguments, cast your vote for the winner of the Duel. We'll tabulate results each week and revisit them from time to time to see whether you were right! As always, we invite you to join us in the Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts Message board to continue the duel.

[Any suggestions, comments, praise, or flames, please send them along to the Dueling Fools Team.]

The Bull...
Man, I must be a masochist taking the bull side of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts (NYSE: DJT). I mean, come on. The stock's trading symbol is made up of the initials of Donald J. Trump, whose marquee name is highlighted in the company's SEC filings as an asset. I sometimes think that at least one of the syllables in "asset" captures the essence of this throwback to the Gilded Age.
The Bear...
Trump is a company that is in dire straits. It is a company with a mountain of debt that faces ever-increasing competitive pressures on all fronts. With the amount of debt the company carries, even the slightest decrease in performance could start the company down a path that could inevitably lead to bankruptcy. Let's first take a look at some of the pressures Trump faces.

Results for last week's H&R Block Duel

Answer Percentage
I can't make up my mind


TMF Seymor's Bull argument


IdidMrsA's Bear argument


They were both excellent


They were both lame


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