Just When We Need Clarity and Humor

Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that Donald Trump is suing the writer of a book about him for “defamation.” (See story) The alleged crime was reporting his net worth was between $150 million and $250 million.

At various times, Trump has publicly proclaimed that his wealth ranges from 3 to 6 billion, and in his deposition made over a year ago, he claimed that the 4 billion figure did not include his “brand value.”  The deposition, according to the Journal, goes on to say, “My net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feeling.”

What refreshing candor!  I think we could all say the same, though we might be too embarrassed to say it if we knew we’d be quoted on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.  But such fluctuating feelings — and estimated values — clearly lie behind many if not most of our economic decisions.  If so many of us had not felt exactly the same way, we would not be facing foreclosures or defaults now. And the economy would be in better shape.

And yet there is no doubt that what he says is true.  Our perceptions do fluctuate with our feelings.  The difference is that for Trump, apparently,  his feelings dictate the truth.