Blind Trust

The folks that were disappointed with the results of last November’s election keep agitating for the President to put his companies in a blind trust. I submit that that this is 1) totally unnecessary and 2) that it is better that he does not.

For full disclosure, I do not think much of the current POTUS. My opinion is that he is a bully, a bigot, and a boor. But he is what he is and what he is is his BRAND.

Brand was once a big deal. Old-time brands like General Electric, Bell System, RCA, Ford, Buick, and many more stood for something. You heard or read the brand and you expected a certain quality, reliability, working-life, price-value, design characteristic that you could rely on and purchase dependably. Sometime in the 1970’s or 1980’s, the marketeers got hold of “brand” and began to abuse it. They applied it to products outside the traditional envelope of the companies. They applied it to imports and domesitically produced products of inferior quality. “Brand” became the thing instead of the qualities that the brand stood for and made the brand desirable. It seems that lately, Apple and Nordstrom are the only two brands I can name that that really stand for something consistent over the years. Brand has been devalued.

Meanwhile, back at the White House, a former TV actor is playing the part of a former real-estate businessman who has been elected President of the United States. Before he was elected, said businessman made most of his money not from real-estate transactions but from branding. Attaching his name to things, not real-estate wheeling-dealing. That is why you will never see his US Income Tax returns.

If (when?) he makes a mess of the USA brand, his name will be indelibly attached to the mess. If his name is trash, so is his fortune, blind trust or no blind trust.

He has made a number of good appointments and at least one bad one so far. If those ladies and gentlemen can keep him from running the ship onto the rocks, he (and we) will come out fine. If not we will all suffer.