Donald Trump told CNBC on Friday how he would manage the US debt: "I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal." The GOP candidate for president clarified over the weekend, admitting the debt strategy is different for the government than in the private sector. Trump told CNN: "People who said I want to go and buy debt and default on debt... these people are crazy. This is the United States government... you never have to default because you print the money."
Borrowing so much that you're in an unexpectedly powerful position to renegotiate with creditors is the strategy at the heart of Trump's 1997 book, Trump: The Art of the Comeback. He went to the bankers and begged for leniency and renegotiation, what he called the "smartest thing I ever did." His position was so dire that those who had backed him on his giant Atlantic City casino operations had to renegotiate terms and take what they could get -- or risk getting nothing. "It crushed my ego, my pride," Trump writes. "I hated having to go to the bankers with my hat in my hand. And yes, my lifestyle was a little cramped for a while. I guess all that's important. But getting a deal on the table--without filing for bankruptcy--was the most important thing of all."
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