(CNN) – Donald Trump has built a reputation on being a good businessman. But at the very height of the mortgage market, Trump jumped in – and faltered.
On the stump, Trump spins away every business failure.
Whether it’s using bankruptcy laws for his four troubled casinos: “I have used the laws of this country just like the greatest people that you read about every day in business.”
To Trump University: “Trump University, we’re going to start it up again as soon as I win the lawsuit.”
To Trump Airlines: “I sold the airlines. I made a great deal.”
But the one you don’t hear much about: Trump Mortgage.
It launched in the spring of 2006, when there were already warning signs the housing market was headed for collapse. Months earlier, Fed Chief Alan Greenspan hinted at a bubble: “There does appear to be, at a minimum, signs of froth in some local markets, where home prices seem to have risen to unsustainable levels.”
Of course, Greenspan didn’t see the size and scope of the coming meltdown.
Apparently, neither did Donald Trump. Here’s what he told CNBC in 2006: “I think it’s a great time to start a mortgage company.”
Trump Mortgage facilitated loans between borrowers and lenders. It didn’t actually lend money to home buyers.
It promised to be the “strongest and safest residential and commercial mortgage company in the industry.”
A year later, the bottom fell out of the housing market, mortgage delinquencies spiked, and real estate prices crashed.
Trump Mortgage failed to hit its financial targets. Less than two years after it opened, the company was history.
These days, Trump’s campaign downplays the failed business.
In an e-mail to CNN Money, it said this was “a tiny deal that Mr. Trump looked at, but never ultimately moved forward with because Mr. Trump decided he didn’t want to be in this business foreseeing the market crash.”
Is that just more spin on a failed business venture? That’s for the voters to decide.
Copyright 2016 CNN