How will Donald Trump pay the $438 million bill from civil trials?

Credit: AP

The fine of $355 million (£282 million) presents a significant problem for Donald Trump.

During the course of this trial he had claimed to have $400 million (£317 million) in cash.

But don’t forget he has also been ordered to pay E. Jean Carroll $83 million (£66 million) as part of a defamation settlement regarding a sexual assault she endured, which he denied.

Whether he actually can lay his hands of more than $400 million in cash is not clear.

He may try to raise the funds through some sort of bond, but that will be expensive. Given everything we know, the premium for lending to him will be significant.

He could sell some of his properties, but the very heart of this case was the over inflation of their values.

Obviously his skyscrapers and golf courses carry considerable worth, but selling them rapidly for anywhere near the value he claimed they should fetch will be tough.

In some senses, it will prove the point of the case, if they go for significantly less.

He may try to raise money through his supporters and political action committees (PAC) like Save America, which are aligned with his political campaign.

But there is a gulf between the amount of cash PACs have on tap and the amount he needs to pay.

He is already appealing the judge’s decision that his organisation committed fraud and they will appeal this fine.

The only shred of good news was that the Trump organisation was not dissolved.

Donald Trump is currently facing four criminal trials. Credit: AP

But Trump is banned from doing business in New York for three years, his sons Eric and Don Junior, for two years (plus they have to pay $4m each).

At a stroke this undermines his claim to have a Midas touch, to be an astute businessman who successfully ran a real estate empire and now who should be allowed to run the country again.

The business legacy his father Fred Trump built is now is jeopardy. He had started in the wake of the 1918 flu pandemic, first building garages and later houses.

Trump had taken over this real estate business and aggressively grew it. But now it appears he cut corners by over-valuing his properties to get cheap loans.

It’s estimated he saved $168 million in interest alone. Now, those financial shortcuts have come back to haunt him.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...