Unlike stocks and bonds, real estate assets cannot be really obscured from the president’s view. Foreign leaders and domestic businesses who support Trump businesses may expect the Trump administration owes them something. Making arrangements that would foster this expectation is a problem even if Trump doesn’t reciprocate.
Trump appointees and underlings could feel uneasy about taxing, regulating or overseeing their boss’ businesses, even if Trump never explicitly sends them that message. And Trump has not shown himself indifferent to flattery. What if businessmen, diplomats and potentates make it plain they’re subsidizing or patronizing businesses he still owns?
Thus, Trump needs to push the management and ownership of his companies as far away from him as possible.
Here’s one way he could do it: He could put his hard assets such as hotels, golf courses and buildings under management by an independent trustee charged with selling them at a reasonably expeditious but not a fire-sale pace. Such an arrangement might be called an occluded trust, since it cannot be fully blind. Then the cash proceeds would go into a truly blind trust.