Over at Quartz, someone who doesn’t know things explains to us why both Fiorina and Trump are failures at business. The explanation goes like this:
Trump had four separate bankruptcies on four individual properties.
Fiorina’s was CEO of both HP and Lucent, and things went poorly at both places.
Sounds bad, right? I mean, Trump and Fiorina both sound like terrible decision-makers.
Assuming you are an Art Major.
People who have ten minutes of business experience probably see it differently.
The truth is that none of us have the minimum data to make an informed decision about how well either of them managed anything.
How many of Trump’s properties performed well? And what were the circumstances of the bankruptcies? Professional investors know that a broad portfolio of holdings should be separated into entities than can fail without taking down the others. Trump did that. In his line of work, some failures are guaranteed. The only things we know for sure are that he set up the right kind of corporate structures and enough of his ventures went right for him to be a multi-billionaire.
Likewise, when looking at Fiorina’s record, you have to ask yourself how things would have worked out at HP and Lucent with a different CEO. And that we can’t know. If you think you know how Fiorina performed compared to the imaginary base case in your mind, you are probably projecting some bias into the situation.
So what do we know for sure about both Trump and Fiorina, business-wise?
We know both of them are seasoned at the highest levels of business. Both of them have made loads of money for themselves. And both of them are serious contenders to lead the most powerful nation in the world.
Or – as the art majors say – total failures at business.