Goldberg: Why is Peter Thiel, a GOP megadonor, buying a Maltese passport?
Peter Thiel, the billionaire tech tycoon who donated $2 million to Trump’s inaugural fund, is taking a trip to Malta with his family. And not just any trip. The trip, which lasts through December, involves a special Maltese passport that has come to be known as the “Thiel passport.” While the passport is now the symbol of Malta’s Trump-like efforts to attract foreign investment, it was actually invented by the Italian-born financier, who was born and raised in New York. From The New York Times:
The Trump family is hoping to use the money — a reported $1.8 million donation for inaugural festivities, according to The Associated Press, and millions more to renovate the Republican president’s Manhattan office and golf course — to build a casino. The New York Times reported Wednesday that Mr. Trump is considering using the passport in any foreign casino deals. Mr. Trump’s company is also planning to open a second hotel on the site of a failed casino in Macao, in China, which would be built on the same model as Mr. Trump Tower, he said…
And while it’s true that an Italian-born financier might see a deal with the Chinese government as a good opportunity, it would be interesting to see if Thiel is looking at other foreign opportunities in the coming years.
How much would a casino in Malta cost if it were built on similar terms as Trump Tower, or if the casino in Macao were built on similar terms? Could Thiel and his family help fund a Trump-like casino?
From The New York Times (emphasis added):
“I think that my father is a very shrewd businessman,” said Peter G. Thiel, the son of Max who launched PayPal and is investing in a new social networking platform, to which he is donating $1.8 million and $1 million more in his bid for the presidency next year. Mr. Thiel, 50, said he expected to be called on to make donations of tens of millions of dollars to his father’s presidential campaign and “on all