March 28, 2024

"Mr. Trump ended the first day of public trading $4.6 billion richer on paper...."

I'm reading "Trump’s Social Media Company Opens New Avenue for Conflicts of Interest/Ethics experts say Trump Media, now a publicly traded company, would present a new way for foreign actors or others to influence Donald J. Trump, if he is elected president" (NYT).

Isn't it funny how his haters got him kicked off Twitter and — only because of that — he made his own website and 3 years later, it makes him $4.6 billion?

Anyway, this new Times article, by Sharon LaFraniere — "an investigative reporter currently focusing on Republican candidates in the 2024 presidential campaign" (I love the plural) — casts shade on Trump's insanely good fortune. 
Should he retain his control of the [media] company while in office, the ethical questions that arose from Mr. Trump’s hotels and other properties in his first term as president would only multiply when applied to a publicly traded media company, they said.

“This will be a very easy vehicle for foreign governments that want to curry favor with the president to throw money at him in a way that benefits his financial bottom line,” said Jack Goldsmith, a law professor at Harvard University and a top Justice Department official under President George W. Bush. 
Corporations and other players wanting to sway Mr. Trump could buy advertising on Truth Social, other experts said. They could try to get on his radar by buying shares in the company.

I said it 2 days ago: "Any hope of characterizing the buying of the stock, bidding up the price, as an illegal campaign contribution? It's handing billions of dollars to Trump."

Surely, investigations are underway and indictments can — to use the NYT phrase — only multiply.

As the nation’s leader whose every utterance is monitored around the world, Mr. Trump would also be in an extraordinary position to drive traffic — and ultimately revenue — by the habitual use of the site.

Maybe they should have thought of that before they kicked him off Twitter. But even after Truth Social came into being, people thought about it as a tawdry backwater.

I know I did. Here was my reaction — back in April 2022 — after Elon Musk took over Twitter: "Does Trump mean it when he says he doesn't want to get back on Twitter?" I'd been chatting with Meade, who said "[Trump] has his own platform. That’s all he needs to get his message out." And I said:

His own platform is bad. It's dead. He can't want to rule over that. It's too small. And the great fun of Twitter is — or was and will be again — that everybody's there in the same arena and if you say something, you get reactions, including negative reactions. And Trump gets tremendous energy from his enemies' negativity.

It's bad. It's dead. I laugh at myself. Trump does so many things that seem wrong, but some of the things — not all of the things — go confoundingly right, very right. 

Back to the NYT article:

If Mr. Trump were re-elected and used Truth Social to communicate in the way that he used Twitter during his first term, [said Richard Painter, who served as the chief ethics lawyer to President George W. Bush and who later ran for Congress as a Democrat], “he would be helping himself to profits through United States government traffic” while putting Truth Social’s competitors at an unfair disadvantage....

Oh! The irony! It's so unfair. They tried to shut him up by taking Twitter away, and he did what he could to restore something of a speech platform, and now, he has the unfair good luck that it's making him billions.

What do you think of that phrase "United States government traffic"? By the way, do you think it's unethical for Presidents to collect royalties from books they (or their ghostwriters) write about their time in office? 

119 comments:

Michael said...

Experts say.

rhhardin said...

The great thing is that it's a tax deductible contribution when you take the loss when you sell it. Do it as a short term loss and it's worth more.

Tina848 said...

So who is reporter digging into the financial dealings of the Democrat Candidates?

Leland said...

What do you think of that phrase "United States government traffic"?

Reminds me of a certain Secretary of State that routed "US government traffic" through her bathroom email server. Except we never got to see that traffic and that was the actual intent of running that traffic through that server.

rhhardin said...

A conflict of interest is the pulley on which good character is hoist into public view, wrote Coleridge.

iowan2 said...

, [said Richard Painter, . . . “he would be helping himself to profits through United States government traffic” while putting Truth Social’s competitors at an unfair disadvantage....

Which is it. Truth social is a sham, and can never make any money. OR, buying ads will Profit Trump?
Its a rhetorical question, or rather, moot.

There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits the President from being in business. The People will decide if there is a conflict of interest.

But the larger point, IF foreign actors want to buy influence, Trump has kids and grandkids capable of setting up shell companies to accept payments. And of course, its not too late to set up a charity. Trump Global Initiatives, has a nice ring to it.

Precedent has been set by Democrats. Democrats in the legislature, and Democrats sitting on the Bench.

Rich said...

Small investors power Trump Media’s market valuation above $13bn ~ Ft

Yeah ”small” investors like China and Russia. Add to that the Middle Eastern oil states and you have the gang together.

The irony here is that Truth Social is worth more than eXTwitter right now...

A bit more depth from the first article would have been good? How many shares are being traded? What is the free float (10%, 5%??) v private owned? An investment with Trump, and an investment at 2,000 times annual revenue. What could go wrong? These have been such winning investment strategies in the past

Todd said...

This will be a very easy vehicle for foreign governments that want to curry favor with the president to throw money at him in a way that benefits his financial bottom line

Now do Biden and China!

Sebastian said...

"By the way, do you think it's unethical for Presidents to collect royalties from books they (or their ghostwriters) write about their time in office?"

Funny question. Royalties serve as protection payments and backdoor campaign contributions, so: totally ethical.

At this point Trump can use TS to get his messge out and it will be picked up and disseminated on X soon enough. Win-win.

Michael said...

So which do the Democrats most resemble, Wiley Coyote in pursuit of the Roadrunner or Elmer Fudd with his shotgun chasing after the “wascally wabbit”? It’s a close call.

MadisonMan said...

Curious, I clicked the 'I was wrong' tag. 2022 was a good year for you. You were never wrong!

Wilbur said...

“This will be a very easy vehicle for foreign governments that want to curry favor with the president to throw money at him in a way that benefits his financial bottom line,” said Jack Goldsmith ...

Why are they asking him? The expert in this area is clearly Joe Biden.

Joe Biden, America's Putin said...

Again - the Puntin-like left want to criminalize Trump's every move and very existence.

Enigma said...

Shocker! Democratic Party supporters employ the "I'm rubber and you are glue" argument once again.

Now do the international locations of Clinton Foundation speaking engagements, the Obamas $65M book deal, and the Biden Family's umpteen foreign conflicts of interest.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/obamas-land-65m-joint-book-deal-largest-payment-ever-for-presidential-memoir

Todd said...

What many in government do indirectly is ONLY a problem what Trump does it directly.

Remind me again how Pelosi became so rich as a Congressman? Or Blumenthal or Feinstein? Asking for a friend...

Meade said...

@MadisonMan
LOL

William said...

Trump has invented the fully automated, self activated petard hoister. The NYT by writing about this possible conflict of interest is increasing interest in the product.,,,,,I don't read the NYT every day. Did they write similar articles about that Clinton charity. I understand that contributions have fallen off considerably since Hillary is no longer Secy of State or possible future President....What about Hunter? I know he was hired for his expertise on Ukrainian energy, but there are some who think that there might have been some ulterior motive in hiring a drug addict at a grossly inflated salary for such a job. Well Trump queered that gig. Thank God, he had all that artistic talent to fall back on.

Randomizer said...

And Trump gets tremendous energy from his enemies' negativity.

This is getting so tiresome.

When Trump's enemies attack him in brazen and unprecedented ways, Trump gets energized, stronger, richer and more powerful. This won't be good for us.

I'm going to vote for Trump because the Progressives keep saying crazier and crazier things, like, "Car companies are making cars too easy to steal." Trump will get elected and will have a long list of legitimate complaints and scores to settle. Will he focus on America or his enemies?

Imagine how life would be different if, when Trump was elected last time, the Democrats gave this dump businessman enough rope to hang himself. The corporate media could retained some credibility by covering Trump's actual activities. Obama could have refrained from setting foreign spy agencies onto a presidential candidate. Social media could have stayed out of it. Governmental agencies could have taken direction from the new head of the executive branch. Democrats could have opposed all of his legislative efforts in the conventional way.

Right now, the border would be secure, China would be adjusting to the new trade arrangements, Russia would be sneaking operatives into Ukraine rather than blowing it up and big cities would be spending money on their own people rather than accommodating hordes of illegal immigrants.

Yancey Ward said...

"So who is reporter digging into the financial dealings of the Democrat Candidates?"

The reporters not digging into Trump are assigned to filling up the holes for Biden and the Democrats.

Donald B. said...

Iowan2 has a good point. Additionally, Trump's grandchildren are likely capable of producing high-value finger paintings.

mezzrow said...

It's always the unintended consequences that trip his foes up in the end. Trump, with his orange force field of hubris, courage, and vulgarity, is so resilient that he must be some monster that expresses a world beyond the control of those who live to be in control.

In this moment, he is standing there at the funeral of a slain NYC cop basically smelling like the proverbial rose after he was on the brink of being "broke Don" only days ago? Inconceivable, eh? How long has he been doing this? Forty years, now?

Maybe we need a review of the principles of Plato's Cave. Maybe there's something going on they can't see. They're going to put him in an orange jumpsuit somehow if they can do it, and probably in the worst possible way. That's a briar patch.

I would advise against it, but who in this intellectual elite would listen to some random yokel on a comment thread?

Jersey Fled said...

Rich doesn’t want Trump to cash out his holdings as it would tank the value of the stock for other holders.

Oh what to do, what to do.

MadisonMan said...

The reporter/propagandist here, Sharon LaFreniere, was part of the team that won a Pulitzer in 2018 for her reporting on the Trump/Russia connection, so you know she has to be good!

Aggie said...

The jokes really do write themselves, don't they?

Jersey Fled said...

BTW I was referring to Rich’s posts yesterday. Today it’s OK because all of the investors are Russian or Chinese.

Will Cate said...

"experts say..."

Man, I just feel my brain checking out any time I read that expression these days

Randomizer said...

“This will be a very easy vehicle for foreign governments that want to curry favor with the president to throw money at him in a way that benefits his financial bottom line,”

Foreign governments aren't influencing Trump. That's obvious because the things he does seem to transparently be for the benefit of Americans.

That law professor makes a good point, and corporate media might want to look at foreign influence across the board. There seems to be a lot of it. Trump should divest, and he will.

The Truth Social managing board are Trump's friends, and they will assist him all on their own. Plenty of social media supports Progressives, so they can't cry too much. TikTok and X are playing their own games. That's what diversity looks like.

rehajm said...

To me and those I work with, who love finance, the term ‘paper profits’ is odd. The valuation and Trump’s share is REAL value, counts toward net worth calculations. The IPO was a taxable event to IR..eSsssss. Forbes would like a word…etc etc…

There was some back and forth on Trump’s race to extract value before the thing collapses (as if it is a foregone conclusion- haha)- the question is moot. No special knowledge of Trump’s particular situation, but countless other IPOs from the vc pe people. There’s always a collar transaction- locking in value before the lockup with synthetics or a swap or some other damn thing. Sell a call buy a put. Goldman asks before they place it. Allen & Co is still a few yards away from Trump Tower, too, but they’re kind of leftie…the way Trump used to be..

Cappy said...

Welp...

Dude1394 said...

As I recall it, when twitter, google, apple, facebook censored republicans the democrat party and their media partners all said, "it's a private company, what are you griping about, BUILD YOUR OWN". So he did and shoved it right up their derrieres.

Gusty Winds said...

They tried to shut him up by taking Twitter away, and he did what he could to restore something of a speech platform, and now, he has the unfair good luck that it's making him billions

And for at least the past year, you can follow accounts on X that quote tweet Donald Trump's Truth Social Posts. So...he's on X anyway.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Isn't it funny how his haters got him kicked off Twitter and — only because of that — he made his own website and 3 years later, it makes him $4.6 billion?"

Very. He's their Godzilla, absorbing the energy of their attacks and becoming stronger.

Hassayamper said...

I'll accept an investigation into who's buying this stock if we can also do a fine grained audit of every "book deal" a Democrat politician has made in the last twenty years. I suspect the vast majority of those books went from the publisher to the dump without ever being taken off their pallets.

Iman said...

newTimes article”?

I must inform you that there’s nothing - not one thing - new about it. It is the same old excrement.

Michael said...

Rich. I see no filings of ownership by Chinese or Russian actors. Can you provide? Thanks

Bob Boyd said...

'purpose-related tools' like Trump's Truth Social can make 'our democracy more workable.'

Gunner said...

This Painter moron was one of the first fake Republicans to grift from TDS.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Conflict of interest profiting from a memoir? I'm shocked, shocked .... I seem to recall a member of Congress who would speak for a modest fee, but sold his book everywhere he went. I think the publisher covered all the costs of making the books available at various locations. Was there a legal issue about campaign contributions?

It would have been smart for Trump to put assets into a blind trust before; maybe he'll do that if he wins again. But surely noone can stop his kids from running things. They actually (apparently) have some competence at running a business, delivering services that customers will pay for without regard to politics. Democrats have heard rumours about this, and they don't like it.

RCOCEAN II said...

I disregard every attack on Trump in the MSM. They've done ZERO objective reporting on Biden. ZERO investigative reporting on Biden. They've been perfectly OK with giving Biden softball questions and even giving him the questions BEFORE the press conference. And defending him with DNC talking points.

Meanwhile, every single goddamn thing with Trump is attacked, questioned, and investigated by the MSM.

The MSM has lied, mispresented and exaggerated what Trump says or does for 7 years now. He did a good job as POTUS despite them. Its the same old shit day after day. Attack Trump. So, they can go fuck themselves.

RCOCEAN II said...

I disregard every attack on Trump in the MSM. They've done ZERO objective reporting on Biden. ZERO investigative reporting on Biden. They've been perfectly OK with giving Biden softball questions and even giving him the questions BEFORE the press conference. And defending him with DNC talking points.

Meanwhile, every single goddamn thing with Trump is attacked, questioned, and investigated by the MSM.

The MSM has lied, mispresented and exaggerated what Trump says or does for 7 years now. He did a good job as POTUS despite them. Its the same old shit day after day. Attack Trump. So, they can go fuck themselves.

AlbertAnonymous said...

“Experts say”…. [ok, right]

“A new way for foreign actors to influence”… [it’s a publicly traded company, not like backroom $1mm painting sales]

“An investigative reporter”. [yeah, right]

“Currently focusing on republican presidential candidates”

[ok, I guess I missed the piece on Nikki Haley and her consulting gigs and board positions]

“This will be a very easy vehicle for foreign governments that want to curry favor with the president to throw money at him in a way that benefits his financial bottom line”.

[well shit, the hotel business was probably easier (and easier to hide), but why/how would anyone throw money at him in a way that DOESN’T benefit his financial bottom line? Especially if they want to curry favor? And it’s racist to refer to money from India as “curry-ing” favor]

Harvard Law professor [OMG a “real expert” is he also a plagiarist?]

Top justice official under George W Bush

[so he worked for the government (suckled at the teat) when Bush was in office? But bush didn’t appoint him or anything right? No actual tie to republicans. I suspect he also was a TOP official under Clinton and maybe Obama, but let’s only mention the Republican]

“Corporations and other players wanting to sway Mr. Trump could buy advertising on Truth Social, other experts said.”

[omg not “other players”, how nefarious! And who are these “other experts”? No tie to republican administrations? ]

“They could try to get on his radar by buying shares in the company”

[wow, sneaky little fuckers. Buying publicly traded companies over the stock exchange. Look how they navigate the system in the shadows]

“Surely, investigations are underway and indictments can — to use the NYT phrase — only multiply.As the nation’s leader whose every utterance is monitored around the world, Mr. Trump would also be in an extraordinary position to drive traffic — and ultimately revenue — by the habitual use of the site.”

[surely we need to stop people from running any kind of business… omg his “every utterance” is monitored around the world? - should make it easier for the FBI to spy on him… and WOW he could drive traffic by using the site? Say it ain’t so Joe….]

“he would be helping himself to profits through United States government traffic” while putting Truth Social’s competitors at an unfair disadvantage”

[there it is - USTraffic - the internet and all commerce must be owned and controlled by the government! PanEm today PanEm Tomorrow PanEm Forever! ]

This whole article is F-ing BS… Orange Man Bad!!!!!!


[ok, Rant over]

Original Mike said...

Considering Biden's blatant influence peddling, I'm surprised the NYT has the balls to print this. But a good defense is a good offense, I guess.

gilbar said...

casts shade on Trump's insanely good fortune.

i'm assuming, that next; she'll cast some light on resident Biden's insanely good fortune.
nah, just kidding; i KNOW that she will NEVER mention the wheelbarrows on money that keep showing up in the Biden garages

hawkeyedjb said...

Donald B. said...
"Trump's grandchildren are likely capable of producing high-value finger paintings."

I doubt the grandchildren have snorted enough coke to become renowned producers of desirable art.

Rusty said...

Aggie said...
"The jokes really do write themselves, don't they?"
Well, I'm sitting here laughing.
I would of loved to be a fly on the wall at MSNBC when that news dropped.

who-knew said...

“This will be a very easy vehicle for foreign governments that want to curry favor with the president to throw money at him in a way that benefits his financial bottom line,” said Jack Goldsmith. I will join in the 'now do the Biden crime family' chorus. Althouse asks "By the way, do you think it's unethical for Presidents to collect royalties from books they (or their ghostwriters) write about their time in office?" Yes I do. These books are transparent money laundering schemes. The Clinton's got $29 million for their memoirs and the Obama's got $60 million and there is no way the publisher's really believed that they would sell enough books to make that back. At least not legitimately. They did know that big money backers would buy thousands of them in bulk to pad sales and launder their contributions to the ex-pol's bank accounts.

Quaestor said...

It takes a village idiot not to laugh uproariously at the paltry earnings of Losery Clinton's so-called books. Those were boxed up by the ton and purchased by the ton through Clinton-friendly Five Oh Ones as well-laundered bribes and kickbacks -- more lucrative than rigged cattle futures, we can be sure. One supposes they were recycled by the ton as well.

But to be fair, there must have been a village-worth of taxpayer-funded minders in charge of Web Hubbell's love child, wiping her spud-like schnoz and policing her tantrums, while Losery was pretending to be the "Assistant President" back in the Nekkid Nineties.

Rafe said...

“Will he focus on America or his enemies?”

There seems to be significant overlap between Trump’s enemies and America’s enemies. I hear this concern about Trump’s personal vendettas all the time, but I’ve come to the conclusion that to a very considerable degree if Trump gets elected and focuses on settling personal scores, broader American interests will be served.

- Rafe

Achilles said...

If Trump is elected and Divests his holdings in Truth Social: "TRUMP IS PUMP AND DUMPING HIS SUPPORTERS!"

If Trump is elected and does not Divest his holdings: "TRUMP IS ILLEGALLY PROFITING FROM HIS INFLUENCE!"

Meanwhile the Clinton Global Initiative is still a Billion dollar entity and the highest paid painter in the world by an order of magnitude is the talented Hunter Biden.

It is almost as if Democrats and Democrat voters judge morality and motivations based solely on tribal affiliation and are just terrible people.

robother said...

So, Truth Social is basically a derivative whose value is a function of DJT winning the 2024 Presidential election? Thanks for the stock tip, Althouse.

Dogma and Pony Show said...

“This will be a very easy vehicle for foreign governments that want to curry favor with the president to throw money at him in a way that benefits his financial bottom line,” said Jack Goldsmith, a law professor at Harvard University and a top Justice Department official under President George W. Bush."

Applying this same standard to Biden, shouldn't there be hand-wringing articles about how his son's acceptance of employment by a foreign country would create a "very easy vehicle" by which foreign governments could curry favor with him? Or Hunter's sale of art?

Wasn't the Clinton Foundation a "very easy vehicle" by which foreign governments could curry favor with Hillary?

Isn't handing it to him in a brown paper bag a "very easy vehicle" by which any human being can transmit cash to another human being for corrupt purposes?

Yancey Ward said...

Rich,

Man up and short it then, but have the balls to post your trades in real time. However, I fully expect you to post your "trades" long after being the lying sack of shit that you are.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

This is so awesome for whatever the opposite of schadenfreude is. I enjoy watching leftists bemoan the fact that Trump is turning a profit off of their scheme to deplatform him, that fate has denied them the schadenfreude they sought so relentlessly. Of course their next thought is, "How can we criminalize Trump's good fortune?" But they are so utterly unself-aware that it is a pleasure to watch them spend Holy Week in their self-made state of holy hell.

Is that wrong? Should I seek forgiveness for my pleasure at their pain?

Tank said...

Well, Achilles, I’d say you summed that up pretty well, and succinctly too.

hombre said...

It's just a red herring to distract from QuidProJoe corruption. Trump is not some professional politician in need of bribes and grifting to make his nut. Of all the negatives attributed to him this is the most irrational - even in the face of partisan prosecutors trying to bankrupt him.

Trump just went back on Forbes 50 richest list. Oh never mind. He still needs a few pennies from Iran to lift sanctions and return $10 billion to them to finance terrorism. But wait, that wasn't Trump, was it? That was QuidProJoe.

mikee said...

TLDR: "Why won't Trump stop already!" Again, for the umpteenth to the power of infinity time.

planetgeo said...

Beep, beep!...

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Democrats could have opposed all of his legislative efforts in the conventional way.

Worse than that, Pelosi had the world at her feet. She could have got any number of barely tolerable (to Republican) deals through both house with Trump's signature if she had at least pretended to have respect for him. You know like she pretended Joe was so awesome.

Man we were luckily to escape that fate!

D.D. Driver said...

It's Trump's version of the Hunter Biden's paintings. Now Trump can settle all of his judgments with worthless meme stocks. Jean Carroll, the State of New York, etc. will all get paid and Trump will get to keep his real estate. It's a win-win.

The only losers are the bagholders.

The Vault Dweller said...

iowan2 said...
Trump Global Initiatives, has a nice ring to it.


Trump is an America first kind of guy. I'm thinking he would really like Trump National Association.

Narayanan said...

using terminology from Bridge Collapse thread

Q: are anti-Trump trying for allision or collision

Rich said...

Yancey Ward writes: “Man up and short it then, but have the balls to post your trades in real time.”

The Options market tells the story. The cost of an at the money $75 Put is $55…..that is a staggering 73% premium for a January 2025 expiry. The Call option is way cheaper which is telling you that the market is pricing in a near certainty that this stock will collapse in the months ahead which makes total sense. If Trump loses the election it will be close to zero before Christmas.

Except by buying a Put or selling a deep in the money Call both strategies are dangerous given the premium differentials. Best leave this one alone and be a gleeful spectator.

Pro-tip: here’s a few Vanguard funds to consider: VOO, VFIAX, VINIX or perhaps a few shares in the iShares MSCI EAFE ETF

Buying anytime for the long term wins 100% of the time. Remember, the stock market comes back 100% of the time.

Birches said...

I can't believe this article is real. Maybe Hunter Biden will finally end up in prison as a tactic in the Get Trump! War.

Joe Smith said...

Liberals are stupid, indoctrinated, and relentless. They are zombies who crave eating brains because they don't have any.

They will do anything to take out Trump. They hate Trump more than the Pope loves Jesus.

Were I the magnificent orange one, I would beef up my security detail...

Michael said...

The NYT commenters believe that owning shares in a company traded in NY means you are doing business in NY which, of course, Trump is prohibited from doing. Proving again that reading the NYT does not make you smarter.

Rabel said...

"Well, Achilles, I’d say you summed that up pretty well, and succinctly too."

Yes he did. The warm weather on Elba may have done him some good.

And good for Althouse for not holding on to that grudge.

Narayanan said...

They're going to put him in an orange jumpsuit somehow
=================
since Trump is orange already will that work as camouflage or make him look naked?

Christopher B said...

.... said Jack Goldsmith, a law professor at Harvard University and a top Justice Department official under President George W. Bush.

... said Richard Painter, who served as the chief ethics lawyer to President George W. Bush...


I'm amazed by the number of people who think the rest of us fell asleep in 2002 and woke up yesterday, like Rip Van Winkle.

Narayanan said...

I suspect the vast majority of those books went from the publisher to the dump without ever being taken off their pallets.
=================
is a print run even needed? why not save treeszzs etc?

boatbuilder said...

Is it unethical for certain Presidents to snag $80 Million contracts as "producers" for Netflix as they leave office? While remaining heavily engaged in promoting and directing political campaigns and candidates?

Apparently not. What's the problem?

tommyesq said...

What could go wrong? These have been such winning investment strategies in the past

Worked for Dems - see SBF funding D campaigns, "It Takes a Village," whatever Obama's book was called and his no-work, mafia-style Netflix "job."

boatbuilder said...

What did Judge Engoron value Truth Social at? Letitia James?

John henry said...

Ann, you said "Trump's insanely good fortune" (If you were quoting, apologies)

I know there are a couple of way to read this but I read this as equating "fortune" to "luck"

There is always some luck involved in doing anything or failing. Though there is also the expression "We create our own luck" which I believe to be true to a large extent.

But I don't think it is correct to attribute TruthSocial's success to luck (if that was what you were doing. Apologies if I am misreading) I know a lot of people do. I know a lot of people attribute all successful businesses to luck. I've heard it said that Musk, for example, was just lucky that Tesla and SpaceX etc turned out well.

I disagree about Trump (and Musk) they had unique visions. Though others may have had similar visions. But equally important they worked their asses off to marshal the financial, physical, human resources to put the vision into practice and then to convince customers to buy it.

I think good luck/good fortune had very little to do with it. Though not nothing, of course.

John Henry

John henry said...

Of the thousand or so US auto companies started since 1900 or so, 4 remain. All 4 were founded mainly by a single man. (Henry Ford, Walter Chrysler, William Durant, Elon Musk) 3 of them we know but how many have heard of "Billy" Durant?

I knew a bit about him but mostly peripherally. I recently read Walter Chrysler's autobiography, where Durant has a large role. Chrysler got his real start in the auto business running Buick for Durant. That led me to purchasing via the portal Lawrence Gustin's 1973 bio of Durant.

Terrific read. I had a high opinion of Durant before. Even higher now that I know a lot more about what he accomplished.

The reason I post here is that throughout the book I was struck by how alike Durant and Trump are. Both serial and multiple entrepreneurs. Both highly successful by any of a dozen measures. Both with very positive attitudes and loads of self-confidence.

Both creating their own luck.

Great book and I highly recommend it.

John Henry

BarrySanders20 said...

Poor Trump. His ethical problems will only multiply. Doesnt he know that You're Only Making It Worse For Yourself

John henry said...

Never heard of Billy Durant? Ever heard of General Motors?

He HS dropout, cigar and insurance salesman, he then founded and ran the largest carriage maker in the US in the 19th century. He then moved into autos with David Buick growing Buick from a garage shop to a major automaker. Then he merged Buick Motors with some other automakers and founded General Motors. Then he was kicked out of GM and with Louis Chevrolet who had worked for him at Buick and whose brother was his Chauffeur, founded Chevrolet. Grew Chevrolet to the point where he used it to take back GM. Renamed Chevrolet GM and merged the automaker into as Chevrolet division. Got kicked out of GM again by the DuPonts in 22. Founded Durant Motors and made a million or so cars before going toes up insolvent in the depression.

Then bought and ran a bowling alley in Cleveland and had dreams of chain of entertainment centers. Died broke but what one Hell of a life.

I use "founded" here and above in the same sense I say that Henry Ford "invented" the automobile. Ford did found Ford motors from scratch after failing twice. But Chrysler was founded on the bones of the failing Maxwell Company (Remember Jack Benny and Rochester?) Buick on the ideas and early work of David Buick, ditto Chevrolet. Tesla Motors existed as a minor niche company before Elon got involved.

So they did not start from scratch and did not technically, found the various companies. But they did in the sense that they made them successful.

So I am going to go with founding for Chrysler, Musk, Durant and others. You can sue me if you disagree strongly enough.

John Henry

robother said...

Trump has a 6 months lockup period. Which should be just about right, allowing the Soros/Black Rock/WallStreet Left to pile into the biggest short trade ever. MAGA investors need to keep their powder dry before the staging biggest short squeeze ever. Ideally wiping out some Lefty fortunes, perhaps with aid of some lawfare mopping up--bringing massive civil fraud cases in favorable jurisdictions (for overvaluing their shorts, of course).

John henry said...

I understand some of the theories on how people could use Truthsocial to nefariously funnel money to him. Some of the other theories are catshit crazy (as in invented by cat ladies. Not all of whom are women)

But I do not give a shit.

I do not give a shit because President Emeritus Trump has demonstrated his entire life that he puts America first and that he can't be bought.

I trust him. A lot of people do. He's never let me down.

The Saudis give him money? Not a problem for me. Do they get anything for their money? More importantly, do they get anything for their money that is not in America's best interests?

About once a month I see someone quote, scoffingly, the line "What's good for General Motors is good for the US"

Except Charlie Wilson, President of GM, never said that. The actual quote is "for years I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice versa."

So yeah, what's good for Donald Trump is good for America. But more importantly What's good for America is good for Donald Trump. And even more importantly, he realizes that and acts accordingly.

John Henry

Dude1394 said...

"I disagree about Trump (and Musk) they had unique visions. Though others may have had similar visions. But equally important they worked their asses off to marshal the financial, physical, human resources to put the vision into practice and then to convince customers to buy it."

This is always the case, always.

Joe Smith said...

'Man up and short it then, but have the balls to post your trades in real time. However, I fully expect you to post your "trades" long after being the lying sack of shit that you are.'

With all due respect to Yancey, I don't do individual trades but I would be inclined to short the stock myself.

The problem I see is that as soon as Trump starts selling, it won't look good.

Kind of a dilemma...

John henry said...

Blogger planetgeo said...

Beep, beep!...

That's the sound Hilary heard in 2015 from Trump's little Nash Rambler while she was cruising in her Cadillac.

Classical reference https://youtu.be/enqNl7tdLR4?si=rX-i8AudMYQbM53j&t=22

Perhaps you mean "Meep, meep" as SloJoe drops an anvil on his own head again.

John Henry

khematite said...

"Surely, investigations are underway and indictments can — to use the NYT phrase — only multiply."


Seems to me that all the investigations and indictments so far have mainly divided US voters, added to the Democrats' problems, and subtracted from the prosecutors' credibility.

Jupiter said...

"Yeah ”small” investors like China and Russia."

Rich is concerned that Trump is horning in on the Biden Family grift.

hstad said...

Wow! NYT writes another hit piece on Trump citing 'Truth Social's' conflict of interests. Guess what 'The New York Post' writes Democratic conflict of interest with this headline "...DOJ moved to dismiss $3.3B fraud suit against Dish after chairman donated $113K to Biden..." Democrats will probably say not a conflict of interest. Yeah - LOL!

Howard said...

Have you heard the good news, friend?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Yes, this week for Trump leaves many of us singing another verse of Pancho and Lefty:

“All the Federales say
They could have had him any day
They only let him slip away
Out of kindness, I suppose”

While I think Truth Social will come a cropper as rhhardin suggests, I also have to admit I’ve been wrong so far about BitCoin. But since there are so many MAGA supporters in the comments here, I have to ask, how many of you made a killing on the DWAC shares you purchased before the merger with Trump Media and Technology went through? Are you selling, holding, or buying more shares?

Yancey Ward said...

So, Rich not brave enough or sure enough of his belief to take a flat out short position. Exactly what I thought.

Former Illinois resident said...

Used to think Trump was a brash media-savvy self-promoter with a successful real estate business and 2nd career as successful television-personality and show-owner. Now I think a higher-power is truly watching over Trump. His ability to survive, much less thrive, much less so successfully, is a singularly unusual American success story.

There's something quite extraordinary now in Trump, and think that's large part of middle-state voters steadfast support of Trump for reelection.



iowan2 said...

I know there are a couple of way to read this but I read this as equating "fortune" to "luck"

Someone can help me out. Is their a single $billionaire, other than winning the lottery, that got theirs by Good fortune/luck?

With Trump, he is a retard, when he goes bankrupt all the time, ignore that $ 5 billion in commercial real estate. Retards amass that all the time (yes I know its leveraged, that's how billionaires become billionaires. They leverage their success to start even more businesses)
He's a lucky retard, when his startup goes public to the tune of $ 6 billion

traditionalguy said...

Now if Trump can only learn to sing and play a guitar well. The jealousy level will go through the roof.

Has anyone else noticed that as President the Orange Bronx kid went all out supporting Jerusalem for the Jews? And now he is blessed beyond belief.

iowan2 said...

So, Rich not brave enough or sure enough of his belief to take a flat out short position. Exactly what I thought

Rich has no idea how stupid he is. He goes into great detail about how the Calls and Puts prove Truth social is going to tank, and then switches to "the market".

Rich also claims the Suadi's and Russia are all in for Trump. The Same Trump that is going to open up all the drilling, Biden shut down. So Russia, a metaphorical "gas station" with nukes. and Saudi Arabia, that ONLY has oil. Is on board to elect Trump, so he can dump US oil on the world market and tank the world price. Yep, thats exactly what Saudi Arabia wants. The have a finite amount of oil to pump, and they want Trump elected so he can drive the price crude down. Requiring Saudi to pump MORE of their finite supply in order to maintain the same national revenue.

Iman said...

Rich: see banal;

banal: adjective
so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring;"songs with banal, repeated words"

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

The NYT by writing about this possible conflict of interest is increasing interest in the product.,,,,,I don't read the NYT every day. Did they write similar articles about that Clinton charity.

Oddly enough, they did. In what was probably one of their last acts of journalism, shortly before the 2016 election they published an article about Hillary's plethora of Russian "speaking fees" and foundation "donations" from Russian autocrats. Wish I had kept the article as it's probably been purged since.

Which was just one of the reasons I immediately thought "deflection" when the Trump-Russia collusion hoax was first floated.

RMc said...

Isn't it funny how his haters got him kicked off Twitter and — only because of that — he made his own website and 3 years later, it makes him $4.6 billion?

They're gonna hate him right back into the White House.

gadfly said...

From TNR:
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the valuation of Donald Trump’s Truth Social was almost as big as U.S. Steel [in its prime in 1958]. This was the very first day of trading for the app’s parent company, Trump Media & Technology Group (ticker symbol: DJT) when the stock price rose 56 percent to $78 per share; it closed Wednesday just south of $70. That’s a remarkably strong performance for a money-losing social media platform.

Jay Ritter, a finance professor at the University of Florida, told CNN that if the company’s stock reflected its actual value it would be priced not at $70 but at $2. The large mismatch between stock price and stock value will sorely tempt the cash-poor Trump to sell off a significant portion of his shares, in a potential maneuver that I believe I am the first to label “Trump and dump.”

How worthless an investment is Truth Social? Looking at what killjoys call “the fundamentals,” the platform’s monthly active users fell 51 percent in February compared to the previous year, down to a very modest 494,000. Facebook, Twitter, and even Threads all have monthly active users of over 100 million.

DJT is what brokers call a “meme stock” and what the rest of us call a “sucker bet.” Meme stocks, of which GameStop is . . . “patient zero,” resemble internet memes in their volatility. GameStop was last judged a plausible investment [in 2021 when its meme stock price squeezes caused major financial consequences for certain hedge funds and large losses for short sellers].

Curiously, Trump’s MAGA cult wants to invest in Truth Social but not to join Truth Social. After all, buying Truth Social will set you back 70 bucks a share. Joining Truth Social is free! MAGA Republicans number about 40 million, according to a January survey, and about one-third of these very unhinged extremists believe this country is on the brink of a violent civil war. Yet fewer than 2 percent will bestir themselves once a month to tap their computer keyboard to read the latest dispatch from MAGA Central.

gadfly said...

Achilles said...
Meanwhile the Clinton Global Initiative is still a Billion dollar entity and the highest paid painter in the world by an order of magnitude is the talented Hunter Biden.

Careful with the lies, Achilles. 2022 net assets for the Clinton Global Initiative total about $300 million including only $4 million in cash and Hunter Biden gets paid far less than many artists for the very few paintings that he has sold.

Yancey Ward said...

So, short it, Gadfly. Put your money where your mouth is.

Joe Smith said...

'Careful with the lies, Achilles. 2022 net assets for the Clinton Global Initiative total about $300 million including only $4 million in cash...'

Funny how the Clintons stopped raking in foreign cash the minute they had nothing to sell...

Yancey Ward said...

"With all due respect to Yancey, I don't do individual trades but I would be inclined to short the stock myself."

Oh, I have already offered my opinion of the stock the day it launched, and I would definitely not touch it with a long buy at all. I also wouldn't short since I have read this book before- the market really can stay irrational longer than I can remain solvent. The great uncertainty is we don't know what DJT's management might do next- Rich et alia are assuming Truth Social is all there is to it and all there is ever going to be. I don't have that level of certainty.

lonejustice said...

I don't have a problem with Trump's biggest investors being from China and Russia. This is exactly what left-wing businesses do, so why should Trump be any different?

rehajm said...

Don’t loathe finance kids…

Prof. M. Drout said...

The Vikings thought of a person's "luck" as being a kind of female guardian spirit, a hamingja, that accompanies a person through life and determines the outcomes of various important events. If you happened to come up against a person with better luck, you were helpless to defeat that person. A king who had superior luck, like Harald Fairhair, attracted men to his service even if he was personally difficult and dangerous because he was known for his luck.

And it wasn't only kinds. "Audun and the Polar Bear," a þattr (short tale done in saga style) tells of a non-king's incredible luck--he manages to take a polar bear from Greenland to Iceland and then through the territories of the warring kings of Denmark and Norway in order to give it to the Pope in Rome. Every misfortune that befalls him is met by a much bigger good fortune. Highly recommend this story.

Obama and Biden have both seemed to have incredibly bad luck--at least for everybody not in the Obama or Biden families--in everything from the small and trivial (Chicago's failed Olympics bid, Biden falling up the stairs) to the enormous (11 years of a weak economy and high inflation; Afghanistan disaster and other foreign policy*), while Trump's luck seems powerful, wide-spread, and recurrent.

Vikings would have chosen to follow Trump based on luck alone.

There are worse ways to make that kind of decision.

*Obama's one foreign policy triumph, assassinating Osama Bin Laden, would have been wiped out if Biden had had his way...

Narayanan said...

robother said...
Trump has a 6 months lockup period. Which should be just about right, allowing the Soros/Black Rock/WallStreet Left to pile into the biggest short trade ever.
====================
are there enough shares in 'public hands' to be 'loaned to the shortseller'

Christopher B said...

As far as anybody making any trades based on Trump's association with Truth Social, I would follow the observation that the market can stay irrational far longer than almost any of us can stay solvent.

My farmer father's favorite observation on grain futures also holds true. Bulls make money, Bears make money, but pigs just get slaughtered.

Mikey NTH said...

Hope springs eternal for the Trump Haters.

Mutaman said...

Althouse

"Trump does so many things that seem wrong, but some of the things — not all of the things — go confoundingly right, very right. "

Trump : " When I grab em by the pussy its eems wrong, but sometimes it goes confoundingly (sic) right, very right. Same thing when I tell em to drink bleach. "

Mutaman said...

traditionalguy said...

"Now if Trump can only learn to sing and play a guitar well. The jealousy level will go through the roof.
Has anyone else noticed that as President the Orange Bronx kid went all out supporting Jerusalem for the Jews? And now he is blessed beyond belief."

"Bronx kid" ? Guess traditionalguy got a degree in Geography from Trump University- magna cum laude.

Big Mike said...

Althouse writes:

“I said it 2 days ago: ‘Any hope of characterizing the buying of the stock, bidding up the price, as an illegal campaign contribution?’ ”

And I asked you how you plan to distinguish between someone making a back door contribution, and a run of the mill stock speculator? Are you planning to hire CaliforniaPsychics.com?

Michael said...

Gadfly. These IPOs in this space never price based on current income, much less profits. OTOH you could have shorted the stock a thousand shares and bought it back at end of day you could have made a cool four grand. Try it tomorrow. LOL

tommyesq said...

Clintons got "only" $300 million.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“MAGA Republicans number about 40 million, according to a January survey, and about one-third of these very unhinged extremists “

Passages like this let you know you’re reading a serious, factual, and unbiased article about law, finance, science, or foreign policy.

Incredible that people quote this stuff with a straight face.

Drago said...

Mutaman jumps in with a fake quote AND the thoroughly debunked "drink bleach" hoax!

Good enough for a NY or DC jury!

Rusty said...

mutaman are, are you.............crying?!
There, there, little guy. Things are going to get much, much worse.

Rusty said...

gadfly quotes TNR and expects to be taken seriously.
Like all lefty fools he just doesn't get it.

Mutaman said...

Rusty said...

"mutaman are, are you.............crying?!
There, there, little guy. Things are going to get much, much worse."

Rusty taking a break from hanging outside his local school and reading his new $60 bible.

JAORE said...

Mutt man
There's an evergreen phrase I use a LOT about those with TDS:

If you have to lie to make your point, it's not a valid point.

You just spewed a two-fer.

Achilles said...

gadfly said...

Achilles said...
Meanwhile the Clinton Global Initiative is still a Billion dollar entity and the highest paid painter in the world by an order of magnitude is the talented Hunter Biden.

Careful with the lies, Achilles. 2022 net assets for the Clinton Global Initiative total about $300 million including only $4 million in cash and Hunter Biden gets paid far less than many artists for the very few paintings that he has sold.

There are obviously dishonest and stupid losers like lone justice and mutaman who might not know they are lying but it is hard to tell because the things coming out of their mouth are so obviously lies.

Then there is gadfly.

Damn.

Rusty said...

Per the Urba Dictionary,
" Mutaman means a person who always keeps promise's and never lies, He take's in with so much pride and has a strong protective instinct, and always loyal to ..."
I don't know about promises, but you lie with alacrity and you are proud of it. And you do protect your cults narrative that is true.
Now if you could only debate on facts. You'd be an asset to this blog.

Tim said...

This from the people who just had a 500K per plate fundraiser? How is that even allowed? It has to violate campaign contribution limits? Or are limits a thing of the past? And are we to believe that those people are not buying influence at 500K per plate?