Trump’s unbearable temptation to dump his Truth Social stock

Trump’s unbearable temptation to dump his Truth Social stock

Timothy Noah writes:

Remember in Godfather II when the mobster Hyman Roth tells Michael Corleone, his co-investor in President Fulgencio Batista’s Cuba, “Michael, we’re bigger than U.S. Steel”? U.S. Steel is no longer the colossus it was in 1958, when that scene takes place. But it still caught my attention when The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the valuation of Donald Trump’s Truth Social was almost as big as U.S. Steel’s. 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.

You may recall from Godfather II that the Mafia’s stake in Cuba is abruptly reduced on New Year’s Eve by Fidel Castro to zero. DJT is similarly unstable. 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 in excess of 100 million. If Trump’s poll numbers followed the same trend as Truth Social traffic, Nikki Haley would today be the Republicans’ presumptive nominee. [Continue reading…]

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