Donald Trump’s stock price soars in Washington

Sat Mar 30 2024
Ramesh Sridharan (926 articles)
Donald Trump’s stock price soars in Washington

Although Wall Street’s influence in politics has never been so great, this is unprecedented. A multibillion-dollar windfall is enticingly near to being cashed in by former president Donald Trump, who could use it to pay his legal fees and inject much-needed campaign funds.

Virtually nobody anticipated it. The ambitious plan for Trump’s social media network to go public during the most speculative wave in market history almost backfired.

Typical of Trump, setbacks and blunders were insignificant. A huge unknown has entered the presidential campaign thanks to a mix of chance and his most ardent supporters. Also, all the talk about social media’s increasing sway on the stock market has suddenly become political.

Wealthspring Capital managing partner and investor in shell businesses like the one that took Trump’s corporation public, Matt Simpson, said that, at least on paper, he’s the ultimate winner.

A hitherto unseen combination of political funding and stock-market mania is the end product. A new way for Trump supporters to show their support for his campaign has emerged: they may buy shares of his corporation. This goes beyond just buying hats or Bibles.

Trump Media & Technology Group, the holding company of Trump’s Truth Social, is currently valued at approximately $8.5 billion, surpassing both toy manufacturer Hasbro and Caesars Entertainment, an old adversary of Trump’s in the casino industry. This is for a business that has never made more than $5 million.

Nearly three times Trump’s net worth would be attributable to his 60% ownership in Truth Social’s parent business, an investment worth nearly $5 billion.

The former president stands to gain hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming months if the company’s board, which is loyal to Trump, permits the stock to fall from its current lofty levels. His presidential campaign is now receiving less money than President Biden’s, but that might change.

While Trump’s campaign and affiliated organizations had $74.4 million on hand at the end of February, Biden’s campaign and allied groups had almost $155 million, according to recently filed fundraising reports.

The figures might be unprecedented in presidential politics if the price remains high and if Trump is able to sell or borrow against his shares. As long as they notify the Federal Election Commission, candidates are free to invest an unlimited amount of their own money.

The $25 million that Biden received on Thursday from an event in New York City with Obama and Clinton was an enormous sum for an event that took place on just one day.

In every minute of trade, Trump’s new fortune can climb or fall by that amount—it’s just a rounding error.

Who knows if he would fund his campaign personally. Trump stated, “I might do that,” in response to reporters’ questions about it last week. I am given the choice.

In addition to its influence on the election, Trump’s stock has emerged as a novel method to wager on the result of the contest. Investors used to wager on election results by purchasing shares of companies involved in policy-sensitive sectors, such as clean energy. Their highly-traded stock is now practically dependent on Trump’s performance in November.

After the January 6, 2021, rebellion in the United States Capitol, Trump was fired from X, which was formerly Twitter, and Facebook. Shortly after, he launched his social media company. Fundraising was extremely difficult during the previous president’s tenure due to his poisonous reputation among bankers and investors.

The corporation’s announcement of a merger with a shell company, Digital World Acquisition, in order to go public came late one night in October 2021, even though the social media platform had not yet been created. There had been a deluge of so-called special-purpose acquisition businesses, of which the blank-check firm was a member.

Things were going swimmingly with the deal until they almost broke apart. Truth Social missed out on the excitement that caused shares of sports-betting and space-tourism companies to be worth billions because it was late to the SPAC party. Along with other speculative equities, Digital World was wiped out when investors fled the market.

The corporation was further damaged by two unpleasant encounters with authorities. Some of the investors who rushed to Trump’s defense lost a lot of money because shares dropped more than 90% from their high point.

Then came more terrible news. Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter made it possible for Truth Social to reach its target audience of conservative viewpoints. The rise in interest rates had a devastating effect on the markets for speculative stocks. Following that market, investors and experts began to doubt the merger’s eventual completion.

By the start of 2024, Trump’s fortunes had flipped. As Trump’s backers poured back into the stock market, prices began to skyrocket. The lightning-fast rise to the Republican presidential nomination by Trump drew them in. On Tuesday, the parent company of Truth Social went public after the purchase was authorized.

Merging were politics, super PACs, and meme stock momentum. Thanks in large part to the selling of options, which grant investors the right to purchase or sell a stock at a certain price by a defined date, the stock—which uses Trump’s initials as its ticker—has increased by almost 250% this year. “No one could have anticipated this,” remarked Interactive Brokers’ chief strategist Steve Sosnick.

Trump will find the offer more enticing as the stock continues to defy gravity. If the stock maintains a specific level over the next many years, he may be eligible to acquire more shares worth tens of millions of dollars.

This will be effective until it becomes ineffective. One SPAC investor, Evan Ratner of Levin Capital Strategies, stated that nobody knows when it will end. In the past few days, he has amassed wealth by purchasing the stock ahead of the merger’s conclusion and then selling it when Trump supporters drove its value higher.

Ramesh Sridharan

Ramesh Sridharan

Ramesh Sridharan is our Stock Market Correspondent covering events and daily movements of stock markets in Asia. He is based in Mumbai