October 21, 2021

So yesterday Trump announces his new social media site, called Truth Social. (Which right there, is some real truth in advertising, amirite?) And this being Trump, it smells like just another short-term money-making grift for the "billionaire" who's drowning in the costs of his many, many lawsuits and criminal investigations. Via Gizmodo:

The business that’s launching Truth Social is called the Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), which has a business address listed as Mar-a-Lago but isn’t registered yet with the state of Florida, as far as Gizmodo can tell. TMTG is valued at $1.7 billion according to a very real figure tweeted by spokesperson Liz Harrington—something that surely wasn’t pulled out of the former president’s ass.

TMTG will be merging with a shell company called Digital World Acquisition Corp. for the sole purpose of getting listed on a stock exchange, according to the Wall Street Journal. That way, Trump Media and Technology Group gets to go public by piggybacking on a different company and Trump’s “media and technology” company gets to avoid a ton of regulatory hurdles that exist to keep companies somewhat transparent under the theory that investors are less likely to get screwed.

The Wall Street Journal explains it here:

Also called a blank-check firm, a SPAC is a shell company that lists on a stock exchange with the sole intent of merging with a private firm to take it public. The private company then gets the SPAC’s place in the stock market. SPAC mergers have exploded in popularity in the past year for many startups because they are allowed to make projections about their business. Those aren’t allowed in normal IPOs.

SPAC investors have the right to pull their money out before the deal is finalized, and it's been known to happen. What are the odds? Well, as we know, everything Trump touches dies. According to the New York Times, investors weren't quite sure who they were getting in bed with, and weren't exactly reassured:

The details of Mr. Trump’s latest partnership were vague. The statement he issued was reminiscent of the kind of claims he made about his business dealings in New York as a real estate developer. It was replete with high-dollar amounts and superlatives that could not be verified.

[...] At least one of the investors, Saba Capital Management, did not know at the time of the initial public offering that Digital World would be doing a transaction with Mr. Trump, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly lied about the results of the 2020 election while accusing the mainstream news media of publishing “fake” stories to discredit him, leaned hard into the notion of truth as his new company’s governing ethos.

I'm not a stockbroker, but somehow I feel safe in advising all y'all not to put your hard-earned money into anything with his name attached, like Trump University, Trump Institute, Trump Casinos, Trump Airlines, Trump Vodka, Trump The Game, Trump Travel, Trump Steaks, and Trump Ice.

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