Trump’s Money Problems

Elections Media

             New Orleans      Yeah, yeah, Trump is on trial.  We all know that.  He’s logging another historical marker as the first president to ever face a criminal trial.  It’s a hometown crowd for him, but a place where he won’t find as many friendly faces in the jury from a pool of his neighbors where 87% opposed his election in 2020.  More interesting to me in this minute is his money.  He needs a pile to pay his lawyers, to mount a political campaign, and to settle bonds in his sundry court cases, and he’s got trouble on every financial front.

For a couple of days recently, it looked like he might have a bailout from the stock offering of Trump Media, the owner of his social media startup the so-called Truth Social.  Some of this billionaire buddies and fan base bid up the initial offering.  It looked like his stake might be worth billions in six months once he could offload it.  Instead, the stock has subsequently fallen like a rock, as investors “shorted” it at record levels.  Stock shorting is the gambit of betting that the stock will fall and making money on the drop.  Bottom line is that the stock has now lost 60% of its value since the opening.  The reasons aren’t political.  More financial details and investor concern about an undisclosed number of stock issues are all contributing to its dismal performance.  Don’t get me wrong.  Even at this level, Trump will still make big money by our lights, but maybe not enough to cover all he needs, or when he needs it.

Remember, he’s got this problem where he had to come up with a bond to cover almost half-a-billion-dollars on the civil judgement he lost over having inflated the value of his properties in getting bank loans.  The bond level was reduced to $175 million, which helped him, but regular bonding companies wouldn’t touch him.  Another billionaire buddy came through for him to save the day, but the New York Attorney General cast some shade on this quick fix, because Knight Specialty Insurance turned out not to be on the list of federally approved sureties to handle this kind of weight.  Short story is that there’s a hearing in another week to see if this works, or it’s back to the drawing board for the Donald.

Then there’s this little thing of running for president.  Presidential elections cost a bundle.  Trump tried to rewire the Republican National Committee with family and friends in order to raise more and to use the RNC to continue to pay some of his monstrous legal bills.  Some of his other billionaire buddies are stepping in now to try to top off the take, but right now he’s way behind Biden in the money game.  Biden has made big time media buys, while Trump seems to be counting on “earned media” exposure via his criminal and other trials.  That’s a risky road.  He’s the rolling the dice that any exposure helps him, but it is a constant reminder as well that he’s on trial, and maybe that’s not as good a look as he hopes.  It also may be one of the reasons that Biden’s head-to-head poll numbers are improving.

The old saying “follow the money” makes sense on a lot of grounds, and, right now, it’s all bad news for Trump and leading down a dark alley to a dead end.