It was back in 1995 that Donald Trump bought 40 Wall Street located steps from the New York Stock Exchange. The building has proven to be the former president’s most durable connection to public markets by far — much more so than his companies themselves.
This was not the first time Trump courted Wall Street. He led a public company beginning in 1995 when Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts began to trade under the ticker DJT.
“This is such a big day for us, it’s the New York Stock Exchange,” Trump said at the time
DJT's stint on the exchange quickly soured, with its stock falling below its IPO price by 1997. Seven years later, the company was bankrupt and delisted from the exchange.
Trump's questionable business practices may have precipitated that downfall.
In 2016, the Washington Post looked into how
, despite losing money every year, the company paid Trump handsomely and apparently shifted funds and assets between his public and his private business in ways that benefited him greatly but undermined his shareholders.
Forbes also reported on that period
and found that it “didn’t take long for Donald John Trump to betray his shareholders.”
The SEC also brought a case
— which was later settled — alleging Trump’s company misled investors on an earnings report.
This year's SPAC drama echoes that time. DWAC has also lost money for retail investors and Trump fans over the last year. The stock hit an all-time high of $94.20 when interest in the company peaked
; by Friday morning, it was trading at around $23 per share.
Historically, Trump’s private organizations have faced consequences from a $2 million judgment
against Trump’s foundation to a $25 million decision
against Trump University. And last month, the Trump Organization’s long-time chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded guilty to fraud ahead of a criminal trial set for next month being prosecuted by the Manhattan District Attorney.
Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Letitia James has her own civil probe into Trump and his business.
But Trump’s media company could be different. Truth Social — which Trump launched when he was kicked off Twitter in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack — is facing reports of serious financial difficulties, according to both Fox Business
Trump told lenders in 2012
that 40 Wall Street was worth $527 million, according to the Washington Post. But then he reportedly told tax officials it was worth less than one thirtieth of that: $16.7 million. That's the kind of about-face that might not be possible with shareholders to answer to.
Trump know more about business (fraud) more than anyone