Donald Trump has issued a press release — that is to say, a tweet — decrying the out-of-the-gates collapse of American stock markets, which is seen by many experts as continued fallout from slides on Asian markets. Trump has been hammering on economic uncertainty for some time, in part because it serves his political goal of casting doubt on the administration of President Obama and his party.
But it might also reflect in part another, baser motivation: Trump loses a lot of money when the market sinks.
A lot of money by normal-people standards, to be sure, rather than his. Much of Trump's however-much-he's-worth net worth is tied up in real estate, which provides the bulk of his his net worth's billions. He needs liquid assets like stocks, though, in order to fuel his presidential bid.
In other words: Every dollar decline in a stock's price is a dollar he can't spend on his 2016 bid.
Markets are crashing - all caused by poor planning and allowing China and Asia to dictate the agenda. This could get very messy! Vote Trump.Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2015
We looked at the stocks Trump reported owning in his July 22 personal financial disclosure and calculated how many shares of each he held, based on the net worth range he offered. So, for example, he said he owned between $15,000 and $50,000 in General Electric stock. On July 22, GE closed at $26.63 a share — meaning Trump held somewhere between 563 and 1,878 shares of GE stock. All of which means that, if he didn't sell or buy any more GE stock, he's lost between $1,100 and $3,800 on his GE holdings since July — and between $340 and $1,100 of that on Friday alone.
Tallying up all of those losses, here's how Trump's portfolio has slipped since July (and on Friday alone).
If he holds the same stock he did on July 22 — and excluding funds and bonds — Trump lost between $1.5 and $4.5 million over the month. He lost between $500,000 and $1.4 million on Friday alone, only a few hours before his big rally in Mobile.
That "didn't buy or sell any stock" caveat is a big one, though. Trump certainly has financial planners who are regularly moving stock around. Since so many of his stocks are held in blue chips, though, it's safe to assume he holds onto them over the long term. So he's probably held onto Apple and Ford, despite losing as much as $777,000 on the former and $250,000 on the latter since July 22.
Even at the lower end of the estimate, Trump lost almost as much as he put into his race in the second quarter. The guy's worth billions. But losing millions in liquidity that he will need between now and January still has to sting.
It's enough to make anyone cranky on Twitter.
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