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Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals 

Donald Trump this week became both a meme stock and a social-media entrepreneur at the same time, by announcing that a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group was going to merge with an existing company listed on the stock market.

Why it matters: The medium-term promise of Trump's media company is that it will replace Twitter for anybody wanting to keep track of Trump's messages. The short-term promise is that it can be a hot new speculative vehicle for people wanting to get rich quick in the stock market.

By the numbers: More than 625 million shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp. traded on Thursday and Friday. That's 20 times the total number of shares outstanding — a sign that the stock has become an ultra-short-term trading vehicle rather than any kind of long-term investment.

The intrigue: Trump's latest dalliance with the stock market has already created monster profits for a small number of insiders.

  • Large purchases of both shares and warrants in the SPAC taking Trump's social-media company public were made on Wednesday, before the official announcement of the merger.
  • 675,000 shares were bought at $9.96 each, as well as 525,000 warrants at $0.52.
  • The total purchase price, on Wednesday afternoon, was just under $7 million. By 10am on Friday morning, those securities were worth $106 million and $39 million respectively, for a total profit in less than 48 hours of $138 million.

Where it stands: For the time being Trump's company barely exists — it doesn't even have a CEO.

  • Trump will control the company if and when it merges with his media startup — likely making him the controlling shareholder of a public media company and a presidential nominee at the same time. Anybody who bids up the price of the company's shares will automatically enrich Trump himself.
  • Flashback: Trump's last company to go public, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, ended up filing for bankruptcy within a decade.

The bottom line: One word is likely to characterize both the Trump campaign and the share price of his company: Volatile.

Go deeper

Right wing builds its own echo chamber

Expand chart
Data: Apptopia; Table: Axios Visuals

Conservatives are aggressively building their own apps, phones, cryptocurrencies and publishing houses in an attempt to circumvent what they see as an increasingly liberal internet and media ecosystem.

Why it matters: Many of these efforts couldn't exist without the backing of major corporate figures and billionaires who are eager to push back against things like "censorship" and "cancel culture."

GOP Rep. Devin Nunes to retire, will be CEO of Trump media org

Rep. Devin Nunes. Photo: Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who serves as the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, will retire at the end of the year and become CEO of Trump's new media organization.

Why it matters: Nunes, once considered a moderate member of the party, became one of the fiercest defenders of former President Donald Trump throughout both of Trump's impeachments and the Intel committee's Russia investigation.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.