In the 90s, after I graduated college, I took a job at a small brokerage firm on Wall Street because I needed a job. I worked there for 7 months, and hated every minute of it. During my 7 month tenure at the brokerage, however, I met Donald Trump and shook his hand.
During the winter of 1996-1997, Donald Trump went on a promotional tour intended to inspire stock brokers to sell his stock. I’m not sure if he just visited us, or whether he visited brokerages of every size and shape, so long as they would sell his stock like we did. But it’s possible (educated guess, based on the volume of shares involved here) that he visited many brokerages, so I’ll use the expression “brokerage(s)” to indicate my uncertainty in that regard.
So the Donald went on a tour of brokerage firm(s) that were kinda like the one you saw in The Wolf of Wall Street. He made a presentation to a bunch of starving brokers, packed with promises he never kept, but to an audience of salesmen who were hungry to make a dollar during the bull market of the 90s. He made his pitch to teams of hundreds of salesmen, in a high turnover industry, to cover his ass and perpetrate a blatant fraud. His presentation – that I saw – wasn’t in a prospectus. It wasn’t subject to audit by the SEC. It was a presentation he made, off the record, to a bunch of schlock house, starving, amoral and drunken stock brokers.
Again, I don’t know for certain if he toured the circuit of schlock house brokerages other than the one I worked at. But I am willing to speculate that he did just that, and that his bs plans to build glass tunnels under water along the Atlantic City Boardwalk, connecting his new construction projects that would make Atlantic City great again, were fraudulently concocted to cause stock brokers to pump and dump his stock, at 27 bucks a share (it was trading at 27 as of his visit), to unsuspecting clients of our brokerage in the months before he knew that the company would inevitably go bankrupt.
This story is true. The man is a total scam artist and I witnessed it in the 90s.
He presented all kinds of huge construction plans for Atlantic City to us, and he had drawings of all his plans that were pretty exciting to the brokers who wanted to make a commission selling stocks with such exciting stories. Now I left the firm after 7 rotten months, but I kept following the stock, DJT, as he had sold me on the story and I had to watch his plans unfold and for Atlantic City to be, ahem, made great again! But, the story ended with DJT declaring bankruptcy within a few years or so of the Donald’s incredible presentation. None of the things he promised to build, however, were built. (But I’m sure he managed to dump a lot of worthless shares of his company’s stock by using a bunch of dumb brokers and leveraging his celebrity to do it…)