Truth Social

Will QAnon bail out Truth Social? Donald Trump is busy fending off reports that the plan to take his Twitter knock-off public may be jeopardized by the financial woes suffered by its parent company, Trump Media and Technology Group.

Per usual, Trump says the opposite is true. In his mind, the “fake news media” are jealous about Truth Social’s raging success and are just devastated by how well it is doing.

In the real world, Wall Street has bailed out on the stock of Digital World Acquisition Corp, the SPAC vehicle that is supposed to take Truth Social public.

DWAC’s stock is trading at $25.53, which is far below its $175 52-week high that was reached after the initial burst of the Truth Social hype.

The company announced on Aug. 26 that it may need a one-year extension to complete the merger with TM&TG beyond the original Sept. 8 target completion date.

It’s too bad for Trump that the gang at QAnon wasn’t in charge of taking Truth Social public.

Steven Brill’s NewsGuard misinformation monitor on Aug. 28 reported that QAnon followers, who have been banned by Twitter, have stampeded to Truth Social.

NewsGuard found that Truth Social has verified 47 QAnon-promoting accounts with more than 10K followers each and 88 users who promote QAnon ideas, slogans and graphics.

Either knowingly or unknowingly, Trump has bolstered the QAnon adherents.

NewsGuard reports that the former president has “reTruthed” 30 different QAnon accounts a cumulative 65 times to his 3.8M followers. Those boosted accounts have about 772,000 followers overall.

QAnon fans should pass the hat and raise the funds needed to support their favorite social media platform.

Shareholder activists strike out. A report from FTI Consulting found that during the 2021 and 2022 proxy contests, activists won at least one board seat far less often than during the previous four years.

From 2017 through 2020 activists won at least one board seat in 57 percent of the votes. That fell to 23 percent since Jan. 1, 2021, according to FTI managing director Kurt Moeller.

The lack of activist success may be due to a strong stock market and COVID-19. Investors granted management some latitude due to the pandemic-related supply chain disruptions and disrupted labor forces.

Corporate managers should not become too complacent. The volatile stock market, high inflations and a possible recession may bode well for activists.

Peloton CEO Barry McCarthy has got to be a fan of the closing crucifixion scene in the “Life of Brian” that features “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”

In his Aug. 25 shareholder letter dealing with Peloton’s $1.2B fourth-quarter loss, McCarthy wrote:

I suspect what you see will be a function of where you sit. The naysayers will look at our Q4 financial performance and see a melting pot of declining revenues, negative gross margin, and deeper operating losses. They will say these threaten the viability of the business.”

You could say that again.

But as Eric Idle sang in the 1979 movie.

“When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best
And always look on the bright side of life.”

Former Spotify CEO McCarthy, who replaced Peloton co-founder John Foley at the helm in February, said the exercise equipment company made significant progress in Q4 driving its comeback and long-term resilience.

The 68-year-old recalled his high school days when he worked on a cargo ship during the summer.

Upon hearing a post-midnight alarm to general quarters, McCarthy bolted to the bridge of the ship.

He wrote: “The 720 ft. ship was going 27 knots and the helm was hard alee. The ship was heading sharply to starboard and the steel hull was shuddering. The captain was trying to turn the ship around but a ship that big, going that fast, takes miles and miles to change direction.”

McCarthy likened Peleton to that cargo ship. The alarm has been sounded and everyone is at their stations. When Peloton responds is the question. He is shooting for fiscal 2023.

McCarthy deserves credit for writing an out-of-the-ordinary shareholder letter.

Smooth sailing, Barry. Good luck in keeping Peloton afloat in the post-pandemic world.