Forbes Daily: Beach Bum Billionaire

Forbes Daily: Beach Bum Billionaire

Good morning,

Welcome to April. Perhaps most hopeful for a fresh start in the new month is the U.S. banking sector, which lost hundreds of billions in market value in March as several institutions failed and others faltered.

A potential good sign: some experts say the most painful days for the bleeding sector have already come and gone.

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Former President Donald Trump is reportedly facing at least one felony charge as part of his indictment in Manhattan over an alleged hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. Trump is set to be arraigned Tuesday, and legal experts are questioning whether the court could impose a gag order that would cut him off from publicly discussing the case.

Funds for Social Security and the Medicare trust fund that pays for hospital expenses are expected to be depleted by 2033 and 2031, respectively, spelling trouble for the two major financial safety nets for older Americans.


Starting this month, drivers will face tightened U.S. Treasury Department rules regarding eligibility for an income tax credit of up to $7,500 for buying a new electric vehicle. With few of the 91 EVs currently qualifying for the credit eligible starting on April 18, “Which EVs—make and model—now qualify for the tax credit…and which don’t?” wonders one industry trade group insider.

Britain’s biggest microchip factory, Newport Wafer Fab, could face a potential shutdown, new corporate filings show, due to a U.K. government order forcing the sale of the South Wales-based semiconductor plant over national security concerns about its Chinese parent company.


Jimmy Buffett, the granddaddy of tropical rock, has entered the three comma club thanks to his lucrative licensing business and a heady cash pile from a life full of touring and recording, per Forbes estimates. Here’s how the beach bum billionaire went from Margaritaville to Easy Street. (Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images).

As taxpayers and politicians argue about the impact of additional IRS funding, the Supreme Court is looking at the rules for collecting financial and other information without notice to taxpayers. It will ultimately decide how aggressive the IRS can be when hunting for a delinquent taxpayer’s assets.


The U.S. government has sold nearly 20% of the 50,000 bitcoin it seized in the case of a hack of the Silk Road marketplace, netting more than $215 million in the process, according to a memo filed in the Southern District of New York. The sale didn’t appear to impact bitcoin’s price, which gained 2.43% on the day of the transaction.

AT&T’s Bell Labs was the center of innovation in its heyday, akin to Silicon Valley today. With AI chatbots in the news, Forbes Senior Editor Amy Feldman wondered what happened to a now-vanished early version she used at the famed research institution’s New Jersey offices. Forbes takes a look at the thrill and the mystery of the 1970s AI chatbot known as “Red Father.”


Shares of a special purpose acquisition company connected to Donald Trump surged about 10% from market’s close last Thursday to Friday morning on the news of the former president’s indictment. Some investors are betting that criminal charges will actually help the billionaire and make him richer.

In the aftermath of his indictment, Donald Trump and his GOP allies urged his supporters to contribute to his 2024 presidential campaign. A fundraising email sent out by the Trump campaign referred to his indictment as the “darkest chapter in American history.”


The All England Club will allow Russian and Belarusian tennis players to compete at Wimbledon this year, reversing course from its 2022 ban. To play at the world’s oldest tennis tournament, athletes will be required to sign neutrality agreements prohibiting them from expressing support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Billionaire and NBA superstar LeBron James says he won’t shell out the $8 monthly fee to pay for a blue checkmark on Twitter as the Elon Musk-owned social media platform moves to strip accounts of the legacy mark as part of the transition to its Twitter Blue subscription service.

Daily Cover Story

Trump’s Net Worth Plunges $700 Million As Truth Social Flops

TOPLINE The former president’s fortune dropped from an estimated $3.2 billion last fall to $2.5 billion today. The biggest reason? His social media business, once hyped to the moon, has come crashing down, erasing $550 million from his net worth—so far.

Truth Social, which Trump announced in October 2021 as he sought vengeance for Twitter booting him off its platform in the wake of the January 6 insurrection, had the potential to boost Trump’s fortune by billions. At the onset, supporters piled into Truth Social’s special purpose acquisition company, stoking shares so that the business appeared to be worth $22 billion at its peak.

But the hype never lined up with reality. Today, shares are trading at a level that suggests it’s worth $1.2 billion, but that still seems high due to the fundamental problem that barely anyone uses the app. Pre-launch, an investor presentation suggested Truth Social would attract 81 million users by 2026, but if it continues adding users at its current rate, it won’t actually hit that target until 2086.

WHY IT MATTERS “Trump imagined shaking up the internet with his new social media platform,” says Forbes Senior Editor Dan Alexander. “Now it seems destined to be a dud. His falling fortune may also limit his ability to launch new projects or bankroll future political operations.”

MORE Donald Trump Has Been Lying About Trump Tower For Decades


More people lost their jobs in major layoffs at U.S. companies over the fiscal quarter that just wrapped up than the prior two quarters combined, with tech and manufacturing layoffs leading the surge.

136,000: Workers at major U.S. companies who were laid off during Q1 of 2023.

125,000: Workers at major U.S. companies who were laid off in the last six months of 2022.

74,000: Number of employees who lost their jobs in January 2023 alone—the most employees cut in a one-month period since Forbes started tracking layoffs last summer.


College acceptances are in hand. Now comes the hard part: before a May 1 decision deadline, students and their families must figure out how much each school would actually cost them and which they can afford. Forbes put together a step-by-step decision guide for high school seniors, including how to decipher the different types of financial aid and negotiate for more financial help.


Biden Declines To Comment On Trump Indictment


Former President Donald Trump is expected to be arraigned in Manhattan federal court this week on more than 30 counts related to business fraud and falsifying business records. What other upcoming legal woe will the billionaire soon face?

A. A trial in which he’s being sued for defamation and sexual assault

B. Potential criminal charges for efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 election results

C. A trial accusing him and his business associates of tax fraud

D. All of the above

Check if you got it right here.


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  • Join us virtually for the 2023 Forbes CIO Summit on April 12, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. ET as we gather some of the world’s top CIOs, CTOs, CDIOs and futurists for an amazing mind share focused on leadership, innovation and transformation. The summit is designed to inform, challenge and delight as we examine several key issues of importance to technology leaders.
  • Join us at the 2023 Forbes Under 30 Summit in Botswana on April 23-26, 2023, This year includes performances by award-winning artists, conversations with top business leaders, exclusive networking with entrepreneurs from across the continent and the globe, plus game drives, a bush party and regional excursions. Register now.
  • Looking ahead: The 2023 Forbes Future Of Work Summit will take place in New York and virtually on June 1. Here, we’ll explore the forthcoming impact of artificial intelligence, shifting dynamics between workers and employers, and more. Sign up to stay tuned for updates.

Thanks for reading! Follow along with us on Twitter for by-the-minute updates on the latest business and financial news throughout the day.

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