In another exciting twist of Twitter wizardry, Donald Trump managed to make over $1B of shareholder value in Boeing disappear today when he, “canceled” the order for two new Air Force One jets.
He claimed the project had overrun on costs and would run up a $4B tab. Boeing later responded that the project to replace the thirty year old jets is currently slated for $170M.
The eventual cost of the replacement jets is listed currently at $1.65B according to the Pentagon. Even though he currently lacks the ability to cancel the project, the stock fell immediately after such a statement created uncertainty around the company.
Later in the day, Trump tweeted that Japanese investment from Softbank would bring in $50B and 50,000 jobs. A quick search shows that Softbank purchased a number of companies around the world from ARM in the UK to Sprint here in the US.
Trump’s claim to be the sole reason Softbank would invest seems dubious. The ham-fisted statement that damaged the price of a publicly traded company is a much more serious manner than shaving a couple of strokes off your golf scorecard or claiming that the number of Indiana jobs saved is higher than it is.
And here is the other shoe. The tweet about Boeing came roughly twenty minutes after a Chicago Tribune article published hypothetical concerns at Boeing toward Trump’s Chinese trade policy. Furthermore, the investment from Softbank was announced back in October.
All of this comes after a weekend of tweets reported as a faux pas or genius manuevering by supporters and detractors, respectively. If this degree of carelessness is what can be expected, things could get very interesting.