Elon Musk buying a board seat on Twitter for $3bn is a nice reminder that Trump doesn't have $3bn to spend

Today, two things happened!

1: It turns out that Elon Musk's purchase of $3bn worth of Twitter stock earned him a seat on the company's board and influence over its direction, product and policy development.

2: CNN reported that that Trump was "getting rich again". Specifically, that he has a personal wealth of $3bn.

If Trump had $3bn to spend (or to leverage), why couldn't he have bought himself a board seat (and perhaps his account back) on Twitter? He obviously wants it even more than Musk. It's because he doesn't really have anything like that kind of money. When pundits (and business magazines) talk about the personal wealth of billionaires, they imagine every stake liquidated, every debt repaid, and plain sailing all the way there. Another way of putting it: as rich as Trump is, he's still churning what he inherited and it's all leveraged up to his tidemarks. And with such a long history of misrepresenting his assets and obligations, what counts as wealth is really just a measure of his creditors' tolerance for risk.