Written by Brian Chapata
Elon Musk was the second person ever to have amassed a personal fortune of more than $200 billion, surpassing that mark in January 2021, months after Jeff Bezos.
The CEO of Tesla Inc has now achieved his first feat: becoming the only person in history to erase $200 billion from his net worth.
Musk, 51, has seen his wealth drop to $137 billion after Tesla shares tumbled in recent weeks, including an 11 percent drop on Tuesday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His wealth peaked at $340 billion on November 4, 2021, and he remained the richest person in the world until he was overtaken this month by Bernard Arnault, the French billionaire behind luxury goods powerhouse LVMH.
The round number sign reflects how high Musk was during the rise in asset prices during the easy money pandemic era. Tesla surpassed the $1 trillion market cap for the first time in October 2021, joining the likes of ubiquitous tech companies Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc and Google parent Alphabet Inc, though its electric cars represented only a slice. small percentage of total sales. Car market.
Now Tesla’s dominance in electric cars, the basis of its lofty valuation, is at risk as competitors catch up. It’s offering American consumers a rare $7,500 discount to receive the two larger models before the end of the year, while reducing production at its Shanghai plant.
Meanwhile, with the pressure on Tesla heating up, Musk has been busy tweeting, which he acquired for $44 billion in late October. He applied a snap approach and broke things like firing staff then asking them to come back and applying content policies indiscriminately to justify banning the accounts of some of the high-profile journalists he covered.
The decline in Tesla shares has been so sharp — shares are down 65 percent in 2022 — and Musk has sold so much this year to help cover his Twitter purchases that it’s no longer his biggest asset, according to Bloomberg’s wealth index. Musk’s $44.8 billion stake in Space Exploration Technologies Corp, which he closely owns, exceeds his nearly $44 billion position in Tesla stock (he still has options valued at about $27.8 billion). Musk now owns 42.2 percent of SpaceX, according to a recent filing.
For his part, Musk dismissed concerns about Tesla and repeatedly on Twitter criticized the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates at the fastest pace in a generation.
“Tesla performs better than ever!” Musk tweeted on Dec. 16. “We do not control the Fed. That’s the real problem here.”
The billionaire, who previously borrowed extensively against his stake in Tesla, also recently warned about the dangers of borrowed money in panic markets.
“I would really advise people not to have margin debt in a volatile stock market, you know, from a monetary standpoint, keep the powder dry,” Musk said on this month’s All-In podcast. “You can get some extreme things going on in a bear market.”
“Devoted student. Bacon advocate. Beer scholar. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot. Typical coffee enthusiast.”