Tech billionaire extraordinaire Elon Musk, 51, was set to be among the first to become a trillionaire, but the South African-born entrepreneur recently lost a historic $200 billion in net worth. So, what went wrong?
$200bn is not chump change but the Tesla CEO managed to lose it, according to Bloomberg. The majority of Musk's fortune is placed in Tesla.
In 2022, the popular electric carmaker’s stock fell by 65%. This could be attributed to emergence of electric vehicle competition from legacy companies.
His $44bn purchase of one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, Twitter, also undoubtedly dented his coffers.
Musk scoffed off the Tesla crisis by pointing to the rapid hike of interest rates by the Federal Reserve (the central bank of the US).
‘’Tesla is executing better than ever. We don’t control the Federal Reserve. That is the real problem here,” the billionaire tweeted in December 2022.
He also replied to a tweet about “shaking things up” to increase Tesla shares by saying, ‘’As bank savings account interest rates, which are guaranteed, start to approach stock market returns, which are not guaranteed, people will increasingly move their money out of stocks into cash, thus causing stocks to drop.”
Tesla is executing better than ever!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 16, 2022
We don’t control the Federal Reserve.
That is the real problem here.
In an effort to make up for this, Musk sold a large amount of Tesla stock in 2022 to help pay for his Twitter acquisition. The ‘Chief Twit’ has been largely preoccupied by Twitter.
In early December 2022, it was alleged that the chief executive and others on his staff had converted a portion of Twitter’s San Francisco office into sleeping quarters.
NEW: The BBC has obtained pictures of inside Twitter - rooms that have been converted into bedrooms - for staff to sleep in.— James Clayton (@JamesClayton5) December 7, 2022
The city of San Francisco is investigating as it's a commercial building. pic.twitter.com/Y4vKxZXQhB
According to this tweet, Musk even had a wardrobe there and pushed workers to make the space into a hotel.
Bloomberg claimed that the SpaceX chief executive's fortune peaked at $340 billion on November 4, 2021 and he remained the world's richest person until he was dethroned in December 2022 by Bernard Arnault, the French entrepreneur behind luxury goods behemoth LVMH.