Inside money, markets, and Big Tech

This article was published on February 23, 2021


Elon Musk loses title of world’s richest person to Bezos after more Twitter drama

Tesla shares plummeted after Musk tweeted that Bitcoin prices "seem high"

Elon Musk loses title of world’s richest person to Bezos after more Twitter drama
Thomas Macaulay
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Thomas Macaulay

Writer at Neural by TNW — Thomas covers AI in all its iterations. Likes Werner Herzog films and Arsenal FC. Writer at Neural by TNW — Thomas covers AI in all its iterations. Likes Werner Herzog films and Arsenal FC.

Elon Musk’s epic four-day stint at the peak of global wealth has come to a tragic end after the tycoon’s itchy Twitter finger triggered more financial upheaval.

Musk lost $15 billion from his net worth in a single day after Tesla shares tumbled 8.6% on Monday.

The sharp decline allowed fellow space-botherer Jeff Bezos to reclaim the crown of world’s richest person, with a ludicrous net worth of $186 billion.

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Bloomberg attributed some of the losses to Musk’s Twitter activity. The SpaceX founder tweeted on Saturday that the prices of Bitcoin and Ether “do seem high,” two weeks after Tesla announced it had snapped up $1.5 billion in Bitcoin.

Analysts estimate that Tesla made $1 billion in profit on the investment in just over a month, after the cryptocurrency hit a record high of $58,000 over the weekend. But on Monday, Bitcoin plummeted by as much as 10%, showing the risks of tying Tesla share prices to the value of the volatile token.

Musk’s tweet certainly isn’t solely responsible for Bitcoin’s flash crash or Tesla’s biggest drop since September. But his ability to influence investors through social media could get him in further trouble with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Musk had mercifully pledged to take a break from Twitter on February 2, but his love for self-promotion, stolen memes, and crypto bantz brought him back to the platform just two days later. A longer stint away from social media might be a wise idea if he wants to avoid another spat with the financial regulators.

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