It wasn’t too long ago that Musk became the second individual ever to amass a personal fortune of more than $200 billion. That happened in January 2021, just months after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos accomplished the same feat.
Much of Musk’s lost billions have been swallowed up by the plummeting value of his shares in Tesla, the electric vehicle company of which he is CEO. That value has dropped 65% this year, and dove 11% last Tuesday alone, as Bloomberg noted Friday.
Musk’s fortune to date peaked in November 2021 at $340 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. He’s now worth a not-too-shabby $137 billion, per Bloomberg, but that’s still a steep dive from 2021.
Musk’s challenges include huge controversies over his hands-on management of a struggling Twitter, for which he paid $44 billion. The self-described “free speech absolutist” has repeatedly come under fire for arbitrarily booting journalists over actions he disapproves of, while allowing previously banned neo-Nazis back on the social media platform.
The billionaire has described the financially challenged Twitter as “basically ... a plane that is headed toward the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work.”
The company is apparently so strapped for cash that Musk recently shut down the servers supporting a Twitter data center in Sacramento. He has also fired janitors at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, reportedly forcing some staffers to bring in their own toilet paper.
Tesla investors fear Musk’s over-involvement in Twitter is distracting him from responding to serious issues at Tesla amid mounting competition.
In a dramatic move, Tesla has been offering American consumers a $7,500 discount on certain car models before the end of the year. The company is also reportedly reducing production at its Shanghai plant.
The world’s billionaires collectively lost nearly $2 trillion in 2022, Forbes reported earlier this month. American billionaires lost a combined $660 billion, more than in any other country, Forbes noted, and Musk lost the most of all.
(The loss occurred, however, after the world’s billionaires added $5 trillion to their collective wealth between March 2020 and November 2021.)
Forbes attributed the losses in America to a dive in tech stock value, rising interest rates, inflation and a weakening economy.