Elon Musk becomes first person ever to lose $200 billion

Brian Chapata

Elon Musk is the second person to surpass $200 billion in personal wealth, passing the threshold in January 2021, a few months after Jeff Bezos.

The Tesla CEO has now achieved his own first achievement: becoming the only person in history to wipe $200 billion from his net worth.

Musk, 51, has seen his fortune plummet to $137 billion after Tesla shares slumped in recent weeks, including an 11 percent drop on Tuesday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His fortune peaked at $340 billion on Nov. 4, 2021, and he was the world’s richest man until this month when he was surpassed by Bernard Arnault, the French tycoon behind luxury goods giant LVMH.

The round-number milestone reflects how much Musk has soared during rising asset prices in the era of the easy-money pandemic. In October 2021, Tesla’s market value exceeded $1 trillion for the first time, joining the ranks of ubiquitous technology companies such as Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. Amazon. A small portion of the automotive market.

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Also read | Amid new rivals and distracted boss, Tesla takes a beating on Wall Street

Now, Tesla’s dominance in electric vehicles — the basis of its lofty valuation — is in jeopardy as rivals catch up. It is offering U.S. consumers a rare $7,500 discount to deliver two of its top-selling models by the end of the year, while also reportedly reducing production at its Shanghai factory.

Meanwhile, as pressure mounts on Tesla, Musk has been focusing on Twitter, which he bought for $44 billion in late October. He employs a method of moving fast and breaking things, such as firing employees and then asking them to come back and haphazardly applying content policies to justify banning the accounts of some high-profile journalists who reported on him.

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Tesla shares have fallen so far — the stock is down 65% in 2022, according to Bloomberg’s Wealth Index — and Musk has sold so much stock this year to help pay for his Twitter purchase that As for them not being his greatest asset anymore. Musk’s $44.8 billion stake in his closely held Space Exploration Technologies Corp exceeds his roughly $44 billion position in Tesla stock (he still owns options worth about $27.8 billion). Musk now owns 42.2% of SpaceX, according to a recent filing.

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For his part, Musk dismissed concerns about Tesla and repeatedly criticized the Federal Reserve on Twitter for raising interest rates at the fastest pace in a generation.

“Tesla is executing better than ever!” Musk tweeted on Dec. 16. This is where the real problem lies. “

The billionaire, who has previously borrowed heavily on his Tesla stake, has also recently warned of the dangers of borrowing money in a panicked market.

“I would really advise people not to hold margin debt in a volatile stock market and, you know, from a cash standpoint, keep the gunpowder dry,” Musk said on the All-In podcast released this month. “In a downturn You can have some pretty extreme things happen in a market like this.”


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