Elon Musk recently won a coveted US government contract to build a spaceship to the moon. Jeff Bezos was not happy.
Elon Musk’s Twitter posts keep sending Bitcoin prices tumbling. His own fortune is heading in the same direction.
On Monday, Tesla Inc.’s chief executive officer lost his spot as the world’s second-richest person to LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault as the electric vehicle-maker’s shares fell 2.2%. That was on top of last week’s slump amid a rout in technology stocks and fresh signs of trouble in its China business.
Musk, who held the top spot in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index as recently as March, now has a fortune of $160.6 billion, down 24% from its January high.
The drop follows a turbulent period for Musk, who sent Bitcoin tumbling as much as 15% last week after posting a statement on Twitter that Tesla was no longer accepting the digital currency as payment. He also whipsawed Dogecoin prices after tweeting he’s working with developers of the Shiba Inu-themed token to improve transaction efficiencies.
Over the weekend, Musk wreaked havoc again when he seemed to imply that Tesla may sell or has sold its Bitcoin holdings before later clarifying in a tweet Monday that the company had done no such thing.
Musk, 49, became the world’s richest person in January after Tesla’s shares surged almost 750% last year amid a boom in technology-driven stocks. Despite reporting record first-quarter profit, the Palo Alto, California-based company’s shares have since fallen by about a fifth amid a global semiconductor shortage and increasing competition from traditional automakers.
Tesla’s skeptics include Michael Burry, the investor who rose to fame for making billions off bets against mortgage securities during the financial crisis. He recently placed a sizable wager against the company, according to a regulatory filing Monday.
Musk’s fortune has dropped about $9.1 billion this year, the most among U.S.-based billionaires tracked by Bloomberg’s wealth index.
Meanwhile, Arnault, 72, has added the most, with his net worth climbing by almost $47 billion to $161.2 billion as sales of his firm’s luxury goods surge in China and other parts of Asia.
(Adds details of Burry’s Tesla short in sixth paragraph)
–With assistance from Jack Witzig and Devon Pendleton.