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Elon Musk’s fortune plunges by $50bn in two days after controversial Tesla Twitter poll

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·2-min read
Elon Musk’s fortune plunges by $50bn in two days after controversial Tesla Twitter poll
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Elon Musk has lost more than $50bn (about £37bn) in two days, following his Twitter poll asking if he should sell 10 per cent of his Tesla shares.

This is the biggest two-day decline even recorded in the history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, according to a report by Bloomberg Wealth.

While Musk is still the richest person in the world with a wealth of $323bn, the loss has narrowed the gap between the Tesla chief and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos by about $83bn.

Tesla’s stocks began to slide after Musk’s Twitter poll ended. He had tweeted to his 62 million followers on Sunday, asking if they wanted him to sell 10 per cent of his stock in Tesla, worth around $21bn. He wrote: “Much is made lately of unrealised gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10 per cent of my Tesla stock. Do you support this?”

As many as 3.5 million votes were cast, with 58 per cent voting in favour of him selling his stock.

The Tesla chief had said he would “abide by the results of this poll”, whichever way it goes. “I do not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere. I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock,” Musk added.

He had earlier claimed he would make such a transaction via his shares in Tesla, and donate the profits to fight world hunger if the UN presented a transparent plan to do so.

The shares came under more pressure as famed short-seller Michael Burry noted in a now-deleted tweet that Musk may want to sell his shares to cover his personal debts.

Adding to these woes was news that Musk’s cousin Kimbal Musk sold over $100m of Tesla stock last month.

Despite the reported loss of over $50bn, Musk’s fortunes are still up by over 70 per cent this year, thanks largely to his 23 per cent stake in Tesla.

The company recently hit a market capitalisation of over $1 trillion for the first time after American car rental company Hertz placed an order for 100,000 cars with Tesla.

Tesla’s market value continues to be worth more than the combined market value of the largest automobile manufacturers around the world such as Toyota, Volkswagen, and Ford.

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