In a dramatic reversal of fortune triggered by a tweet, the world’s richest man Elon Musk lost that crown overnight after Tesla Inc. shares slid 8.6 per cent on Monday, wiping $15.2 billion from his net worth.
Tesla’s biggest decline since September was fuelled in part by Musk’s comments over the weekend that the prices of Bitcoin and smaller rival Ether “do seem high”. His tweet came two weeks after Tesla announced it added 1.5 billion in Bitcoin to its balance sheet.
Musk drops to second on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index of the world’s 500 richest people with a net worth of US$183.4 billion — down from a peak of US$210 billion in January. Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos reclaimed the top spot even as his fortune fell by US$3.7 billion to US$186.3 billion Monday.
Earlier Monday, Elon Musk also tweeted that the company’s Brand Y Standard Range SUV will still be available “off the menu,” following up rumors from Electrek’s electric vehicle news website that the model had been deleted from its online configurator.
This year, the two billionaires have been exchanging positions as Tesla’s value plummeted. After his SpaceX rocket corporation received $850 million earlier this month, Musk momentarily overtook Bezos, valuing the company at $74 billion, a 60% leap from August.
This year, Tesla has grown in valuation and last month achieved a market value of $700 billion, making the electric car producer worth more than Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai, GM and Ford combined.