Tesla CEO, Twitter owner, and self-promoter Elon Musk has broken the world record for “worst loss of fortune,” according to Guinness World Records.
The Washington Post reports that according to Guinness World Records, Elon Musk, the tech billionaire and CEO of Tesla, has experienced the “worst loss of fortune in history.” Data from Forbes and the Bloomberg Billionaires Index states that between November 2021 and January 2022, Musk lost about $200 billion. The previous record was held by Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank, who lost $58.6 billion during the 2000 tech stock crash. Taking inflation into account, that loss would be equivalent to about $100 billion today.
The loss occurs in the wake of Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, where he fired thousands of employees. Investors in Tesla, the electric vehicle manufacturer that Musk owns, have expressed concern as a result, saying that he is wasting too much time trying to improve Twitter at the expense of Tesla. Tesla stock has lost 39 percent of its value since December 1, 2022.
Calculating a person’s net worth at a particular moment in time can be challenging as external factors like market conditions or governmental policy can cause significant fluctuations in the value of a stock that is tied to an entrepreneur’s net worth to occur quickly.
Musk, however, played a role in some of his current financial crises. He sold off a sizeable portion of his Tesla stock to pay a premium for Twitter at a time when the electric car firm is experiencing increased competition in the electric vehicle market, chip and raw material shortages, production delays, and missed deadlines.
According to Bloomberg News, Musk’s space manufacturing company SpaceX accounts for approximately 37 percent of his net worth while shares in Tesla account for about 33 percent. The remaining amount consists of shares of Twitter, the Boring Company and ill-advised brain chip company Neuralink.
The declining value of Tesla stock is primarily to blame for the recent decline in Musk’s net worth. Musk has repeatedly attributed this to macroeconomic developments, such as the historically high 2022 interest rates set by the Federal Reserve.
Last month, during a discussion on Twitter about the value of Tesla with Tesla investor Ross Gerber, Musk tweeted, “As bank savings account interest rates, which are guaranteed, start to approach stock market returns, which are *not* guaranteed, people will increasingly move their money out of stocks into cash, thus causing stocks to drop.”
Musk seemed to acknowledge the worries of investors who believe that his investment in Twitter diminishes the value of his other projects, tweeting in December, “I will make sure Tesla shareholders benefit from Twitter long-term.”
The CEO and chairman of the French luxury retail behemoth LVMH, Bernard Arnault, overtook Musk as the wealthiest man in the world. According to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, Arnault’s net worth as of Thursday was $182 billion. Forbes estimates that Musk is worth $146.5 billion, while Arnault and his family are worth $204 billion.