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Monday Wasn't a Great Day for Elon Musk

Tesla CEO loses $15B as company shares, and Bitcoin, slide
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2021 6:36 AM CST

(Newser) – Holding on to the title of world's richest person is tricky business. Elon Musk, who took the crown earlier this year, has given it back to Jeff Bezos, reports Bloomberg. Musk lost $15 billion on Monday alone as Tesla's stock slid nearly 9%. That knocked Musk's net worth down to $183.4 billion, behind Bezos' $186.3 billion. As Yahoo Finance notes, one of Musk's own tweets is getting at least part of the blame for the decline. Over the weekend, Musk wrote that the price of Bitcoin and another cryptocurrency, Ethereum, "seem high," and both soon suffered steep losses. Bitcoin, for example, has fallen from a high of $58,000 to $45,000 as of Tuesday morning. Given that Musk's Tesla just made a $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin, the plunge has hurt the company's bottom line, too.

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Some aren't so sure that Musk's tweet is fully to blame for the Bitcoin drop, however. On Monday, for example, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen described the digital currency as an "extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions," and that furthered the decline, reports MarketWatch. The Washington Post, meanwhile, weighs in with a news feature on Musk, suggesting that the personal schedule he has described as "insane"—he's running SpaceX in addition to Tesla —is starting to take a toll on the car company. Dozens of interviewees "described a company where Musk is less present and increasingly isolated, where subordinates are reluctant to question the CEO’s vision, and where the de facto position entails eschewing market research," writes Faiz Siddiqui. Musk's only comment: "Give my regards to your puppet master," presumably a reference to Post owner Bezos. (Read more Elon Musk stories.)

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