A Tesla employee has been arrested in connection to the fatal shooting of a co-worker at the company’s Fremont, CA, factory: police

  • 29-year-old Anthony Solima was arrested in connection with the shooting death of a Tesla factory co-worker.
  • The victim, who has not yet been identified, had just finished a shift at the factory when he was shot.
  • Detectives learned that the victim and suspect had been arguing earlier in the day.

A Tesla employee has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a co-worker at the company’s Fremont, California, factory site, police said on Tuesday.

The victim, whose name has yet to be released by authorities, had just finished a shift at the factory on Monday and was shot in the parking lot as he left, the Fremont Police Department said in its statement. 

“Detectives learned that the victim and suspect had been arguing earlier in the day, and that the suspect had suddenly walked off the job,” the police said.

Police initially classified the incident as a suspicious death but later ruled it a homicide.

On Tuesday, police named 29-year-old Anthony Solima, of Milpitas, California, as a suspect in the case. At the time of his arrest he was found with a loaded short-barrel rifle and an expended casing, according to authorities.

More than 10,000 employees work at Tesla’s Fremont factory, according to the electric vehicle maker’s webpage.

Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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One of the largest taxi companies in Paris suspended its fleet of Tesla Model 3 cars after a driver lost control in a fatal crash

A red Tesla Model 3 in a showroom.
Last January, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was formally investigating a petition claiming 127 complaints of sudden unintended acceleration from Tesla drivers.

  • A taxi firm in Paris suspended its Tesla Model 3 cars after a deadly crash killed one person.
  • A police source told French media that the car kept accelerating and the driver couldn’t brake.
  • The car hit at least three pedestrians, a traffic light, and smashed a glass container.

Parisian taxi company G7, one of the largest in the city, has suspended its Tesla Model 3 fleet after a fatal accident involving one of the electric vehicles on Saturday.

The accident killed one person at around 9 p.m. local time and injured 20 others, seven of whom were seriously injured, according to French paper Le Parisien. Another local media outlet, Figaro, reported that nine people were injured.

The car hit at least three pedestrians, a traffic light, and smashed into a van, Figaro reported.

G7’s deputy chief executive, Yann Ricordel, said the driver was off-duty and was taking his family to a restaurant when the accident occurred, Reuters reported.

The taxi firm is suspending the use of its 37 Tesla Model 3s until the police complete their investigation, and Ricordel said all drivers affected by the suspension would be compensated, per Reuters.

Jérôme Coumet, mayor of the 13 arrondissement — or local administrative district — in Paris, mentioned a “technical failure” in a tweet about the accident. “The first elements of the investigation indicated that the accelerator would have gotten stuck,” he later tweeted.

But Ricordel told Reuters that an initial inquiry ruled out technical issues as the cause of the accident, contradicting Coumet’s tweet.

According to the BBC, Tesla also denied the car had any technical issues based on its remote data collection.  

Videos on Twitter show the aftermath of the deadly accident.

Tesla has sold over one million Model 3s, making the car one of the world’s best-selling electric vehicles. Last January, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was formally investigating 127 complaints of sudden unintended acceleration from Tesla drivers.

Tesla said the petition was false and raised by a Tesla short-seller.

The NHTSA has also been probing the car manufacturer on its “autopilot” feature after it received at least 12 reports of Tesla drivers hitting first responder vehicles while having their advanced driver assistance systems turned on, Reuters reported.

Tesla and G7 did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

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Former SpaceX engineer says she was sexually harassed and ‘misogyny is rampant’ at Elon Musk’s rocket company

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule on the launch pad in Florida.
A SpaceX rocket and capsule at Cape Canaveral, Florida, in early November.

  • A former SpaceX engineer published an essay claiming the company is “rife with sexism.”
  • Former SpaceX engineer Ashley Kosak said she experienced sexual harassment from colleagues.
  • SpaceX and Musk did not respond to a request for comment.

A former SpaceX engineer published an essay on Tuesday accusing Elon Musk’s rocket company of fostering an environment “rife with sexism.”

Ashley Kosak, a former Mission Integration Engineer at the space company, said she faced sexual harassment while employed by SpaceX and that supervisors and human resources officials failed to adequately address the alleged incidents.

On Tuesday, The Verge reported that four more former employees said they had experienced or witnessed sexual harassment while at SpaceX. In three of the alleged cases, the former workers told the publication that they did not feel HR’s response was adequate.

A SpaceX spokesperson, as well as the company’s CEO, Musk, did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.

In the essay, Kosak, who said she started working at SpaceX in 2017 as an intern and became an engineer in 2019, alleged that a fellow intern grabbed her backside while she was in the kitchen of the intern housing unit where they were both staying. She said she told a superior and another co-worker.

Kosak also said that in 2018 “a male colleague ran his hand over my shirt, from my lower waist to my chest” at a team-bonding event while she was an intern. She said she told her supervisors and reported the alleged behavior to HR in a meeting “but no one followed up,” leaving her to feel “powerless.”

“Some of the men who work at SpaceX hug women without consent, stare at women while they work, and interpret every company-related social event as an opportunity to date (or hit on) women in the office,” Kosak wrote.

She said that coworkers messaged her on Instagram to ask her out and that she once received a 4 a.m. call from a coworker. She said a different coworker came over to her house and “insisted on touching me even when I repeatedly requested we stay professional.”

Kosak said in the essay that she reported “each incident of sexual harassment I experienced to HR” but “nothing was done.” She said that she was told a company training would be held, but that “matters of this nature were too private to openly discuss with the perpetrators.”

Kosak said in the essay that she attributes the work environment at SpaceX to Musk’s leadership.

“Elon Musk’s behavior bears a remarkable similarity to the behavior of a sadistic and abusive man who had previously been part of my life,” Kosak wrote, saying Musk makes promises, but continually “shifts the goalpost” and pushes people to “the brink of burnout.”

“Elon uses engineers as a resource to be mined rather than a team to be led,” Kosak said in the essay.

The engineer said that after repeatedly making reports to HR, she submitted her complaints to an anonymous Ethics and Compliance tipline, which she said she later realized was a Microsoft form that did not preserve her anonymity. Kosak said she then met with COO Gwynne Shotwell and Head of HR Brian Bjelde, who she said told her they had not been made aware of her complaints and asked for her to submit a list of proposed solutions.

Shotwell and Bjelde did not respond to a request for comment from Insider, but The Verge obtained an email that was sent out by Shotwell over the weekend, reiterating the company’s stance against harassment. The COO reportedly said the company plans to perform a third-party audit of its HR practices.

“We also know we can always do better,” the email reportedly said.

Kosak said her psychiatrist eventually recommended she take a step back from work due to “frequent panic attacks” and “heart palpitations.”

“As I took a week’s medical leave to recover, I received a frantic cadence of calls from HR,” she wrote. 

Kosak resigned in November and has since begun working at Apple, according to her LinkedIn page.

Kosak is not the first person to express concern regarding the work environment at Musk’s companies. Last year, a former SpaceX intern filed a discrimination lawsuit against the company, alleging her decision to report alleged sexual harassment to HR cost her the opportunity for a full-time job. The lawsuit has since been privately resolved and dismissed, The Verge reports.

Over the past four weeks, eight Tesla factory workers have sued Musk’s electric car company, alleging Tesla ignored sexual harassment.

The former SpaceX engineer’s essay also comes only a few months after engineers at Jeff Bezos’ space venture, Blue Origin, expressed similar concerns, alleging the company had a “toxic” and “sexist” work culture.

“The last I heard, new SpaceX interns would receive training on how to better report their harassment,” Kosak wrote in the last lines of her essay. “The harassers, on the other hand, have still not been held to account.”

Do you work at SpaceX or Blue Origin? Reach out to the reporter from a non-work email at gkay@insider.com

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Elon Musk slams Warren Buffett’s job as ‘super boring’ — but praises the investor’s skills and defends his $100 billion fortune

GettyImages 1229892852
Elon Musk.

  • Elon Musk dismissed Warren Buffett’s job as incredibly boring, and said he doesn’t want it.
  • Yet the Tesla and SpaceX CEO praised Buffett’s investing skills and touted the value of his work.
  • Musk and Buffett have butted heads before, but appear to respect each other.

Elon Musk dismissed Warren Buffett’s job as extremely dull and said he wouldn’t want to do it. Yet he also complimented the investor’s knack for capital allocation, and defended the Berkshire Hathaway CEO’s roughly $100 billion fortune.

“I’m not Warren Buffett’s biggest fan, frankly,” Musk told Time in his Person of the Year interview. “He sits there and reads all these annual reports, which are super boring.”

Berkshire owns scores of businesses including See’s Candies and Geico, and holds multibillion-dollar stakes in Apple, Coca-Cola, and other public companies. Buffett spends his days allocating money within the conglomerate, and identifying undervalued stocks to add to Berkshire’s roughly $300 billion stock portfolio.

“Does anybody want that job?” Musk asked. “I think most people do not. I don’t want that job.”

“But he’s not engaged in insane, conspicuous consumption,” the Tesla and SpaceX CEO continued. “So you have to say, ‘Sure, he’s got a high net worth, but he’s doing a useful job for the economy, and he’s very skilled at it and should probably keep doing it.”

Musk, Buffett, and several other billionaires were named and shamed in a ProPublica investigation earlier this year, which accused them of paying virtually no federal income tax in recent years. The exposé has fueled calls from Democratic politicians for a “billionaire tax” that would target the ultra-wealthy’s fortunes, especially those invested in stocks that currently aren’t taxed until they’re sold.

Buffett defended himself by noting that he’s pledged to give over 99% of his net worth to philanthropic causes, and that he’s already donated about half of his nearly 475,000 Berkshire “A” shares since 2006. Meanwhile, Musk has loudly criticized the politicians pushing for higher taxes on the ultra-wealthy, accusing them of trying to take control of private individuals’ assets.

Musk has expressed his ambivalence towards Buffett in past interviews, but this appears to be the first time he’s applauded the investor’s abilities, or acknowledged the value of his work. The Berkshire boss has praised Musk’s accomplishments before, but has also called out the Tesla chief’s controversial tweets.

Buffett and Musk’s most public clash was over the investor’s concept of competitive “moats” around companies, which the Tesla chief dismissed as “lame” in 2018.

“Elon may turn things upside down in some areas,” Buffett responded when he was asked about the comment. “I don’t think he’d want to take us on in candy.”

“I’m starting a candy company and it’s going to be amazing,” Musk jokingly tweeted in response.

Read more: ‘Richer, Wiser, Happier’ author William Green breaks down the 3 key traits that have fueled Warren Buffett’s success, and explains why they’re so important for investors

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Elon Musk says Tesla will start accepting dogecoin for some merchandise — sending the token soaring as much as 30%

Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Elon Musk has long supported dogecoin, a meme cryptocurrency.

  • Tesla will start to let people buy some of its merchandise with dogecoin, Elon Musk said Tuesday.
  • Musk tweeted: “Tesla will make some merch buyable with Doge & see how it goes.”
  • The meme cryptocurrency skyrocketed after Musk’s tweet, soaring as much as 30% early Tuesday.

Elon Musk has said Tesla will let people purchase some of its merchandise with the meme cryptocurrency dogecoin.

“Tesla will make some merch buyable with Doge & see how it goes,” Musk tweeted Tuesday.

Dogecoin’s price was down before Musk’s announcement but then skyrocketed as much as 30%. It was last up 26% at $0.2092, according to crypto data website Coinmarketcap.

The Tesla CEO has been a long-running supporter of dogecoin, a Japanese Shiba Inu dog-themed cryptocurrency that was started as a joke in 2013.

In May, he asked his Twitter followers whether Tesla should start accepting dogecoin, to which the overwhelming response was “yes.”

Earlier the same month, Musk said he thought dogecoin could ironically become the future of cryptocurrencies.

Tesla wouldn’t be the first company to accept the meme token in payment. The Dallas Mavericks — the basketball team owned by crypto fan Mark Cuban — began selling tickets and merchandise in exchange for it earlier this year.

Musk and Tesla have been key drivers of the cryptocurrency boom in 2021. The electric-car maker bought $1.5 billion bitcoin in January, and then in March, announced it would start accepting the cryptocurrency in payment for cars.

However, Musk rowed back on that idea in May, criticizing bitcoin’s “insane” energy use. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, including dogecoin, are secured and “mined” using lots of computing power.

Musk began to talk more about dogecoin as he backed away from bitcoin in May, saying he was working with developers to improve its efficiency.

Read more: These 3 proof-of-stake altcoins can surge in the long-term – although shiba inu fever will soon die down, according to a top exec at a platform that hosts almost $3 billion worth of blockchain nodes

It’s been a busy week for Musk, who just sold another $900 million of Tesla stock, taking his total sales since early November to just under $13 billion.

The world’s wealthiest man, he was chosen Monday by Time Magazine as its Person of the Year. The publication called Musk “clown, genius, edgelord, visionary, industrialist, showman, [and] cad.”

Dogecoin’s Tuesday jump was out of keeping with the rest of the crypto sector, which was a sea of red. Digital assets are seen by most investors as highly speculative, and have suffered as the Federal Reserve has talked up the chances of tighter monetary policy.

Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for further comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

These are the 50 top stocks that members of Congress own

Reps. Josh Gottheimer, Sara Jacobs, Van Taylor, and Susie Lee in front of Exxon Mobil, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft lgoos.
  • More than 220 members of Congress held individual stocks in 2020.
  • We analyzed hundreds of congressional financial disclosures to find the most popular investments.
  • Apple was the most popular, with Microsoft, Disney, Alphabet, and Amazon close behind.

More than 40% of members in Congress, or more than 220 representatives and senators, own individual stocks, collectively holding at least $225 million in stock assets, Insider has found.

Those in Congress are prohibited from using insider information to profit from the stock market. But it is legal for them to buy and sell individual stocks — a policy that can result in potential conflicts of interest in legislators’ financial dealings.

Tech stocks were the most popular

Those in Congress favor tech stocks, Insider’s analysis showed. Apple, the top stock and one of the hottest investments in recent years, was held by 72 members, or more than 13% of Congress.

Microsoft, the second-most-popular stock, was held by 64 members, followed by Disney and Alphabet, tied with 45 owners. Close behind was Amazon, owned by 44 members.

Together, the five companies spent $48 million on lobbying in 2020, according to OpenSecrets. PACs linked to the five companies along with the companies’ employees made an estimated $89.9 million in federal political contributions during the 2020 election cycle, which includes the calendar year 2019.

 

Leading investments include big lobbying forces, from pharma to oil to defense

Pharmaceutical and biotechnology giants are also popular investments for elected officials.

Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, the makers of COVID-19 vaccines, were the most-held pharmaceutical stocks in Congress in 2020, owned by 44 and 37 members, respectively.

Congress’ stock trades in particular are worthy of scrutiny. Despite a law requiring members to quickly and publicly disclose when they buy and sell stocks and corporate bonds, Insider found that many have failed to comply, often disclosing trades late, if at all.

Lawmakers’ personal financial interests sometimes intersect with their public duties.

Reps. Robert Wittman, a Republican from Virginia, and Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, owned Exxon Mobil stock. Both lawmakers sit on the House Committee on Natural Resources, which is responsible for overseeing various elements of the fossil-fuels industry. Overall, 36 members of Congress owned Exxon Mobil stock in 2020, making it the 12th-most-owned stock in Congress.

Insider also discovered that some members of Congress held stocks that their committees have direct influence over, such as 15 members sitting on the House and Senate Armed Services committees who are simultaneously invested in defense contractors.

Shares of Alibaba, a multinational Chinese tech firm with ties to the country’s ruling Communist Party, were owned by 20 members of Congress, including Republican Sens. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama and Roger Marshall of Kansas, two outspoken critics of China’s government. Both senators this year violated the federal Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 by not properly disclosing some of their stock trades.

 

How we analyzed Congress’ financial disclosures 

Insider this autumn collected and analyzed financial disclosures filed by each member of Congress, making them searchable and sortable whereas they previously were not. Covering 2020 — a year in which the world’s richest people witnessed their fortunes grow substantially — the reports provide the most recent comprehensive overview of each member’s financial assets.

They revealed at least $2.6 billion in wealth held by federal legislators.

Senate and House members file their disclosures in different formats. Insider used natural-language-processing software — including an algorithm that analyzes text — to help determine the most commonly traded stocks in the House.

Insider’s analysis did not include four members of Congress whose disclosures were uniquely complicated, incomplete, illegible, or long, comprising hundreds of pages of handwritten or scanned documents. Those members are Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna of California, Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, and Kurt Schrader of Oregon, and Republican Rep. Harold Rogers of Kentucky. A cursory review of their filings showed that Khanna, Schrader, and Rogers held extensive stock portfolios, and that they or immediate family members frequently traded individual stocks in 2020.

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Elon Musk says Tesla will start accepting dogecoin for some merchandise — sending the meme token soaring as much as 16%

Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Elon Musk has long supported dogecoin, a meme cryptocurrency.

  • Tesla will start to let people buy some of its merchandise with dogecoin, Elon Musk said Tuesday.
  • Musk tweeted: “Tesla will make some merch buyable with Doge & see how it goes.”
  • The meme cryptocurrency skyrocketed after Musk’s tweet, rising as much as 16% early Tuesday.

Elon Musk has said Tesla will let people purchase some of its merchandise with the meme cryptocurrency dogecoin.

“Tesla will make some merch buyable with Doge & see how it goes,” Musk tweeted Tuesday.

Dogecoin’s price was down before Musk’s announcement but then skyrocketed. It was last up 16% at $0.19243, according to crypto data website Coingecko.

The Tesla CEO has been a long-running supporter of dogecoin, a Japanese Shiba Inu dog-themed cryptocurrency that was started as a joke in 2013.

In May, he asked his Twitter followers whether Tesla should start accepting dogecoin, to which the overwhelming response was “yes.”

Earlier the same month, Musk said he thought dogecoin could ironically become the future of cryptocurrencies.

Tesla wouldn’t be the first company to accept the meme token in payment. The Dallas Mavericks — the basketball team owned by crypto fan Mark Cuban — began selling tickets and merchandise in exchange for it earlier this year.

Musk and Tesla have been key drivers of the cryptocurrency boom in 2021. The electric-car maker bought $1.5 billion bitcoin in January, and then in March, announced it would start accepting the cryptocurrency in payment for cars.

However, Musk rowed back on that idea in May, criticizing bitcoin’s “insane” energy use. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, including dogecoin, are secured and “mined” using lots of computing power.

Musk began to talk more about dogecoin as he backed away from bitcoin in May, saying he was working with developers to improve its efficiency.

Read more: These 3 proof-of-stake altcoins can surge in the long-term – although shiba inu fever will soon die down, according to a top exec at a platform that hosts almost $3 billion worth of blockchain nodes

It’s been a busy week for Musk, who just sold another $900 million of Tesla stock, taking his total sales since early November to just under $13 billion.

The world’s wealthiest man, he was chosen Monday by Time Magazine as its Person of the Year. The publication called Musk “clown, genius, edgelord, visionary, industrialist, showman, [and] cad.”

Dogecoin’s Tuesday jump was out of keeping with the rest of the crypto sector, which was a sea of red. Digital assets are seen by most investors as highly speculative, and have suffered as the Federal Reserve has talked up the chances of tighter monetary policy.

Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for further comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Elizabeth Warren slams Elon Musk’s ‘person of the year’ title, saying the tax code should be changed so he stops ‘freeloading off everyone else’

Sen. Elizabeth Warre
Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren slammed Elon Musk’s new title as TIME’s person of the year. 
  • She said he should stop “freeloading” and pay his fair share in taxes as the world’s richest person.
  • Musk is worth $297 billion, but managed to pay $0 in federal income tax in 2018. 

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren isn’t pleased with Elon Musk’s designation as TIME’s 2021 person of the year

Musk, who is worth $297 billion, has vocally opposed government involvement in his wealth — something Warren and other progressive lawmakers have slammed given his avoidance in paying what they say is his fair share in taxes. While Warren’s proposal to impose a 2% tax on household net worth has not yet come to fruition, she has been a staunch advocate of taxing the wealthy and didn’t hold back on Monday, after TIME announced Musk’s new title.

“Let’s change the rigged tax code so The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else,” Warren wrote on Twitter.

She also shared a new TIME cover created by Americans for Tax Fairness with the words “TAX ME” placed over a photo of Musk, alongside text that said Musk paid $0 in federal income tax in 2018.

A recent ProPublica investigation found Musk, and others in his tax bracket, did not pay federal taxes as of 2018 because they did not have income, only assets. That’s why Musk has strongly opposed Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden’s “billionaire’s tax,” which would tax wealthy people’s assets.

As Insider’s Juliana Kaplan previously reported, taxing billionaire’s would raise $557 over a decade, per an analysis from the Joint Committee on Taxation, and Musk would be on the hook for $50 billion in taxes for the first five years. 

“This makes crystal clear the extent to which the tax code is simply not equipped to tax billionaires fairly, or ensure they pay any taxes at all,” Wyden said in an October statement. “Working Americans like nurses and firefighters are rightly disgusted by the status quo.”

Musk responded to Wyden’s proposal at the time, saying on Twitter: “Eventually, they run out of other people’s money and then they come for you.”

As Insider reported, Musk does not want the government to lay a hand on his fortune even though government subsidies helped him grow that fortune. The government provided subsidies to Tesla, his electric vehicle company, along with a $2.89 billion contract for his aerospace company, SpaceX, to land “commercial” humans on the moon.

Even so, Musk said he opposed that kind of help from the government in his interview with TIME.

“They’re basically saying they want control of the assets,” Musk said. “This does not result in, actually, the good of the people. You want those who are managing capital to be good stewards of capital. And I think the government is inherently not a good steward of capital.”

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Elon Musk thinks investors should pay less attention to his tweets

Photo by BRITTA PEDERSEN:POOL:AFP via Getty Images
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

  • Elon Musk told Time that he doesn’t think his tweets have much of an impact on the markets.
  • “Markets move themselves all the time, based on nothing as far as I can tell,” he said.
  • But there are several examples of Tesla stock rising or falling immediately following a Musk tweet.

Elon Musk doesn’t think his tweets have the power to move markets. 

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO and world’s richest person said as much in a profile in Time — Musk was named the magazine’s Person of the Year for 2021 for his commitment to the environment and to space exploration.

In an interview with Time’s Molly Ball, Jeffrey Kluger, and Alejandro de la Garza published Monday, Musk discussed his Twitter habit, a pastime that makes him easily the most famous CEO on the planet and probably the most adored and most criticized in equal measure. 

But it’s also a habit that has landed him in hot water with the US government: In 2018, Musk faced the ire of the Securities and Exchange Commission over a tweet claiming he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 per share — the share price being a drug reference and a joke to impress his then-girlfriend, Grimes. The tweet sent Tesla’s share price skyrocketing 14%.

The SEC filed suit against Musk, accusing him of making “false and misleading statements” — Musk and Tesla later settled, agreeing to pay $20 million apiece without admitting guilt. Musk also stepped down as chairman of Tesla’s board, and Tesla was required to appoint a new committee that would oversee Musk’s communications.

But Musk told Time that he doesn’t think he bears much responsibility for what happens after he tweets.

“Markets move themselves all the time, based on nothing as far as I can tell,” Musk told Time. “So the statements that I make, are they materially different from random movements of the stock that might happen anyway? I don’t think so.”

But there are several examples of Tesla’s stock moving following a Musk tweet. Last month, Tesla shares dipped after Musk tweeted that the company hadn’t yet signed a deal with Hertz, despite the car-rental firm announcing it had ordered 100,000 Tesla Model 3 sedans, the largest-ever electric vehicle purchase.

Also last month, Tesla dropped 7% after Musk asked his Twitter followers whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock — 3.5 million people voted in the poll in 24 hours.

And when Musk tweeted in May 2020 that he thought Tesla’s stock price was “too high,” shares of the automaker dropped by about 9%. 

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Elon Musk rips the political class again, saying ‘government is inherently not a good steward of capital’ even though his companies thrived from government subsidies

Elon Musk
Elon Musk.

  • Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, was named TIME’s 2021 person of the year. 
  • He said in an interview he does not think the government should be involved in people’s assets.
  • But government subsidies allowed him to grow his wealth through electric vehicles and solar power.

Elon Musk — the world’s richest person and TIME’s 2021 person of the year — is biting the hand that feeds him.

With a net worth of $297 billion, Musk is a vocal opponent of increased taxes on the rich, including government involvement in all of his financial assets. He responded to Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden’s “billionaire’s tax” proposal — a tax on wealthy people’s assets — with a vulgar response to Wdyen’s appearance on Twitter. He’s remained firm in his stance that the government should stay out of his wealth.

“They’re basically saying they want control of the assets,” Musk said in a recent interview with TIME. “This does not result in, actually, the good of the people. You want those who are managing capital to be good stewards of capital. And I think the government is inherently not a good steward of capital.”

However, government subsidies are largely to thank for the mountains of money Musk holds today. As the founder of electric vehicle company Tesla, the Wall Street Journal reported that Musk received a $465 million loan from the Energy Department in 2010 that was paid back in 2013. The government’s $7,500 tax credit has also made purchasing Tesla vehicles cheaper for consumers, although that credit phased out for the company last year.

Musk’s space program has gotten a boost, as well. NASA selected SpaceX — Musk’s aerospace company — in April to work toward landing “commercial” humans on the moon with a contract award value of $2.89 billion.  

Despite the early government support Tesla received, Musk has still spoken out against government subsidies, writing in a recent tweet that it “has always been Tesla’s view that all subsidies should be eliminated.”

President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill recently signed into law included $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging infrastructure — something Musk also opposed during a Wall Street Journal summit.

“Do we need support for gas stations? We don’t,” Musk said. “There’s no need for support for a charging network. I would delete it. Delete.”

Despite his resistance to government involvement, it has helped Musk grow his fortune, and his stance remains unchanged even as progressive lawmakers continue to slam his wealth and demand he pay his fair share in taxes. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who spearheaded a tax on the ultrawealthy, wrote on Twitter that when someone like Musk “makes it big,” they should be held accountable for paying all their taxes. 

 

And in response to a tweet last month from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders demanding the wealthy pay what they owe in taxes, Musk responded: “I keep forgetting that you’re still alive.”

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