Elon Musk has lost $50 billion so far this week after Tesla shares plunged for the second day in a row.
It’s the biggest two-day decline in the history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and the biggest one-day fall after Jeff Bezos’s $36 billion plunge following his divorce from MacKenzie Scott in 2019.
Tesla’s rout comes amid a tumultuous few days for the automaker. It started when Musk asked his Twitter followers over the weekend whether he should sell 10% of his stake in the company, followed by news that his brother Kimbal sold shares just before the poll. Capping it off was an Insider report Tuesday morning on Michael Burry, the investor made famous by the movie “The Big Short,” saying Musk may want to sell shares to cover his personal debts.
The drop narrows Musk’s lead over Bezos as the world’s richest person to $83 billion. Musk surpassed the Amazon.com founder for the title for the first time in January and the gulf between the two recently rifted as wide as $143 billion, a figure greater than the net worth of Bill Gates, the world’s fourth-richest person.
Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management, whose funds have been selling shares in Tesla over the past few months, lost more than $750 million in Tuesday’s selloff, while Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison, the company’s second-largest individual shareholder, lost $2.1 billion.
Despite the slump, Musk’s fortune is still up 70% this year thanks to Tesla’s gains on the back of strong earnings growth and delivery numbers and a higher valuation for SpaceX. Tesla’s market capitalization has stayed above $1 trillion, a benchmark it hit last month after its third quarter results significantly beat market expectations and rental-car company Hertz Global Holdings Inc. placed an order for 100,000 Tesla cars.
—With assistance from Jack Witzig.