Musk recently made a series of statements on a Twitter Spaces audio chat that have caused a stir among investors and industry experts. One of the most notable comments made by Musk was his prediction that the economy is likely to enter a “serious recession” in the near future. This assessment has led many to question the future stability and growth of Tesla, a company that has faced its own financial challenges over the past year.
In response to this potential economic downturn, Musk stated that Tesla’s board is open to the possibility of a share buyback, which is a financial strategy in which a company repurchases its own outstanding stock in order to reduce the number of shares available on the market. This can potentially increase the value of remaining shares and signal confidence in the company’s future prospects to investors. However, Musk also made it clear that any potential share buyback would depend on the severity of the anticipated recession.
This statement has raised eyebrows among some analysts, as Musk has a history of making and then breaking promises not to sell off any more Tesla stock. In April of this year, he sold roughly $4bn worth of Tesla shares before stating that there would be “no further sales planned after today.” However, he has gone on to sell large amounts of shares on a number of occasions since then. Just last week, he sold another $3.6bn in stock sales. When asked about these seemingly contradictory statements, Musk explained that he needed to sell some stock in order to be prepared for a worst-case scenario.
Despite these financial manoeuvres, Tesla shares have struggled this year, falling by almost 70% as investors express concern over Musk’s seeming preoccupation with events at Twitter since he took over the platform in October. Many have argued that his attention has been distracted from the core operations of Tesla, leading to a decline in the company’s performance.
However, Musk has brushed off these concerns, insisting that his latest venture, Twitter, is a relatively simple company to run compared to Tesla, and stating that it represents “maybe 10% of the complexity” of the electric vehicle manufacturer. He also made headlines earlier this year when he spent a staggering $44bn to buy Twitter, vowing to improve the platform by eliminating fake accounts and promoting free speech. However, his tenure as owner of the social media giant has not been without controversy, as he has made a number of divisive policy decisions and many major advertisers have abandoned the platform amid growing concerns about its direction and the ability of Musk to pay the $13bn in debt he took on to acquire the company.