The boss of the car manufacturer Tesla is polarizing. Elon Musk was once the richest man in the world and something of a model entrepreneur. After some questionable decisions, his star seems to be sinking. But many analysts recommend that investors buy Tesla shares.
The vernacular knows it, Elon Musk lives it: genius and madness are close together.
The life story of the 51-year-old from South Africa is like a roller coaster ride with a double loop.
He is a child of divorce and initially an outsider. After a group of youngsters threw him down a flight of stairs and beat him until he lost consciousness, he ended up in the hospital for a few days.
At the age of 12 he developed the video game Blastar, which he sold to the computer magazine PC and Office Technology for $500. To avoid military service in South Africa, he emigrated to America at the age of 16, first to Canada and then to the USA.
In 2010 he married British actress Talulah Riley, from whom he divorced in 2012. The following year, the two remarried. The second divorce followed in 2014, which was revoked shortly thereafter. In 2016, Riley finally filed for divorce. The episode shows: The constant in Elon Musk’s life is that there are no constants.
The craziness has long since left private life. Elon Musk – revered like a hero by his fans – has subjugated the Tesla company founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. And he made her great. At its peak, the company was worth a trillion dollars and he was the richest man in the world. And he was the only one to light up a joint on an American talk show.
But in March of this year, Musk and Tesla took a wrong turn. He and the company have been hurtling down for almost eight months and you’re just waiting for this car to derail. Increasingly one has the feeling that the investors, the banks and also the stock exchange supervisory authority are participating observers of a fraud:
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It feels like the SEC and Wall Street banks are collectively looking the other way. The intermingling of Musk’s various business interests is well known and nobody seems to care. Not even when it was reported that Tesla engineers were called in to review the Twitter code after Musk took control of the short message service.
The company is in a tailspin and the boss is out of focus, clearly suffering from a loss of reality. “Tesla doesn’t have a CEO,” said Gary Black, manager of hedge fund Future Funds, which owns $50 million in Tesla stock.
The acquisition of SolarCity Corp., a company once run by his cousin, also raises questions. Musk himself, his space company SpaceX, and his cousin bought bonds from SolarCity. When this company was close to bankruptcy and there was a risk that these bonds could no longer be serviced, Tesla jumped in at short notice and acquired the company. Bankruptcy was averted – to the advantage of him, SpaceX and his cousin.
Most of the market pundits stand behind Musk like an army of tin soldiers. Negative reports, such as that 61 percent of German car buyers fear the Twitter takeover will have a negative impact on Tesla’s image, are ignored. According to Bloomberg, more than 60 percent of analysts currently recommend Tesla shares for investors to buy.
Gabor Steingart is one of the best-known journalists in the country. He publishes the newsletter The Pioneer Briefing. The podcast of the same name is Germany’s leading daily podcast for politics and business. Since May 2020, Steingart has been working with his editorial staff on the ship “The Pioneer One”. Before founding Media Pioneer, Steingart was, among other things, Chairman of the Management Board of the Handelsblatt Media Group. You can subscribe to his free newsletter here.
Citigroup analysts even upgraded the automaker’s stock in December. Adam Jonas from Morgan Stanley also confirms the upward trend in his analysis. He argues that Tesla is currently the only company capable of selling electric cars at high margins. In addition, the company is expanding its product range with the introduction of the Cybertruck and the Tesla Semi in the coming year, thereby increasing its attractiveness.
Conclusion: The Wall Street banks, which are often in business with Musk from the IPO to takeover advice, or at least speculate on it, are uncertain cantonists. Often they do not sell the truth but illusions. Not seeing and not hearing is – see Wirecard, see Enron, see Lehman Brothers – part of their business model.
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