Elon Musk Lets Twitter Poll Decide if He Should Sell $20 Billion in Tesla Stock
Tesla and Spacex CEO Elon Musk has asked his Twitter followers whether he should sell his Tesla stock. He has also promised to abide by the results of the poll. Many people urge Musk to sell his Tesla shares and put money into cryptocurrency, particularly bitcoin.
Elon Musk Asks Twitter Followers to Decide Whether to Sell His Tesla Shares; Most Said Yes
Tesla CEO Elon Musk set up a poll on Twitter Saturday asking his 62.7 million followers to decide whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock. “Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock. Do you support this?” Musk tweeted.
In a follow-up tweet, he noted that he does “not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere,” emphasizing, “I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock.” The Tesla boss also promised:
I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes.
Musk’s poll has drawn much media attention. It received more than 3.5 million votes, 57.9% of which said “Yes.” The tweet has been liked 111.5K times and retweeted 22.1K times.
On Friday, Congress passed the $1.2 trillion U.S. Infrastructure bill after chopping down its hotly-debated tax plan on unrealized capital gains aimed at billionaires. That part of the bill has been spun off into a separate $1.9 trillion bill to be voted on later.
The Tesla boss, now the world’s richest man with a net worth of at least $318.4 billion according to Forbes’ list of billionaires, has made several tweets criticizing the bill over the past few weeks.
Many bitcoiners jumped into the poll’s thread to voice their opinions to Musk. A number of people suggested that Musk should use the proceeds from selling his TSLA stock to buy BTC. For example, Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor suggested: “If the goal is diversification, an alternate strategy to consider is converting the TSLA balance sheet to a Bitcoin Standard and purchasing $25 billion in BTC. That would deliver diversification, inflation protection, & more upside for all investors in a tax-efficient manner.”
Former Tesla employee Michael Rihani, now working as the crypto product lead at Jack Dorsey’s company Square Inc., tweeted to his old boss:
“Yes, sell to receive $10B+ USD and buy bitcoin with it. You’ll turn that $10B+ into $100B+ and can use the proceeds to (1) increase the odds of fulfilling the Tesla and Spacex missions and (2) helping even more people and countries.”
Some of Musk’s followers are hopeful that the Tesla billionaire will put some money into the meme cryptocurrency dogecoin. Musk, also known as the Dogefather, has long been a supporter of DOGE, calling it “the people’s crypto.” He recently revealed that he personally owns three cryptocurrencies: bitcoin, ether, and dogecoin.
Not everyone was happy about the poll, however. Some were concerned that selling 10% of Musk’s Tesla position will tank the TSLA stock’s price on Monday morning. Others thought it was simply a poor idea to let Twitter users decide what to do with so much wealth.
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee who is behind the unrealized gains tax provision, responded to Musk’s poll Saturday evening:
Whether or not the world’s wealthiest man pays any taxes at all shouldn’t depend on the results of a Twitter poll. It’s time for the Billionaires Income Tax.
Last week, Musk offered to sell his Tesla shares if it would solve the world hunger problem. Responding to a comment by the director of the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) that 2% of his wealth could solve world hunger, Musk wrote: “If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it.” However, he emphasized: “But it must be open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent.”
Musk’s shareholding in Tesla comes to about 170.5 million shares as of June 30. Selling 10% of his stock would amount to about $21 billion based on Tesla’s current stock price.