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December 26: Elon Musk loses $100 billion, Blackouts In USA, more Crypto bankruptcies (Recap ep207)

In today’s recap, Marcello discusses how Elon Musk has lost ground to Bernard Arnault as the richest person in the world as a result of a sharp decline in Tesla stock prices; rolling blackouts have affected many US states in recent days due to extreme weather; and one of the largest bitcoin miners, Core Scientific, has filed for bankruptcy.

Elon Musk once worth $340B, is no longer the world’s richest man after a sharp drop in the value of his shares in electric car company Tesla this year down -57.35% in 2022, losing the top spot to France’s Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of LVMH, the luxury group that owns brands like Louis Vuitton. Musk has seen his total wealth fall by over $100B since January, to $168.5B. That’s less than the $172.9B net worth of Arnault, whose wealth largely derives from his 48% ownership of LVMH.
It was reported on Monday that China’s business confidence fell to its lowest since January 2013 (since the survey began), released by World Economics, reflecting the impact of surging COVID-19 cases on economic activity, with the abrupt lifting of many pandemic control measures. The index fell to 48.1 in December from 51.8 in November, a survey of sales managers at over 2,300 companies conducted Dec. 1-16.
The U.S. economy grew much faster than previously thought in Q3, a sign that the Federal Reserve’s battle to cool the economy down to fight inflation is having a limited impact to date. The GDP grew at an annual pace of +3.2%, above the +2.9% estimate made a month ago. Economists had expected GDP to stay unchanged from its previous reading.
In 2023, Goldman Sachs is predicting that copper prices will reach record high prices of $11,000 per tonne. Stores of the industrial metal are dangerously low, according to commodity trader Trafigura. Just enough to cover 4.9 days of production earlier this year, & now predicts that stores will shrink to 2.7 days by the end of 2022. Copper is a key component in green energy technologies, notably electric vehicle (EV) production.
Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has amassed nearly 270K acres of farmland across the country, compared to 900M total farm acres, but a different billionaire privately owns 2.2M acres, making him by far the largest landowner in the U.S. John Malone, the former CEO of Tele-Communications Inc., which AT&T Inc. purchased for more than $50B in 1999, has a variety of ranching & real estate businesses, primarily in Maine, New Mexico, Colorado & Wyoming.
Over two-thirds of the U.S. population (240M) is under an extreme weather alert on Friday, as a deep freeze enveloped much of the country ahead of the holiday weekend, disrupting travel plans, knocking out power to businesses & at least 1.5 million homes as well as causing at least 3 deaths so far.

The U.K. economy contracted more than originally thought in Q3, putting it bottom among the Group of 7 top advanced industrial nations in terms of quarterly growth; China is planning to scrap quarantine requirements for overseas travelers next month; Taiwan Semiconductor is in talks with suppliers to build its 1st European chip plant in Dresden, Germany.

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