George Soros sells his shares in Tesla and becomes Elon Musk’s new enemy: “He reminds me of Magneto” | Financial markets



Gabriela Lopez Escalante

Denying one’s own death and being attacked by the richest man in the world are not two normal activities for most mortals. This is not the case for Hungarian-American billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros, who in the last 24 hours had to take to Twitter to deny rumors that he had suffered a heart attack. A few hours later, the top boss of the social network, Elon Musk, attacked him directly. “Soros reminds me of [el personaje de X-Men] Magneto”, published the South African tycoon. In this way, he joined a character who is usually a regular target of the European extreme right, from the Hungarian Viktor Orbán or the Spanish Vox.

The accusations by Musk come after Soros and his investment fund announced that they no longer owned shares in Tesla, after selling them in an accelerated manner during the first quarter of this year. The investment vehicle controlled by the billionaire of Hungarian origin held shares of the electric vehicle manufacturer valued at 16 million dollars (about 14.7 million euros). The sale of these shares was a great benefit for the veteran manager, since the stock has appreciated 55% since the beginning of the year.

Tesla is not the only company that Soros has cut from his portfolio. Rivian, another manufacturer of electric cars, in addition to Amazon and Alphabet (Google’s parent company), has been another of the companies affected by the turnaround in the strategy of the investment vehicle of the Soros family, which maintains an equity portfolio of approximately 5,000 million dollars. Soros thus collects capital gains in companies that have been especially rewarded on the stock market after the turn in market expectations about interest rates in the US, where the end of the increases and even a cut is expected this year. The exception is Rivian, which supports a stock market collapse in 2023 of more than 23%.

Musk’s critics, however, have avoided any reference to Tesla’s market rally. “He wants to erode the very fabric of civilization. Soros hates humanity,” the Tesla co-founder replied to Brian Krassenstein, a Twitter user who commented on the original message. Krassenstein commented that the personal history of Soros, who is a Holocaust survivor, causes him to be attacked non-stop by many Americans “for the mere fact of disagreeing with his political positions.”

Musk had already targeted Soros in March of this year, when a social network user accused the Hungarian-born tycoon of supporting Alvin Bragg’s campaign for the position of New York district attorney. Bragg is not unknown in American justice: he was the main person in charge of the investigation against the former president of the United States Donald Trump for the payments of secret money made to Stephanie Clifford, better known by her stage name, Stormy Daniels, and a case that has brought a former US president to the bench for the first time in history. At the time, the SpaceX co-founder also specified that Soros actively participated with donations in “small political campaigns” that “have a much greater impact per dollar spent.”

The accusation around Soros, now compared to the supervillain of the Marvel series who possesses magnetic powers (and who is also of Jewish origin), is one more in a long series of criticisms of this investor, strongly aligned with progressive causes and liberals through the Open Society Foundation. In 2017, the billionaire transferred a good part of his fortune, approximately 18,000 million dollars, to this foundation.

The new controversy unleashed by Musk comes a few hours before Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting begins today, which would be held at the gigafactory that the firm has in the state of Texas. The main unknown is whether the company’s chief financial officer, Zach Kirkhorn, will succeed Musk as CEO of the electric car maker. In this sense, a proposal from a group of shareholders that calls for greater transparency in the presentation of periodic reports by key company executives will be discussed.

Criticism from the European far right

Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary, began in 2017 a series of formal attacks against George Soros and his initiatives. The ultra-conservative and nationalist Executive has placed thousands of advertisements in the media and posters throughout the country with the slogan “May Soros not have the last laugh” and multiple legends in support of measures to reject migrants. The ad campaign drew quick opposition from human rights organizations, which pointed out that the posters conjured up anti-Semitic images by portraying a Jew as a Jewish manipulator.

Later, in 2019, the criticism escalated to Brussels. The Orbán government launched a campaign suggesting a conspiracy between the then president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the billionaire Soros. “You have the right to know what is being prepared in Brussels,” says the campaign slogan, illustrated by a montage of photos of both characters.

The accusations have reached Spain. During the first motion of no confidence presented by Vox against the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, in October 2020, the party’s official accounts published a message on Twitter with the image of the Hungarian-American billionaire and a call “against the globalist mafia”. , in addition to being named by Santiago Abascal from the rostrum. The central difference is that, unlike in the United States, Soros is not a recognized figure for the majority of Spanish voters.

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