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Bottom line: Tesla founder Elon Musk said in a recent Twitter post that if the World Food Programme, a food-assistance branch of the United Nations, can explain exactly how $6 billion would solve world hunger, he will sell his Tesla stock to make it happen. Musk in a follow-up tweet said the proposed plan must follow open source accounting, so the public could see precisely how the money would be spent.
Musk’s messages are in response to recent comments made by David Beasley, the executive director for the UN World Food Programme. In an interview with CNN’s Connect the World with Becky Anderson that aired last week, Beasley said $6 billion could help 42 million people “that are literally going to die if we don’t reach them.”
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.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2021
An earlier version of CNN's headline incorrectly stated that Beasley believed two percent of Musk's wealth could solve world hunger. "He believes it could help solve world hunger," CNN said in its correction.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Elon Musk is currently the wealthiest person in the world with a total net worth of $311 billion. $6 billion would represent less than two percent of his total net worth.
The Institute for Policy Studies said that since the beginning of the pandemic, US billionaires’ wealth has surged by 70 percent, or $2.1 trillion. The top five US billionaires – Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and Larry Page (as of October 15, 2021) – have seen their fortunes expand during this period faster than the US billionaire class as a whole, the institute added.
Tesla's stock is up more than five percent in early morning trading although it's unclear if it is a direct result of Musk's statements.