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Musk: Biden Dead Wrong on Chances of Recession

Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: June 23, 2022
Elon Musk told a Bloomberg-led interview at the Qatar Economic Forum that Biden has his impressions of a coming recession all wrong.
Elon Musk answers questions after the 2019 SpaceX Hyperloop Pod competition at the SpaceX headquarters in Los Angeles on July 21, 2019. Musk told a Bloomberg-led interview at the Qatar Economic Forum that Joe Biden is wrong on the chances of a coming recession. (Image: MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Elon Musk thinks Joe Biden is gravely mistaken in his analysis of the state of the U.S. and global economy, recent comments by the tech mogul reveal. 

During a June 21 appearance at the Qatar Economic Forum, Musk spoke via teleconference during a segment hosted by Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait where he was introduced as “a man who is — by many measures at least — the world’s greatest capitalist at the moment.”

Early in the 20 minute segment, Micklethwait directly prompted Musk to speak on the economy by relaying that Biden had “just come out and said that a recession in America is not inevitable.”

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Musk didn’t mince his words in contradicting Biden: “I think a recession is inevitable at some point,” and added, “As to whether there is a recession in the near term, I think that is more likely than not.”

The Tesla chief provided the caveat, however, that “it’s not a certainty, but it is more likely than not.”

Musk then playfully asked Micklethwait what his thoughts on the odds of a recession were, to which the host laughed and replied, “I’m with you. I think it’s more likely.”

The question appears to be prompted from a June 20 interaction Biden had with the media during a staged press opportunity at a beach in Delaware where the sitting President spends an enormous amount of his time on vacation

The woman asked Biden a question about the economy saying “the majority” of analysts think a recession is “more likely than ever,” to which Biden interrupted, “Not the majority of ‘em aren’t saying that.”

“C’mon don’t make things up, okay? Now you sound like a Republican politician,” he added.

At the beginning of June, an internal memo penned by Musk titled Pause All Hiring Worldwide that stated the company needed to cut 10 percent of global staff was leaked to Reuters

In the memo, Musk said he has a “super bad feeling” about the state of the economy 

After the memo was leaked, the New York Post reported that Biden — also during a vacation stay in Delaware — quipped to reporters who questioned him on Musk’s “super bad feeling,” that he wished Elon “lots of luck on his trip to the moon.”

Musk took to Twitter to reply, “Thanks Mr President!” complete with a link to a April of a 2021 NASA press release announcing SpaceX had been awarded a $2.89 billion contract “to send astronauts to explore more of the Moon as part of the Artemis program.”

Musk reiterated the decision to cut 10 percent of his staff during the QEF interview, but was paraphrased by CNBC as clarifying that although Tesla would “reduce its salaried workforce by 10% in the next three months,” it would “at the same time grow[ing] the number of hourly employees.”

He was further paraphrased as stating that the layoff would actually “affect around 3.5% of its overall workforce.” 

Musk called the adjustments “not super material,” and added, “A year from now, I think our head count will be higher in both salaried and obviously in hourly.”

On May 26, Musk was asked by an anonymous user on Twitter whether he still believed the world was approaching a recession.

The reply: “Yes, but this is actually a good thing. It has been raining money on fools for too long. Some bankruptcies need to happen.”

“Also, all the Covid stay-at-home stuff has tricked people into thinking that you don’t actually need to work hard. Rude awakening inbound!” Musk added.

Just a few days later on June 1, Bloomberg, citing another leaked email to Tesla executives, reported that Musk had put his money where his mouth is as he targeted the company’s upper management: “Anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla.”

He added, “This is less than we ask of factory workers.”