Science & Tech

What else could Elon Musk have spent $44 billion on?

What else could Elon Musk have spent $44 billion on?
Twitter strikes a deal with Tesla boss Elon Musk to buy the ...
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If you’re not shocked at the fact that Tesla founder and the world’s richest man just bought Twitter, then you should be when he purchased the popular social media platform for an eye-watering $44 billion (around £34.6 billion).

The offer was “unanimously” approved by Twitter’s board of directors – the company announced on Monday – and if it’s approved by shareholders, then the deal is expected to close sometime this year.

Musk said of the move: “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are decided.

“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.

“Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

Though for the small price of $44 billion, we can’t help but feel like Musk could have spent that huge bundle of cash on something more useful than a platform plagued with abuse, spam and Wordle emojis (yes, we went there).

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Hot off the heels of finding out what you could buy with England’s total Covid fines (we think), we’ve crunched the numbers again and found some more useful – and less useful – ways in which Musk could have parted with the dosh.

Actually ending world hunger

We thought we’d start off small and talk about how the $44 billion could legitimately help 42 million people facing famine, and Musk should probably do that, seeing as he promised he would back in October.

Responding to claims from the director of the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) that “two per cent of Elon Musk’s wealth could solve world hunger”, the businessman 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.”

And the WFP did.

“@elonmusk, you asked for a clear plan and open books. Here it is!

“We’re ready to talk with you – and anyone else – who is serious about saving lives. The ask is $6.6B to avert famine in 2022,” said the WFP’s chair David Beasley, attaching a link to an article with more information.

We’re still waiting, Elon…

And fixing homelessness in the US, while we’re at it…

In 2012, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated the cost of solving homelessness in America would come to around $20 billion.

Of course, that number is a decade old now, but it says something about the ridiculousness of Musk’s deal that he could have done it twice over a decade ago…

Bringing clean water and toilets into developing countries...

The UK branch of the international organisation WaterAid took the opportunity on Tuesday to illustrate how $44 million could have helped their charitable aims, writing on Twitter that the sum could "improve global health":

Their tweet reads: "Our research shows $600 million a year is enough to get clean water and toilets into every health centre in the 46 least developed countries - keeping staff and patients safe and helping to avoid future pandemics."

That sure sounds like an important thing to invest in, eh, Elon?

And doubling the US’ emergency aid spending on Ukraine

Musk sent gave the war-torn country access to Starlink at the end of February, but he can go much further than that.

He could genuinely match the $13.6 billion the US offered up in foreign aid, military supplies and more last month.

More than 214,000 bottles of the world’s most expensive perfume

If the tech giant was perhaps feeling more musty than Musky, then he could always splash out on the world’s most expensive (but commercially available) perfume: No 1 Imperial Majesty by Clive Christian.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, it broke the record in November 2005 when a 10-bottle limited edition version of the fragrance went on sale for £115,000 (which was then $205,000).

6 Mars bars for every US citizen

He probably couldn’t take every American to Mars, but with $44 billion he could certainly buy them all a pack of six Mars bars from Walmart for $19.99 each.

With there being over 334 million people living in the US at the time of writing, such a sweet gesture (literally) would only cost Musk £6.6 billion.

More than 586 million vinyl copies of The Killer’s album 'Day and Age', featuring the absolute classic “Spaceman”

Let’s say Musk fancied an epic song to soundtrack his SpaceX launches, such as the epic “Spaceman” by The Killers. How much would it cost to license that?

We… don’t know. We didn’t have enough time to go through the necessary forms or email addresses to even ask for a quote.

But instead, we considered the possibility that Musk may just want to buy every vinyl copy of Day and Age for himself.

Amazon lists the vinyl at $74.99, so the entrepreneur would be able to stash away more than 586 million copies.

But where would he store them? He did recently claim he was “homeless” and “rotates” among friends’ houses, so isn’t it time he got his own space (pun not intended)?

Perhaps in just over 51,000 London houses?

The property website Rightmove published its latest House Price Index on Monday, giving the average house price in London as £667,110.

Splash the cash on London houses, Elon, and you’ll burn through $44 billion in no time!

Oh, and how about a steak at Salt Bae’s London restaurant?

Hypothesising about spending a billionaire’s cash can soon lead to you working up an appetite, so what better than to swap one expensive purchase for another and visit Nusr-Et Steakhouse in Knightsbridge?

The restaurant sparked controversy last year with its extortionate prices, and if Musk fancied ordering one of the most costly things on the menu – the Giant Tomahawk at £630 – then he could afford 54.9 million steaks.

Yes, really.

And finally, some Tide Pods

Look, we know Elon recently broke up with his ex, and a perfect way of getting rid of Grimes – sorry, grime – is laundry detergent.

Knowing how much Musk likes memes, we think he’d probably go for Tide Pods given the viral trend which unfolded in 2018.

At $5.44 each at Walmart, he could buy 8 billion of them with $44 billion, if you were wondering.

And obviously, don't eat Tide Pods.

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