In an interview with the non-profit organization TED, famously known for its popular “TED Talks” and conference, Musk discussed his life as a billionaire.
When asked about people who might be offended by his extraordinary wealth, Musk said he sees flaws in those beliefs, noting he doesn’t spend a lot of his billions on personal consumption.
“In fact, I don’t even own a home right now. I’m literally staying at friends’ places,” he said. “If I travel to the Bay Area, which is where most of Tesla engineering is, I basically rotate through friends’ spare bedrooms.”
Musk also notes he doesn’t own a yacht or take vacations but does own a plane. “If I don’t use the plane, I have less hours to work.”
Forbes’ latest billionaire rankings found Musk has a net worth of $219 billion.
The interview follows simmering concerns about the rising wealth of billionaires including Musk. In January, economic justice and advocacy group Oxfam released a report that found the 10 richest men in the world doubled their fortunes during the pandemic, while the incomes of 99% of people worldwide dipped.
Last year, MacKenzie Scott, a billionaire who has donated chunks of her fortune to various organizations, questioned the global distribution of wealth.
“We are all attempting to give away a fortune that was enabled by systems in need of change,” wrote Scott in a Medium post. “In this effort, we are governed by a humbling belief that it would be better if disproportionate wealth were not concentrated in a small number of hands.”
Twitter board won’t get paid if Musk bid clears
The interview follows Musk’s push to acquire Twitter in a deal valued at $43 billion. Musk has been one of Twitter’s most prolific users but has criticized how the platform moderates content.
“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk wrote in a letter accompanying his offer.
Last Friday, Twitter’s board of directors moved to block Musk’s bid, adopting a “poison pill” measure to allow existing shareholders to buy more shares and dilute Musk’s ownership.
On Monday, Musk tweeted that if his bid goes through, Twitter’s board won’t earn a salary. “Board salary will be $0 if my bid succeeds, so that’s ~$3M/year saved right there,” he wrote.