Possibly Elon Musk will purchase Twitter earlier than a court-appointed October 28 deadline to finish the $US44 billion ($70 billion) acquisition rolls round. Possibly the value of Tesla’s shares, forex that Musk could must depend on to assist pay for the deal, will bounce again from a grinding downturn. Possibly the seven banks which have organized a $US13 billion mortgage — and stand to lose as a lot as $US500 million on the transaction — will dangle powerful. Possibly the coalition of wealthy guys and enterprise capitalists who promised to chip in $US7 billion to help Musk’s bid will stick round.

That’s a number of maybes, nonetheless, even for an entrepreneur accustomed to vaulting previous expectations whereas additionally peddling ill-informed bunk about a variety of topics, together with COVID-19, actuality TV, replica, Martian democracy and the fates of Taiwan and Ukraine. And this time, for the primary time, Musk has the legislation intently corralling his shenanigans. (Earlier tepid monitoring and slaps on the wrist from the Securities and Alternate Fee don’t rely.)

The pursuit of Twitter has been embarrassing on many ranges for the world’s richest particular person.Credit score:AP

The mendacity, spin and misdirection Musk has connected to his Twitter bid may need been enjoyable when he first hatched the supply, however a choose is wanting now. Sure, he’s the world’s richest particular person, however his sagging Tesla shares, amongst his most liquid holdings, misplaced 16 per cent of their worth final week after the corporate’s automobile gross sales didn’t meet expectations. He could must fork over more money or promote property akin to a part of his stake in House Exploration to completely fund the takeover. Actuality is catching as much as Musk, and it’s all very Trumpy.

There are distinct variations between Musk and former President Donald Trump, after all. Musk hasn’t been working round fomenting coups, for instance, so the fallout from his brinksmanship is much less consequential. However he has run roughshod over enterprise norms, securities rules and the reality in his pursuit of Twitter, losing a number of different folks’s money and time and toying with the fates of Twitter’s 7,500 staff. His penchant for doing as he pleases with out worrying concerning the harm is in sync with Trump’s personal mojo.

Each males are thin-skinned and unpredictable; they each experience lashing out at their critics on social media; they each use social media to foster cults of persona; they usually each appear to assume they possess a common intelligence.


Musk and Trump have additionally each attracted flocks of courtiers and enablers who’re desperate to additional their very own ambitions, bask of their entry to energy or make a bit cash. Such sycophancy has produced rafts of tragicomic propaganda.

“Donald Trump is at his best possible, at his best possible, when he talks concerning the points,” the previous president’s adviser, Kellyanne Conway as soon as mentioned of the person who studiously prevented studying something about most points. Jack Dorsey, a Twitter founder and former chief government officer whose mismanagement of the corporate helped make it a takeover goal, waxed heroic about Musk’s tried buyout: “Elon is the singular resolution I belief. I belief his mission to increase the sunshine of consciousness.”

Extending the sunshine of consciousness doesn’t actually appear to be the animating pressure behind Musk’s Twitter bid. What’s? Effectively, Musk will inform you that it’s “an accelerant to creating X, the every part app.” Ah, sure, the every part app. As my colleague Parmy Olson identified, an app that meets each client want has monumental enterprise attraction, and a few exist already in locations like China. However US regulators are unlikely to log off on a enterprise like that and, as Olson additionally famous, “it’s most likely not the perfect concept for somebody as risky as Musk to supervise an app on which tens of millions have interaction in social commentary, funds, procuring, identification and extra.”

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