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Joe Biden lashes out at Elon Musk’s ‘super bad’ economic forecast

Joe Biden delivered a crushing presidential defeat to Elon Musk and wished the billionaire “good luck on his journey to the moon.”

It came after the Tesla boss said he had a “super bad” feeling about the global economy and announced plans to cut one in 10 jobs at Tesla.

Mr Biden said: “As Elon Musk talks about this, Ford is overwhelmingly increasing its investments. I think Ford is increasing investment in building new electric vehicles. Six thousand employees – union employees, I might add.”

In his speech in Delaware, the US President continued to promote investments in Chrysler electric vehicles and Intel computer chips.

Mr. Biden added, “So, you know… good luck on his trip to the moon…”

Mr Musk responded on Twitter by saying, “Thank you Mr President!”

The billionaire also issued a Nasa press release in April, in which he announced the award of a $2.89 billion (£2.3 billion) contract to his company SpaceX to build the lunar module for America’s planned return to the moon later this year decade announced.

Mr. Musk’s ultimate goal is not to colonize the moon, mars, and make humans a multiplanetary species.

The president’s statement was the latest development in a long-simmering feud. Mr Musk has previously accused Mr Biden’s administration of “printing a million dollars more than it has” and said it “didn’t seem to have done much”.

Last month, Mr Musk said he had voted Democrats in the past because “they were (mostly) the party of kindness,” but said it had now become “the party of division and hate.”

He announced his intention to vote Republican instead.

Mr Musk on Friday ordered Tesla to cut 10 percent of its jobs worldwide.

The electric-car maker’s chief executive also ordered an immediate hiring freeze at Tesla in an email to employees sent out Thursday, bringing Reuters to the attention.

US inflation is around 8 percent, up from 5 percent a year ago. The White House said that despite a recent slowdown, “inflation is still too high.”

On Thursday, however, the US reported better-than-expected job growth in May, suggesting that companies remain broadly optimistic about the economy.

Mr Musk previously said the US was “probably” in a recession, telling a conference in May: “It’s going to be difficult for probably a year, maybe 12 to 18 months.”

US employers added 390,000 jobs last month, down from April’s 436,000 but more than economists had predicted. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6 percent, while labor force participation creeping up.

The leisure and hospitality sector, which has struggled to recruit new workers, also posted “remarkable” gains, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Tesla employs around 100,000 people worldwide, according to annual regulatory filings, meaning the company could lose around 10,000 jobs if the 10 percent job cuts policy is implemented. Tesla’s share price fell 8.5 percent on Mr Musk’s instruction, falling to $708 in afternoon trade from its previous close of $775.

Musk’s order to cut 10 percent of the workforce came after he told Tesla employees their current work from home has all but ended. He tweeted earlier this week that telecommuters should “pretend they work somewhere else.”

Remote work can continue at Tesla as long as employees spend at least 40 hours per week in the office. Some have interpreted this as a tacit reference to hybrid working, where employees split their time between working from home and in the office.

Tesla’s fortunes have become increasingly intertwined with Twitter’s following Mr Musk’s announcement that he would buy the social media site for $54.20 per share.

Yesterday, Twitter said a deadline for US antitrust authorities to formally intervene in the acquisition has passed, meaning it’s one step closer to completion.

The billionaire said the deal was on hold amid speculation he might want to lower the price. If the takeover fails, the Tesla boss will still have to pay $1 billion.

The US auto industry is showing few signs of a slowdown, according to Reuters, as car dealer inventories have shown little sign of increasing as consumers cut spending and delay buying new vehicles.

Tesla currently has around 5,000 job vacancies posted on LinkedIn worldwide, including new jobs for its recently opened battery factory in Berlin.

Mr Musk has previously compared Mr Biden to the movie character Ron Burgundy, a mindless news anchor in the cult classic Anchorman. He has ridiculed the President’s reliance on his teleprompter during public speeches.

Mr Musk also said in May that Democrats were “overly union-controlled”.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/06/03/elon-musk-cuts-one-ten-jobs-tesla-super-bad-feeling-economy/ Joe Biden lashes out at Elon Musk’s ‘super bad’ economic forecast

Russell Falcon

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