Elon Musk let loose yesterday evening at the Code Conference in Beverly Hills. Speaking to the insufferable Kara Swisher, Musk touched on all the key topics: railing against the Biden administration, railing against unions, railing against crypto regulators, and railing against those who accused him of not paying enough taxes.
Oh, and he even deflected questions about Full-Self Driving and mentioned Tesla, too.
First, when asked about Chinese regulators looking into crypto, Musk dryly said: “It would appear they do not love cryptocurrency.” He speculated that the crackdown could be because China might be having “significant electricity generation issues,” Barron’s reported. Musk also touched on the fact that crypto is set up to remove power from central governments, and that this also likely played a role in China’s decision.
When asked about regulation of cryptos in the U.S., Musk said officials should do “nothing”. He then played down the impact of cryptos: “There is value in crypto, but I don’t think it’s the second coming of the Messiah. But it will hopefully reduce error and latency in the legacy money system.”
Musk was also critical of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, saying both space exploration companies should be spending more trying to reach orbit. However, Musk conceded it was “cool that they are spending on the advancement of space.”
“I will send myself up at some point,” Musk chided. SpaceX can generate $3 billion to $4 billion a year, he told Swisher. Musk also said he thought “substantial revenue” of up to $30 billion from Starlink would eventually be possible.
Musk said that Starlink is up to about 1,500 satellites and that the company plans to increase its constellation to 30,000 satellites.
“Musk said the company can then use proceeds from the Starlink business to fund the development of Starship,” Barron’s wrote – thereby continuing the Musk ponzi trifecta that has been running since the days of the “Master Plan” that included Solar City, SpaceX and Tesla.
Musk defended himself against allegations of not paying enough taxes, stating that his top marginal tax rate is 53% and that he pays taxes when he exercises his stock options.
He also made some bullish comments about nuclear power. Musk said he was “surprised by the public sentiment against nuclear” and that he didn’t “think we should shut down the ones that are operating safely,” a live stream of the event from The Verge reported.
When asked about the accidents that have occurred due to Full Self Driving, Musk channeled his humanitarian side and matter-of-factly said: “The 10% that do die with autonomy are still going to sue you. The 90% that are still living aren’t even going to know it’s the reason they’re alive.”
Then, Musk called his cars “two ton death machines”, telling Swisher: “The transition period with new technology is always a little bumpy. The truth is that people are actually not great at driving these two-ton death machines.”
Musk was also asked about why people who drive Teslas with Full Self Driving are made to sign an NDA. Musk deflected: “I dunno. People don’t seem to listen to … I don’t know why there’s an NDA, we probably don’t need it.”
When Musk was asked about the SEC and whether or not they were involved in his Tweeting going forward, Musk responded: “Are you talking about the short-seller enrichment commission?”
He was also asked about a Tweet he made critical of President Biden. Musk made his disdain for Biden, and unions, clear in his answer: “Biden held this EV summit. Didn’t invite Tesla. Invited GM, Ford, Chrysler, and UAW. EV summit at the White House, didn’t mention Tesla once and praised GM and Ford for leading the EV revolution. Doesn’t it sound a little bias? It’s not the friendliest of administrations. Seems to be controlled by the unions.”
Finally, when Kara Swisher asked if Musk would like to die on Mars, Musk responded: “You have to die somewhere, so sure, Mars.”