Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) founder Elon Musk says he might sell some shares of his automotive giant to help save the hungry from starvation around the world. The assertion comes in response to earlier comments by UN’s David Beasley, who brought up the role billionaires could play in contributing to the organization’s World Food Program.
Elon Musk took to Twitter to say he would be willing to sell his Tesla shares if this could help save people facing severe levels of food insecurity.
Earlier last week, David Beasly, director of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) had asked billionaires –specifically, Musk and Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos– to “step up now, just once" and donate $6 billion to save 42 million people in risk of starvation.
He told CNN: “The governments are tapped out… This is why and this is when the billionaires need to step up now on a one-time basis. Six billion dollars to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don't reach them.”
“The top 400 billionaires in the U.S., the net-worth increase was $1.8 trillion in the past year… All I'm asking for is 0.36% of your net-worth increase,” he uttered.
Musk was short to tweet he would be keen to contribute whichever amount was necessary if Beasley explained on the same thread how the $6 billion would be spent.
"If the WFP can describe in this Twitter thread exactly how $6 billion will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla shares right now and do it," Musk tweeted, not without warning that “it must be open source accounting,” so that the public can see precisely how the money is being spent.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Elon Musk's net worth is estimated at $311 billion, so $6 billion would correspond to 2% of his fortune.
Shortly after the “billionaires tax” proposal announcement by Congressional Democrats, Musk had asserted that the roughly $50 billion he would have to pay would be better spent fueling his mission to Mars, Fortune reports.
The WFP data shows that the number of people at high risk of starvation doubled during COVID-19, as the wealth of the world’s biggest billionaires grew significantly.
Tesla is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders' families.