Economist Paul Krugman trashes Elon Musk as being unable to care for a cat much less a company
Elon Musk -- (Photo by Britta Pedersen for AFP)

After the swift downfall of Twitter leadership, investors appear to be bailing on Elon Musk's other company, Tesla. The company's stock closed at just $110 on Tuesday, and Forbes reported that they'd lost $800 billion over the course of the year. With China, Tesla's top market, dealing with the pandemic, few are thinking about buying a Tesla.

New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman compared Tesla to cryptocurrency, which has some brands that have slowly collapsed over the year as well.

Writing Tuesday, Krugman asked whether the company was ever all that to begin with. He compared it to companies like Apple, Microsoft and other big tech giants that have a market for continuous purchases like apps, devices, music and more. Tesla, he argued, is a one-trick pony.

While Tesla managed to make the electric vehicle a fad, GM and Ford are now entering the competition. Companies like Volvo and Kia are at work to ensure that their cars can meet the "American-made" requirement for the EV tax credit.

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"It's hard to see what would give Tesla a long-term lock on the electric vehicle business," Krugman wrote.

A significant portion of Tesla's popularity came from the "cool guy" attitude of Elon Musk and the rest came from liberal environmentalists eager to do their part to cut down on carbon emissions. Over the course of just six months, Musk has eliminated both through his Twitter leadership allying himself with the far-right, Russia and becoming more uninspiring.

"And as I said, there’s a parallel here with Bitcoin," wrote Krugman. "Despite years of effort, nobody has yet managed to find any serious use for cryptocurrency other than money laundering. But prices nonetheless soared on the hype, and are still being sustained by a hard-core group of true believers. Something similar surely happened with Tesla, even though the company does actually make useful things."

"I guess we’ll eventually see what happens. But I definitely won’t trust Elon Musk with my cat," Krugman told readers.

Read the full column at the New York Times.