The “world’s richest man,” Elon Musk, purchased Twitter (since renamed X) for $44 billion in 2022. It’s estimated he holds $13 billion of that amount as debt from bank and other loans, a sum the average working class person would obviously face severe repercussions for. He didn’t have the liquid cash for the purchase and the company only generated $4 billion in revenue in 2022, but he was given loans to make the purchase anyway. The site’s always been a long way from seeing a profit, and is in a worse position since Musk’s takeover. There’s no sign of it earning the revenue necessary to pay off the debts he has incurred. So what’s the deal? Why is there a separate set of rules for the rich when it comes to debt? And how do we fight to make these rules more equitable and hold wealthy mega-debtors accountable?
In this episode, Maurice talks with Charles Khan, an organizer with Hedge Clippers, a national campaign focused on unmasking the dark money schemes and strategies the billionaire elite uses to expand their wealth, consolidate power and obscure accountability for their misdeeds. Maurice and Charles explore the commonality of such deals for the wealthy by looking at the history of leveraged buyouts (LBOs), and discuss how we can organize to push back against this separate set of rules for the elite.
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