Bon après-midi, notre têtes de stocks

As many of you  Stockheads know by now – judging from the fleuve of outraged fan spam we’ve been getting – one of our 280 intrepid writers has been in Annecy, France.

BEIJING, CHINA –  “…so I Tweeted to the pilot, ‘Take me where the cheese is!’ …but he thought I meant the other cheese… But that’s cool, I love sushi. So… Who’re you again? (Mark Schiefelbein – Getty)

Although the move was primarily for tax and reasons of personal hygiene, The Stockhead Board* saw this as an opportunity to hoodwink** the other 279 words people by presenting it at the biannual zoom meeting as part of a company-wide incentive scheme… an impromptu cash and gifts award from The Board as The Stockhead Medal of Unexpected Improvement.

*There is no Board;

** Eek. I guess that cover is now blown

BEIJING, CHINA – “No. Mr Musk, I assure you: totally, 100%, not France. They may appear French, but those are merely hors d’oeuvres – and not even that, you would call them dim sum. And yes. Everything on the table is free, but only in a fiscal sense of course. In any other sense everything you see is my prisoner.” (Mark Schiefelbein – Getty)

The award was to be presented every few quarters, (or when the books most need fudging), whichever comes first, and was in recognition of:

“Any article of exceptional grammar, and for courageous spelling in the face of long and confusing company names… and for use of the Stockhead kitchen without consideration of risk to life, limb and liberty, whilst also demonstrating staying power and serenity to consistently achieve the editorial mission in a cost effective manner, unburdened by ethics and without disturbing the other tenants ‘to a degree ultimately inexplicable by management to the first responding law enforcement.'”  

It is in lieu of this unexpected Europeanisation of our newsroom that the eagle-eyed reader will have noted of late an increase in the use of French language expressions and references which, while something of a cliché, we certainly agree has given the overall tone of Stockhead a certain je ne sais quoi.***

*** real class

BEIJING, CHINA – Must keep it together, Li! …I don’t understand! Our Neuralink implant should be controlling his synapses by now. Can’t they see we’re running dangerously low on hors d’ouvres!” (Mark Schiefelbein – Getty)

And so we come en fin, to the title of this premier edition of our new column:

Selon Elon.

In la langue française this catchy header can be translated as According to Elon.”

Also it rhymes.

Which everyone on The Board**** is particularly pleased with.

****There is No Board

In this unpredictable series we will – and not at all in an uncomfy, stalky way – totally take shifts watching Elon’s every move. If he wakes up thinking of cheese, Stockhead will know whether it’s Le reblochon de Savoie or a synonym for money.

Via a complex network of highly unprofessional French snoops, trained for two consecutive weekends at L’Academie Franciase de Skulking and Lurking, every week we’ll bring you “The World According to Elon”*****

*****Every week is defined as: ‘every now and again where poss’;

Also here’s a quick disclaimer – or as the French say in a familiar, surrenderish way: clause de non-responsabilité – that our legal team (Jerry from accounts) insists we add:

‘The World’ as presented in this series may in fact not be ‘according to Elon Musk, people who know Elon or even be recognisable as this or any other world’. Any resemblance to real worlds is purely coincidental.  

BEIJING, CHINA – “ 我的上帝! Wow. That went so well! I don’t know, I just really like大哥 Keqiang. Such a nice guy. And those dumplings! Best 四川饺子 I ever, ever had. Just makes me want to sing The Internationale. Oh well. Sigh. Back to awful, awful home. (Mark Schiefelbein – Getty)

Qui est Elon

Who is Elon, you ask? As a few of our more regular readers may know by now, Elon Musk is an obscure businessman and feisty  Tweeter. He is the co-owner of Taylor Swift and a former Beatle, possibly Ringo. Elon is also one half of the creators of Pen Pals and inventor of the colour Magenta.

Collins Dictionary defines Elon as:

Elon Reeve Musk (/ˈiːlɒn/ EE-lon; born June 28, 1971) is a business magnate and investor. He is the founder, CEO and chief engineer of SpaceX; angel investor, CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; owner, CTO and chairman of Twitter; founder of the Boring Company and X Corp.; co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI; and president of the philanthropic Musk Foundation. Musk is the wealthiest person in the world according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and second-wealthiest according to the Forbes’s Real Time Billionaires list as of June 2023, primarily from his ownership stakes in Tesla and SpaceX, with an estimated net worth of around US $205 billion according to Bloomberg.


The billionaire’s back

The grande news this week is that Elon is back in Paris where the close connection between his ideas on free speech and being rude to everyone have been seamlessly integrated for centuries.

Also he’ll participate in the VivaTech trade show, which takes place from June 14 to 17.

With its four not-yet-started backyard battery factories, French delusions of attracting manufacturers of electric vehicles remain amusingly high.

The French government in the form of the confusingly named Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Mayor, confirmed discussions with Tesla during the recent, ambiguously titled Choose France Summit, that he’d like to attract a little not-too-foreign investment.

Screenshot: Widely supported French President Emmanuel Macron counting the number of Tesla gigafactories he’d like next week. Via Elysee

“All the investments that are made today are the fruit of months, even years of negotiations,”  Le Mayor told reporters, in the French political tradition of not arousing too much hope of any near-term progress.

Elon, wearing his Apple Headset with the word ‘Apple’ rubbed out and ‘Elon’s’ written in magenta crayon on the side stared vacantly for a minute in the other direction,  then after some vigorous VR nudging by his OpenAI translator for a response, lauded The Mayor’s paper-thin expectations, returned the hollow platitude in perfect English, mumbling: “I have high hopes that, um, in the future, Tesla will make, er, significant investments in (turns momentarily to translator) ah … France.”

Best in show

As we mentioned last week, Elon is once again the world’s No 1 richest human after doing in for tedious French billionaire Bernard Arnault.

Elon was not even technically working at the time, (which is done on the sofa).

He was in Beijing, where China and Tesla and Elon are hurriedly undecoupling.

Arnault’s absurdly valuable LVMH luxury goods empire has taken a hit as the even more absurd luxury-bag bubble is deflating. There are just only so many handmade bags, and only so many Teslas to put them in.

The Frenchy and his progeny of varying worthiness stole the Most Valuable mantle from Musk in December last year, while he was Breaking Bad over Twitter and after the value of LVMH shares soared in line with the moral and ethical calamity that is 2022/23.

Musk’s wealth – and the Tesla share price – crashed like a driverless Tesla at the same time making Elon backers think such things wouldn’t happen if Elon wasn’t so busy badly breaking Twitter.


So unsurprising Elon should begin the week by installing his new, blighted Twitter chief Linda Yaccarino, to assume the Captain’s Chair.

The evidence for that is a paper trail almost certainly deployed by Elon Himself, (according to a poll of 3 Stockhead journalists).

Pretty suss ‘internal documents’ were ‘obtained ‘by The New York Times, most of which paint a nightmare Hieronymus Bosch-style portrait of  Twitter’s ad revenue under Elon.

But more on that anon.

Apple gets Elon’d

I take coffee with my sugar, and salt with my socialism when Elon brings his The People’s Billionaire schtick and whacks other Trillionaires with it, people.

Apple (AAPL) stock briefly hit a record intraday high last week, before collapsing back on itself as the big reveal of its Vision Pro mixed reality headset inevitably left us with more questions than answers.

The only one here at Stockhead was: Why?

In any case, all such mysteries were instantly rendered inert by APPL’s exorbitant price tag of US$3500, a pop.

Apple never mucks about with its pressos and everyone seems equally content these days to buy the hype, then sell the news.

Elon did make this observation (below). He probably had the three remaining insomniacs at Twitter’s PR team working on it for a week ahead of the Monday announcement.


Funny. But not haha.

Jack Denton at Barron’s made a few noteworthy observations and snuck in a Star Wars reference…

The first thing to notice, as everyone surely did even if it wasn’t widely discussed, is that the Vision Pro augmented reality goggles look ridiculous. They seem an enormous thing to wear on your head, not much smaller than Darth Vader’s helmet.

The second thing is that it solves problems no one knew they had. The Vision Pro adds immersive sound and an enormous screen to the iPhone experience, which might be kind of cool, but they are hardly a bleeding neck pain point that people will pay big to overcome.

That’s all true and interesting, but as an aside, not quite Musky enough for us.

Twhittleing fromage

The Twitter platform’s revenue has been bad for a long time, but now it’s a little desperate.

From April 1 to the first week of May rev was down US$88 million, that’s about 40% compared to the same time last year.

The New York Times says Twitter has routinely fallen short of its weekly US sales projections.

In a Twitter Spaces thingy that night, which was actually 60 mins of pure insanity with the equally demented, but more olde money long-shot presidential candidate and anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Elon let drop that it’s “frankly a struggle for Twitter to break even.”

Elon said Twitter revenue has been cut in half since he took ownership of the company. But that also fell short of the NYT’s revelations.

The major prob here is the all hands abandon ship evacuation of ad dollars since he took the helm, as more than half of Twitter’s top advertisers suspended ads over the US winter of discontent and haven’t yet looked like getting back on board the sinking ship.

According to us, last week was the first time Musk has ever publicly acknowledged the  ship-wide damage to his Titanic-shaped social media platform. In fact he’d previously Trumpeted (er, just last month) that  – “almost all advertisers have come back or said they are going to come back.”

In the Kennedy conversation, Elon explained such losses were just the price of his own immovable idealistic commitment to protecting free speech:

“I don’t care how much it costs or what it takes … If we lose free speech we lose democracy.”

Free Tucker

Elon in lieu of freedom, continues to cover his Tucker Carlson tracks by suggesting he’d like to balance out the toxicity levels on Twitter by getting in some rabid lefties to counteract the poison that is Carlson – a man too toxic for Fox News.

Last week, Carlson debuted his new thing on Twitter, Tuesday, while the defamation suit for his role as a bit of a mouthpiece regarding the false claims of US election edges nearer.

In a roughly 10-minute video captioned “Ep.1” Carlson suggested Ukraine was to blame for the blowing up of that dam in Russian-occupied Ukraine. Evidence is not required.

Anyhoo. He’s a card alright and Elon thought it’d be funny if off the hook leftie versions of TC could come join the tweet town hall thing he has in his head.

But sadly that’s just 100% impossible.

The fact is not even Bernie Sanders on ‘shrooms cld provide any effective counterweight to the instinctively Machiavellian Tucker, whose worst crimes v. humanity aren’t the obscenely venomous, just horribly divisive and blatantly false floods of content he uses to intoxicate the population, but the fact he’s appalled by the entire thing himself.

Anyway, Elon might bump up some of those free speech absorbent Twitter numbers now by getting this chap on board as a regular Twitter TV channel person. That might sound sensible, but that’s because not many Stockheadians are Americans and haven’t had the chance to unwrap this wonderful present of a man Fed-Exxed direct from a bored, mad or petty God.

Qui Est Tucker

This brief example of Tucker at work is both gold and disturbing on many, many levels.

The first is (a year on) why most of the world was and is unaware this kind of ‘journalism; was happening on the prime time 8.30pm US news slot.

Secondly of course is it’s astoundingly gorgeous homeroticism. Which I find entirely in step with Pride Month.

Probs don’t watch the entire ‘expose’ which will mess with your faith in mankind and kind men. It’s basically a mini-series of stellar madness masquerading as a national health crisis announcement.

Unfortunately, under the white hood is a snarling subliminal and widely shared American thesis that formerly dominant white males of the digital age have had their virility stolen by er, the world.

In short, the claim is net levels of US male testosterone are being vampirically drained by too much caring and not enough kicking butt.

Aired in April last year, Tucker Carlson Originals:“The End of Men” shows Carlson, ever apoplectic about the fact white Americans aren’t still permitted by ‘Natural Law’ to just keep screwing everything in the world, “diving into the reasoning behind the fall of societal manhood.”

This will get you there:

Un long dimanche de fiançailles: A long Sunday of engagement

The point isn’t US politics and media are in bed making filthy offspring of deranged parentage. That’s not news.

The collapse of engagement on Twitter since Musk’s loopy takeover is, and it’d getting bigger.

Twitter revenue over the five weeks between the start of April to week 1 of May was US$88 million, that’s about 40% of what it was even when it was already shite at the same time last year, according to those internal documents

It seems Twitter also routinely fell short of its weekly US sales projections, the Times reported.

The Times spoke to seven current and former Twitter employees who said they don’t expect things to turn around soon. An internal document forecasted that revenue for each week in June will be down at least 56% compared to last year, the Times reported.

Pew Pew

Last month, Pew Research determined that a “majority” of US Twitter users have “taken a break” from the silly platform and even its “most active” users are tweeting less.

Based on a survey of 10,701 Twitter users, Pew had this to share:

“Six-in-ten Americans who have used Twitter in the past 12 months say they have taken a break from the platform for a period of several weeks or more during that span.”

In a further analysis, Pew also studied the “actual behaviour” of more than 1,000 of Twitter’s “most active” users and found “a noticeable posting decline in the months after” Musk’s acquisition.

“These users’ average number of tweets per month declined by around 25% following the acquisition.”

Pew notes that’s particularly suspicious because, “the vast majority of Twitter users are lurkers, not posters.”

20% of Twitter users send 98% of all the tweets.

In a separate report, Pew also studied the “actual behavior” (sic) of 1,002 of Twitter’s “most active” users and found “a noticeable posting decline in the months after” Musk’s acquisition.

“These users’ average number of tweets per month declined by around 25% following the acquisition,” Pew added.