Elon Musk elaborated on his pledge to sell his homes and most of his possessions, telling comedian Joe Rogan that people are increasingly and wrongly taking a dim view on the existence of billionaires.

“Possessions kind of weigh you down,” the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX said on the The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “They’re kind of an attack vector, you know? People say, ‘Hey, billionaire, you’ve got all this stuff.’ Well, now I don’t have stuff. Now what are you going to do?”

Musk, 48, listed two of his California homes for sale on Sunday, seeking a combined US$39.5-million for the Bel Air properties, including one previously owned by the late Gene Wilder. He vowed to sell the houses and most of his possessions in a burst of 1 May tweets in which he also said he believed Tesla’s stock price was too high.

Tesla’s market value earlier this week reached the threshold needed for Musk to collect 1.69 million stock options he can exercise at $350.02 apiece, giving them a value of more than $700-million. Achieving all of the moonshot goals laid out in the pay package could yield Musk more than $50-billion, according to Tesla’s estimates.

Musk and Rogan spoke for roughly two hours about Musk’s son born earlier this week, his brain-interface start-up Neuralink and the coronavirus, among other topics.

“I saw this whole thing play out in China before it played out in the US,” Musk said of the spread of the virus. “It’s like watching the same movie again but in English.”


Musk has been critical of shutdown measures, saying they’re an affront to civil liberties. The company’s vehicle-assembly plant in Fremont, California has been idle since late March, and health authorities in the San Francisco Bay area have told people to shelter in place until the end of the month.

Governor Gavin Newsom has signalled that California is ready to enter the second stage of its re-opening, but counties can set their own timelines.

“We’re rapidly moving toward opening up the country,” Musk said. “It’s going to happen extremely fast over the next few weeks.”

Musk said Tesla’s next priorities are ramping up output of the new Model Y crossover, constructing a factory near Berlin, expanding production at a new plant on the outskirts of Shanghai and developing the Cybertruck. Musk said the Cybertruck is likely to arrive before the next-generation Roadster sports car.

Musk caused a firestorm when he last appeared on the podcast in September 2018 by taking a drag from a joint Rogan said contained tobacco mixed with marijuana. The Pentagon later reviewed the federal security clearance Musk obtained as CEO of SpaceX, which is certified to launch military spy satellites. The company is scheduled to fly American astronauts to the International Space Station for Nasa later this month.  — Reported by Dana Hull and Ed Ludlow, with assistance from Anders Melin, (c) 2020 Bloomberg LP