Elon Musk could assure Twitter a safe landing
His buyout of Twitter may see it relaunched as a free speech vehicle, but he should dial back his rhetoric on this for the sake of people’s safety. His risk-tackling skills would be put to test
If the conquest of risk is what marks great entrepreneurs apart, Elon Musk would have been catapulted into that league by SpaceX, let alone Tesla, for daring to let one rocket blow up after another while testing a safe landing that eventually crunched the cost of space travel. Now that Musk looks set to acquire Twitter Inc for some $44 billion via an offer to fully privatize it, his fabled risk sensors and acumen will be in for a sterner test than he might have bargained for. Unlike his 2018 tweet saying he had secured funds to delist Tesla after investors got shaken by his puffs of marijuana on TV, this proposal was not an act of whimsy. Last week, Musk clarified he had $21 billion of his own money to pay, while banks would lend around $25.5 billion, about half of which could be debt taken on by Twitter itself, as credit-market mavens expect. As this would qualify as a leveraged buyout, turning the business around so that it can pay that daunting sum back may seem like Musk’s key challenge if the deal gets okayed by regulators. Instead, his mettle may be tested hardest by the need to assure us that human safety is not just the top but “only priority" in risky situations, as he said at the launch of SpaceX’s first passenger rocket.