Elon Musk, rationalizing the flight of major advertisers from Twitter after an antisemitic remark he admits is the dumbest thing he ever posted, now claims that it's the only platform that isn't "bought and paid for". Thing is, though, it was bought and paid for by him.
The state of Twitter is a direct consequence of his impulsive buying and paying for it. The details of how be bought and paid for it are a map to the site's chaos and the chaos in his head. He tried to back out, was forced to close on the deal, and ended up borrowing so much money that his dream of Shitpost Heaven was lost in the need for it to remain a profitable ad-supported enterprise.
On April 20, Musk disclosed that he had secured financing provided by a group of banks led by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, MUFG, Société Générale, Mizuho Bank, and BNP Paribas, for a potential tender offer to acquire the company. The funding included $7 billion of senior secured bank loans; $6 billion in subordinated debt; $6.25 billion in bank loans to Musk personally, secured by $62.5 billion of his Tesla stock; $20 billion in cash equity from Musk, to be provided by sales of Tesla stock and other assets; and $7.1 billion in equity from 19 independent investors.
The initially proposed $13 billion in money borrowed by Twitter was equivalent to seven times the company's 2022 projected operating cash flow; some banks found that multiple too risky and opted to participate only in the $12.5 billion margin loan to Musk. The debt was estimated to cost Twitter approximately $1 billion in annual interest and fees. Two days after announcing his bid, Musk registered three holding companies under the name "X Holdings" in preparation for his takeover. Tesla shares fell 12 percent on the day after the acquisition was announced, amid smaller declines in the broader markets. Musk incurred a $21 billion paper loss that day
Free market partipants can't guarantee one another's free speech. But if you still think Musk cares about free speech, you haven't been keeping up.