A Tesla Model Y Inferno, BRICS’ Currency Ambitions, And Other Tales Of The Year

How could Benzinga describe 2023? Much like our most popular article of the year (see below), it was on fire.

Climate change caused fires and other natural disasters, people such as artificial intelligence whisperer and OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman were fired (and in his case, rehired), Elon Musk fired up a rocket or two at SpaceX, but also created a firestorm of criticism when he changed Twitter to X, among a few of his other questionable actions of 2023.

Even though artificial intelligence, long the realm of firing up imaginations in science fiction, had already entered our lives in a multitude of ways, it wasn’t until 2023 that your mother finally realized what it was.

As the ashy remnants of the recession that never happened (well, depending on who you talk to) and Fed rate hikes scatter to lay a foundation of sorts for the upcoming spot Bitcoin ETF, it’s time to look at Benzinga’s Top 5 articles in 2023, which unlike 2021, aka the year of the Dogecoin, and 2022’s focus mostly on billionaire Musk and his companies, 2023 had a decidedly more eclectic, and in one case tragic, focus.

1. Tesla Told Driver To Bring “Fully Burned” Model Y To Service Center After It Burst Into Flames On Roadside, by Adam Eckert, originally published Sept. 24

Having your car on fire is never on anyone’s Bingo card, but for one Tesla Model Y owner, who thought he had a flat tire, it turned out, no, his car was actually on fire.

When he asked Tesla customer service representatives what to do, they weren’t too much help, with one recommending he tow the charred remains to a Tesla service center.

Fires, recalls and more, somehow didn’t stick to Tesla, though, with its stock ending the year up over 129%.

2. Hold Onto Your Wallets — A New World Currency Could Be In The Making, Courtesy Of The BRICS Nations, by Murtuza Merchant, originally published April 1

A new world order, you say? For the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — the notion of a united currency backed by precious metals is one of the group’s initiatives that could actually happen sooner rather than later.

The idea has garnered enough interest that Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Ethiopia are planning to join in 2024. (Argentina expressed earlier interest, but with the election of Javier Milei, its administration withdrew the application.)

One of the fears was the currency could “potentially speed up the global de-dollarization process” of the U.S. dollar, a concern highlighted by a former U.S. State Department official.

3. Bernie Sanders Proposes 100% Tax On Incomes Over $999M, by Bhavik Nair, originally published May 2

If there is one thing you could say about Vermont’s finest Independent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, it is that he is constant with his beliefs — “Together we are building a movement to fight for economic, racial, social and environmental justice for all” — says his website.

And during an appearance on HBO Max’s “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?”, Sanders shared that the U.S. government should confiscate 100% of any money that Americans make above $999 million.

“You may disagree with me but, fine, I think people can make it on $999 million. I think that they can survive just fine,” Sanders said, according to a report by The Guardian.

Watch out billionaires and those who want to be, Sanders is coming for you.

4. Top Wall Street Technical Analyst Thinks Tesla Cybertruck Is Cool Until The Day You Realize ‘My God That Thing’s Ugly’ And Never Drive It Again, by Anan Ashraf, originally published Nov. 29

Though Tesla Cybertruck fans have been breathlessly waiting for its first delivery, which happened in late November, there has always been one elephant in the room, so to speak.

Is it — with its angular lines, frunk and ‘70s sci-fi design aesthetic — even good-looking?

Enter Carter Braxton Worth, analyst, founder and CEO of Worth Charting, who opined about the EV truck during an appearance on CNBC, “I think it’s cool until one day you walk in your garage and go ‘my god that thing’s ugly’ and you never drive it again.”

Could the Cybertruck be an ugly duckling waiting to be a financial swan for Tesla? Only time will tell.

5. Titan Sank ‘Like An Arrow’ For 48 Seconds Before Imploding, Expert Paints Grim Picture, by AJ Fabino, originally published July 23

One of the biggest tragedies of 2023 occurred on June 18, when OceanGate’s Titan submersible suffered an implosion in the North Atlantic Ocean, near Newfoundland, Canada.

The journey was to view the wreck of the Titanic and included OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, as well as four passengers, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Hamish Harding, Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman Dawood.

While concerns had been raised about the safety of the vessel as well as a previous incident when the Titan became lost and couldn’t locate the Titanic, OceanGate continued to move forward with the dive.

These top 5 articles were based on page views and were originally written in 2023.

Photo: Shutterstock and an image created with artificial intelligence using MidJourney.

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