An ever-confusing web continues to be strung involving Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) , SolarCity (SCTY and Elon Musk.

Elon Musk is the CEO and largest individual shareholder in Tesla. He's also the largest shareholder in SolarCity, and serves as the chairman for the company. Musk's cousins, Lyndon and Peter Rive, serve as the CEO and CTO of SolarCity as well.

SolarCity recently looked to raised $124 billion in a bond sale, of which Musk will purchase $65 million, while the Rives purchase $17.5 million each, good for $100 million of the $124 million offering.

But wait, there's more. Musk also started another company, SpaceX, which has also purchased bonds from SolarCity in the past, and $165 million worth by my count this year. So there are a lot of Musk family dollars funding SolarCity. That's why the announcement that said Tesla would purchase SolarCity for $2.6 billion (which, incidentally was wrongly valued by $400 million by its investment bankers) shouldn't have come as too much surprise.

But this has been a bad week for Musk. Tesla shares have plunged, along with SolarCity, and SpaceX saw its rocket explode on the launchpad in Cape Canaveral while carrying a Facebook (FB - Get Report) satellite.

In all, the estimated damage to Musk's personal net worth was a whopping $779 million. Although don't feel too bad for the billionaire. His net worth is still estimated at $8.3 billion.

Shares of Tesla closed at $197.78 Friday, down 1.5%, while SolarCity shares closed at $18.48, down 1.6%. Shares of Tesla and SolarCity fell 10% and 16.2% this week, respectively.


The year was 2014, ride-hailing was a budding growth opportunity and Uber had a valuation below $20 billion. Fast forward just two years - "just two years" in tech is a lot of time, admittedly - and Uber commands a valuation north of $60 billion and garners enough news to make you think it's a publicly-traded entity. 

Ask many in the U.S. who Uber's largest competitor is and many will respond, "Lyft." 

That's precisely why in 2014, Uber tried to buy Lyft. According to CEO Travis Kalanick, the deal ultimately broke down due to price. The two sides simply couldn't come to terms. Uber didn't want to pay more than $2 billion for Lyft.

As of January, Lyft was valued at $5.5 billion

Uber understands how costly price wars can be. Uber and Lyft were (or still are, actually) competing with each other, trying to win market share by cutting prices. Without the competition, the prices wouldn't be as low. 

The same sort of thing was happening in China with Didi-Chuxing, as the latter fought with Uber for market share. In the end, Uber ceased its operations in China, and received $1 billion in cash from Didi-Chuxing, along with a 17.7% stake in the company.

That happened earlier this month, but on Friday, it was also announced that Chinese regulators are probing that recent deal.


Ethics for artificial intelligence? That's the word on the Street. Over the next few decades, artificial intelligence is poised to drive our cars, simplify our tasks and - sigh - take away our jobs. 

But at least some of Silicon Valley's biggest aren't looking to do so with cold-blooded conviction. Facebook, Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) , IBM (IBM - Get Report) , Alphabet (GOOGL - Get Report) and Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) have "been meeting to discuss more tangible issues, such as the impact of A.I. on jobs, transportation and even warfare," according to the New York Times

Reportedly, the meetings have centered around helping, not hurting the population. In other words, these mega-companies are trying to work together for the greater good; to try and make sure that AI helps society the way they intend it too.

While many Americans have little doubt that a robot will be doing their jobs or chores at some point in the future (far or near), it's at least good to see someone is trying out there. 

Remember, a few hundred years ago our nation was primarily farmers. As the population grew and advancements were made, it sparked a new revolution. Hopefully the next revolution doesn't leave millions of people behind.

Shares of Alphabet closed at $796.87 Friday, up 0.7%

Facebook and Alphabet are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio.
 

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.