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Benzinga’s Top 5 Articles For 2022 — AKA The Year Your Grandparents Found Out Who Elon Musk Is

Who could forget 2021 and the cryptocurrency craze? It was definitely the “Year of Dogecoin” (CRYPTO: DOGE) for Benzinga readers as the "Top 5 Articles" were about the memecoin.

But, as 2022 crept in, multiple crypto industry controversies and failures — Bahamas-based FTX and its co-founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried among the biggest — didn’t help Dogecoin’s popularity, putting it in the crypto winter doghouse of 2022.

Not one to let a sleeping dog lie, Dogecoin proponent Elon Musk swooped in to take the honor for being the most mentioned in Benzinga’s Top 5 Articles for 2022.

Yes, this truly is the year that even your grandparents found out who Musk was — he wasn’t just a guest host on “Saturday Night Live” or randomly popping up on Twitter feeds and Spaces — as it was hard to miss the ubiquity of the CEO of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), SpaceX and for now, Twitter.

And wasn’t Musk most recently the inspiration for the tech bro in “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”? 

Hopefully, Musk does not have the “Mona Lisa” in hand.

Here are the Top 5 articles for 2022:

1. “Elon Musk Warns Russia Can Utterly Destroy US, Europe With Nuclear Missiles In Under 30 Minutes and Vice Versa: 'We Are At The Highest Risk In 60 Years,'” by Shanthi Rexaline, originally published Oct. 15.

When Musk was in elementary school, one of the more popular movies was “War Games,” in which a hacker by accident almost starts a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia.

This 1980s Cold War classic must have stuck with him, as 39 years later he was opining about how quickly it would take for missiles — 30 minutes — to hit each country, a statistic corroborated by an Air Force general on CNBC in 2018. 

With the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the fear of a nuclear war has increased whether it is Russia sending nuclear missiles to Ukraine, aiming for other parts of Europe, Asia or for the U.S.

Though hopefully it’s a lot of bluster, as maybe the U.S. should first worry about Putin reclaiming Alaska?

2. “Putin Ally Declares Russia Will Target This City First If World War 3 Breaks Out," By Shanthi Rexaline, originally published June 25
“WWVPD” is top of mind to world leaders and associates of Russia President Vladimir Putin.

In an interview, Russian Parliament member Andrey Gurulyov suggested Russia may invade NATO members Lithuania and Estonia if Lithuania continued its blockade of the neighboring Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

A Russian invasion would trigger NATO’s Article 5, potentially leading to World War 3, he said, as well. (A collective defense means that an attack against one NATO Ally is considered as an attack against all Allies, per the NATO website.)

But what is somewhat ominous is the large city that was mentioned as Russia’s alleged first nuclear target: London, which had coincidentally become the playground of the Russian oligarchy.


3. “Working With Elon Musk: ‘If You Were Getting Micromanaged by Elon, You Were Probably On Your Way Out,'By Shanthi Rexaline, originally published Nov. 19

Stories of Musk’s Herculean work drive are rampant.

He also doesn’t like his employees disagreeing or talking back to him, as Carl Medlock, who worked at Tesla as territory manager between 2009 and 2013, shared in an article about one employee who did, who then mysteriously never showed up at work again.

4. “Musk On Housing Bubble Burst: ‘They Dug Their Own Graves – A Lesson We Should All Take To Heart,’” by Shanthi Rexaline, originally published May 14.

So Musk and Dogecoin merge, sort of, in this article.

The memecoin’s co-founder Billy Markus tweeted, “the cryptocurrency was created as a statement against central bank control following the 2008 recession, caused by predatory lending practices, leading to the housing bubble burst, rampant money printing, bailout etc."

Musk responded that he didn’t support predatory lending, observing many of them had essentially “dug their own graves.”

Musk himself had a wild ride with real estate, buying and selling a number of properties in the past few years and at one point, tweeting in June that he was living in an approximately $50,000 home in Boca Chita, Texas, that he rents from SpaceX.

But then again, he just had two children with Neuralink executive Shivon Zillis, who live in a $4.5 million home — that he may share — in upscale Westlake, Texas.

5. “Bye-Bye Bitcoin? ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ Author Sees US Seizing All Crypto After Biden’s Executive Order,” by Samyuktha Sriram, originally published March 8.

Ah, the spring-like halcyon days of early 2022! The crypto collapse was still a few months away — on March 8, when the article was published, Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) was at $39,290. On Dec. 29, it was at a chillier $16,634.97.

The premise of the article was Robert Kiyosaki, the best-selling author of "Rich Dad Poor Dad," who predicted U.S. President Joe Biden's executive order to regulate cryptocurrency, “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets,” would mark the downfall for the asset class.

Kiyosaki expected “all cryptocurrencies to be seized and folded into ‘government crypto’ following an executive order to regulate digital assets,” stated the article.

But it wasn’t the U.S. government destabilizing cryptocurrency, it was a number of industry businesses, such as Voyager, FTX and Celsius, among others, that had caused an uptick in governmental concern.

The question now is will U.S. government oversight help “right the ship,” or should it be the cryptocurrency industry itself? 

Only 2023 knows for sure. And maybe your grandparents.

What are the next 5? Here are the headlines and links to check them out:
6. "China's Semiconductor Industry 'Decapitated Overnight': What 'Annihilation Looks Like,'" by AJ Fabino

7. "Musk Asks Why Epstein-Maxwell Client List Hasn't Leaked, Responds To His Photo With Maxwell At Party," by Bibhu Pattnaik

8. "If You Invested $100 When Elon Musk First Tweeted About Dogecoin, This Is What You Would Have Now," by Chris Katje (Though an addendum to this: This article was updated with a different title, "Much Wow! If You Invested $100 When Elon Musk First Tweeted About Dogecoin, Here's How Much You'd Have Now," by Chris Katje. As of Dec. 29, it sits at No. 11 on the overall chart. If both articles' visitors were tallied, it would be in the Top 5 as No. 3.)

9. "Snoop Dogg Microwaves His Blunts Before Smoking And For Good Reason, Here's Why," By Maureen Meehan

10. "Elon Musk Warning About 'Population Collapse:' There Aren't Enough People For Earth, Let Alone Mars," by Madhukumar Warrier

Photo: Shutterstock.

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