Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos are worth almost $500 billion

Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos are worth almost $500 billion



The combined net worth of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos approached $500 billion on Wednesday; fueled by the unrelenting rally in Tesla Inc. shares and a broad surge in tech stocks that sent the Nasdaq 100 to an intraday record.


The value of the two fortunes — a sum bigger than the market value of Johnson & Johnson and about equal to that of America’s biggest bank; JPMorgan Chase & Co. — is yet another watershed moment in what’s shaping up to be a historic week for billionaires.

A groundbreaking proposal from Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden to tax billionaires on unrealized gains was released in detailed form Wednesday morning; only to be dropped in negotiations hours later.


Wyden insists the billionaires’ tax plan isn’t dead; but talks have instead moved on to a possible 3% surcharge — on top of the highest income tax rate — for those earning more than $10 million.


While such a plan would draw in a larger number of taxpayers than the billionaires’ tax; and help pay for a Democratic social-spending plan that could approach $2 trillion; it would take a far smaller bite from the wealthiest Americans, such as Musk and Bezos.


Under the billionaires’ tax proposal, Musk and Bezos collectively; would have been hit with a $100 billion one-time tax bill, payable over five years; if the proposal had been approved, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.


The plan explicitly targeted appreciated public shareholdings; which have been a main driver of billionaires’ steep wealth gains in recent years.

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Musk, co-founder of publicly traded Tesla and closely held rocket company SpaceX, has added $122.3 billion to his fortune this year; pushing his net worth to $292 billion, according to the Bloomberg index.


Amazon.com Inc. founder Bezos is worth $196.3 billion.


The 10 richest Americans, including Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg; are worth a total of $1.4 trillion, according to the index.


Musk was dismissive of Wyden’s plan, saying taxing billionaires would only make a “small dent” toward paying off the U.S. national debt.


“Spending is the real problem,” Musk said in a tweet that also included a link to an online clock that estimates the country’s debt. Even if the super-wealthy were taxed at “100%;” the government would need to turn to the “general public” in order to make for the short-fall, the Tesla Chief Executive said.


“This is basic math,” he said.


Musk’s wealth has ballooned partly because he hasn’t sold any of his Tesla stock for years; instead tapping banks for loans using his stake in the electric-vehicle maker as collateral.


Pledging shares is a way to monetize equity without actually selling it.


Musk has $515 million in personal loans from Morgan Stanley; Goldman Sachs Group Inc.; and Bank of America Corp., according to a regulatory filing from December 2020; the most recent one available with this information.



Musk has also said some of his shares in SpaceX are pledged; but hasn’t disclosed details about how many.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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