The latest economic shuffle puts Tesla founder Elon Musk well above Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in the rankings for richest person in the world. On Friday, a surge in SpaceX stock prices and sales pushed Musk's personal net worth up to $230 billion - well passed Bezos at $185 billion. According to a report by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Musk is now worth more than Bill Gates and Warren Buffet combined.
Bezos has held the title of the world's richest man since 2017, but Musk, Gates and other billionaires have always been hot on his heels. Last week, share prices for SpaceX stock jumped by 33 percent, and the company itself was valued at about $100 billion. According to Bloomberg, that added about $11 billion to Musk's personal wealth, along with the $60 billion he has picked up this year from the strong performance of Tesla stock. The latest tabulation places Bezos' net worth at $191 billion.
Only thing that should be reported on with musk and bezos is IF & WHEN they use that great wealth to do massive good in the world.— M Scott (@LMoondog06) October 17, 2021
The timing of this shuffle does not look great for Bezos, who has been trying to compete with Musk in what many call the "billionaire space race." This month, his company Blue Origin sent a space shuttle up with Star Trek star William Shatner onboard. The stunt was not enough to compete with the contracts attained by Musk's SpaceX. To add insult to injury, Musk tweeted a silver medal at Bezos.
As always, headlines about the ultra-wealthy sparked some angry discussions on social media. Musk is often criticized for performing less philanthropy than over billionaires, and for allowing his workers to be underpaid and mistreated while he makes profits. Many tweeted sardonic jokes about whether Musk's work ethic reflected his earnings, or how he could put that money to good use.
This story also revived some viral posts of the past about the true, inconceivable scale of hundreds of billions of dollars. Data visualizations and analogies explaining how that money relate to real-life metrics began to circulate, and were all the more alarming given the current climate in the labor market.
According to a report by CNBC, Musk has pledged to give away $150 million in 2021 - approximately 0.065 percent of his new net worth. There is no word on whether his windfall will lead him to raise this figure a bit.