How Elon Musk’s extreme wealth compares to everything


  • Elon Musk is the second richest person in the world. It is currently valued at over $ 176 billion.
  • Between April 2020 and April 2021, Elon Musk earned an average of $ 383 million per day.
  • Its current $ 176 billion worth could buy it 5,503,710 Tesla Model 3s.
  • Visit the Insider home page for more stories.

Here is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: This is a graph of Elon Musk’s wealth to date. Every day this chart fluctuates, sometimes by billions of dollars. This point here, at the very bottom of the graph, is about $ 10 billion.

This is the GDP of Malawi. It was three years ago. That’s Ford’s market cap, Puerto Rico’s GDP, McDonald’s market cap, Kazakhstan’s GDP, and that, right at the top, is $ 210 billion. This is Greece’s current GDP.

That’s all Greece produces in a year, a billion tons of tomatoes, 500 million tons of watermelons, all their cheese, wheat, oil, all the tourism industry and all other goods and services. Across the country.

But one thing this chart doesn’t convey is how fast this increase has been. Here is the same graph over a much longer period. Again, here are McDonald’s, Ford and Kazakhstan. Compare any of these to Elon Musk’s line and you can see his growth is almost vertical. So let’s take a closer look at what this growth means.

So, to better understand this graph, it really helps to know what it’s actually worth. Musk’s wealth is made up mostly of the stocks he owns, the majority of them in Tesla. In fact, if you chart Tesla’s stock above its wealth, you can see it’s almost exactly the same.

So it’s just Tesla. For comparison, here are the two largest automakers in the world, VW and Toyota. You can see how out of balance this is with production. VW made eight million cars last year, Tesla made 500,000. Putting Musk’s wealth back on the same scale, you can see the point where his personal wealth surpassed VW in August of last year, and briefly exceeded Toyota’s value.

This peak follows a trend similar to past bubbles. For comparison, here is the gold bubble of 1979, the Japanese real estate crash, from which the country has never recovered, and the .com bubble as a percentage is increasing. This is Tesla. So let’s go back to Elon Musk’s graph. Getting an exact figure on his value is difficult, as his private wealth is, well, private, and everyone calculates their estimates slightly differently, but to understand how rich Elon Musk is, it helps to understand the value of one billion.

Let’s compare the distance. Traveling a million kilometers would allow Elon Musk 1/34 of the way to Mars, even at his closest point in orbit. A billion would get you there 29 times, but it’s only a billion. Musk’s current 176 billion miles would represent 5,104 trips.

It’s just April 2020 to April 2021. And over the course of that year, Elon Musk’s wealth has grown from $ 30 billion to $ 172 billion. That’s an increase of 383 million a day. As much, every day for a year. Even compared to the recent rapid growth of other American tech billionaires like Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos, his wealth has really taken off in the past year.

This specific section is even more dramatic, however. This almost vertical line is a five-day period where Elon Musk suddenly became the richest person in the world as his wealth jumped by $ 39 billion. That amount alone would make him the 35th richest person in the world, barely beating Giovanni Ferrero and his family, the owners of Nutella.

This week of earnings could buy Musk, New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, LA Lakers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Manchester United, and once he runs out of great sports teams to buy, enough Boeing 747 to start an airline. But that’s only five days of growth.

His total wealth would buy him a lot more. If Elon Musk were to cash in on that $ 172 billion worth, he could buy himself 5,030,710 Tesla Model 3. That’s more cars than there are in Sweden. These cars, bumper to bumper, would take up so much space that they would stretch seven miles long and four miles wide, enough to cover almost all of Manhattan.

If he really wanted to access cars, he would also have to flatten much of New Jersey and Brooklyn to build the world’s largest parking lot. And if he didn’t want to invest in Teslas, he could buy almost four million Bitcoins at $ 40,000 each, almost 20% of the global supply, or if he wanted a less volatile investment, a solid block of 5. , 5 meters of 24 karat gold. Gold is really expensive.

And that $ 172 billion would be enough to buy it the third largest army in the world, larger than the armies of Russia and India combined. But it’s not just a static number. If last year’s trajectory were to continue, that would make Must a billionaire in just five years.

But with its current investments, that would mean Tesla is likely to be valued at over $ 3 trillion at this point. In 10 years, Musk would reach $ 2 trillion, more money than there is currency in circulation in the United States, and greater than the entire current FTSE 100.

But for Musk to reach this incredible value, Tesla may have a hard time keeping up with demand. To maintain this growth, Tesla is going to have to start building a lot of new cars, “20 million of them by 2030,” according to Elon Musk, and 20 million cars will need a lot of batteries.

Electric vehicles are predicted to need the equivalent of 225 billion iPhone 11 batteries by 2030. That’s 100 times the amount of iPhones ever sold. These batteries need materials. Here’s the estimated supply of lithium around the world, and here’s what we’ll need to support that growth, meaning that in just five years, that demand could completely exceed supply.

And soon after, we could run out of lithium. There are other questions as to whether this growth is sustainable, not only feasible, but also ethically.

As the extreme wealth of Elon Musk and other billionaires has increased and the incomes of the poorest 50% of Americans have declined, this is an issue that’s hard not to bring up. But there’s another thing that could slow Elon’s rapid growth in the future, taxes. The top marginal tax rate in the United States is currently insanely low, not only compared to other Western countries, but also compared to recent United States history.

And here’s another interesting correlation. Here’s a graph of union membership in America, which Musk broke labor laws by tweeting a few years ago according to the NLRB, but that’s not important right now. Currently, the income disparity between billionaires like Musk and the poorest 50% of Americans is at a similar point to 1930. And that period led to a huge 40% income tax hike, followed soon by another increase of 13%, and another increase of 20% during the war.

And if taxes were to follow this trend again, this inequality could be corrected before it gets even more out of control. But with the current plan to raise the top tax rate to just 2.6%, that graph may not change for a while. Thank you for watching. Let us know in the comments if there are any other stories you would like us to cover and be sure to subscribe for more data on the data.


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