Elon Musk ousted Jeff Bezos from Forbes billionaires list for first time with net worth of $219 billion

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been crowned Forbes’ annual billionaires list for the first time, ousting former Amazon President Jeff Bezos, who has spent the past four years as the world’s richest person.

Mr Musk, with an estimated net worth of $219 billion, has been on the list for a decade, with his massive wealth in recent years attributed to his surging and volatile Tesla stock. Two years ago, Mr Musk was ranked 31st in the world forbes List, with stock shares in his electric vehicle company at $72.24. A year later, his fortune grew by billions, trailing Mr. Bezos by just $26 billion.

When he debuted on the list in 2012, his net worth was estimated at $2 billion. Today, Mr. Musk is an estimated $68 billion richer than a year ago.

The number of global billionaires fell by about 100 people in 2022, maintaining a global net worth of $12.7 trillion, up from $13.1 trillion last year.

But the number of billionaires in the US grew to 725 people, collectively worth $4.7 trillion, or about a third of the world’s total billionaire wealth.

“The turbulent stock market has contributed to a sharp decline in the wealth of many of the world’s wealthiest,” said Kerry Dolan, forbes‘ Deputy Editor of Wealth. “Nevertheless, more than 1,000 billionaires got richer last year.”

A day after announcing that he owns a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter stock, the social media platform announced in a regulatory filing that Mr Musk will join its board of directors, making it the world’s richest man until at least 2024 will be given a seat on the company’s board of directors.

“Through discussions with Elon over the past few weeks, we realized he would bring great value to our board,” Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said on April 5.

The platform’s stock soared 35 percent following Mr Musk’s announcement, adding hundreds of millions of dollars to his fortune, while his prominence on the platform – shaped by a reliant media environment that largely inflates its role in media and politics – continues to linger be accustomed to his own benefit. His Twitter presence was also under scrutiny by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Following US President Joe Biden’s plea to Congress for a minimum tax on billionaires, American households worth more than $10 million would pay a 20 percent tax rate on income and unrealized gains attributable to other assets tied as stocks and bonds are currently not taxed until they are sold off.

A Pro Publica Investigation found Mr Musk paid no federal income tax in 2018; Mr. Bezos did not pay federal income tax in 2007 or 2011, the report said.

The report showed Mr Musk paid a true tax rate of 3.27 percent, or $455 million, on his $13.9 billion wealth growth over the five years between 2014 and 2018.

While his taxable income during that five-year period was $1.52 billion, he paid no federal income taxes in 2018, according to the report

The Biden administration’s proposal “eliminates inefficient income protection for decades or generations,” according to the White House.

At a news conference last month, the president said one-hundredth of one percent of Americans would be subject to the tax, which he called “fair,” and it raises $360 billion that can be used to help meet families’ costs lower and reduce the deficit”.

That proposal could net Mr Musk at least $50 billion in back taxes.

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