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Elon Musk’s Wealthiest Man Status Under Threat

Luis Vuitton, Hennessy Cognac owner closing gap on Tesla, Twitter owner

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Elon Musk is on the verge of losing his status as the world’s richest person, at least according to one metric.

For a brief moment on Wednesday, Musk dropped to the second spot on Forbes’ list of “Real-Time Billionaires,” putting the Twitter and Tesla CEO behind Bernard Arnault, CEO of French luxury brand LVMH, maker of Louis Vuitton luxury goods and Hennessy cognac. Forbes now pins Musk’s wealth at $184.9 billion — just slightly ahead of Arnault’s wealth estimated at $184.7 billion.

“The two men’s fortunes are nearly the same – separated by just $200 million – so it won’t be surprising if they continue to flip flop in Forbes’ rankings of the world’s wealthiest,” Forbes noted.

The publication also said that Arnault’s ascent is because LVMH’s stock is mostly flat this year, while Musk has experienced a “dramatic collapse of Tesla’s share price,” which is down 56% in 2022. Musk’s strategy of cavorting with right-wing influencers on Twitter may also be impacting Tesla shares as well. Musk’s wealth peaked in November 2021, when he was worth $320 billion, Forbes said.

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Musk recently sold off about $4 billion of Tesla stock to fund his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, which is embroiled with issues including layoffs and skittish advertisers wary of the platform’s direction. Musk had sold blocks of Tesla shares worth a total of $15.4 billion earlier this year when his deal to buy Twitter was announced.

Estimating Musk’s wealth in general is a difficult task, however, as much of his money is tied up in his private companies, including rocket and internet firm SpaceX, tunneling outfit The Boring Company, and Neuralink, which wants to put computer chips in people’s brains.

Despite the losses, Musk is well ahead of third-place Indian billionaire Gautam Adani, who is worth $134.8 billion and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, whose wealth is estimated at $111.3 billion.

On Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, Musk is solidly in first place with a net worth of $179 billion. Arnault sits in second with a $165 billion net worth. However, Musk has lost about $13 billion this year, according to Bloomberg’s calculations. That list updates daily after the market closes.


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