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As Tesla Stock Rebounds, Elon Musk’s Fortune Surpasses $300 Billion Again



When Elon Musk tweets, markets listen—and the CEO’s own net worth can shift by billions. On Monday, after Musk tweeted that Tesla’s Model 3 Plaid vehicle would be available in China as soon as March, Tesla’s stock jumped almost 2%, capping off five straight days of gains for the company and adding $4.6 billion to the eccentric billionaire’s net worth. 

Musk’s fortune now stands at $300.8 billion, marking the second time he’s passed the previously untouched $300 billion net worth threshold. He first broke the barrier three weeks ago when rental car giant Hertz announced a massive Tesla order that sent Tesla’s market capitalization soaring past $1 trillion. 

But Musk’s own tweets—and actions—derailed his financial ascent. Tesla’s stock took a hit two weeks after the Hertz order, when Musk asked millions of Twitter users if he should sell 10% of his estimated 23% Tesla stake—supposedly in the wake of a short-lived tax proposal on the unrealized stock gains of billionaires. Musk began unloading shares days later, shaving $61 billion from Tesla’s market value. So far, the chief executive has sold nearly $9 billion worth of Tesla stock, with about $3 billion of the sum going to cover a tax bill on stock options he’s been simultaneously exercising. Though his cash pile grew as a result of the sales, Musk’s overall net worth tumbled more than $50 billion before vaulting back above $300 billion on Monday.

Musk has also taken to Twitter in recent weeks to troll progressive politicians, like billionaire critic Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who responded to the poll. “Whether or not the world’s wealthiest man pays any taxes at all shouldn’t depend on the results of a Twitter poll. It’s time for the Billionaires Income Tax,” the lawmaker wrote, meeting a crude response from Musk.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) found himself in the crosshairs too. “We must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair shares. Period,” Sanders recently tweeted. The next day, Musk took aim at the 80-year-old lawmaker: “I keep forgetting that you’re still alive,” Musk wrote in response. “Want me to sell more stock, Bernie? Just say the word…”

Musk remains the wealthiest person in the world, according to Forbes’ estimates, $95.3 billion richer than second place Jeff Bezos, who’s worth $205.5 billion as of Monday’s market close. 

“I aspire to comedy,” Musk tweeted on Monday, just before the Model 3 Plaid tweet that pushed up his fortune by several billion dollars. It’s not clear what, if anything, Musk has done to make people laugh.