Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is set to become the world’s first trillionaire, a Morgan Stanley analyst wrote on Tuesday.
While Musk has shot to the top spot in the world in private wealth largely due to his electric vehicle company Tesla, Morgan Stanley’s analyst believes that the future of his aerospace company SpaceX will bring Musk across the trillion dollar threshold.
SpaceX “is challenging any preconceived notion of what was possible and the time frame possible, in terms of rockets, launch vehicles and supporting infrastructure,” Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas wrote on Tuesday.
Jonas has confidence in SpaceX precisely because he sees the company as holding a multitude of companies inside one, containing space exploration, infrastructure, and Earth observation in one, as well as its Starlink satellite communications, which Jonas sees as the biggest player towards his $200 billion valuation of the company.
The 50-year-old Musk is now not only the richest person on Earth but his wealth is exponentially greater than his peers. His net worth is $230 billion, the amount of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s fortunes combined.
This shift was marked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, on which Musk is the top, Gates is the fourth with a net worth of $130 billion, and Buffett is tenth with $102 billion.
This achievement is also notable since both Gates and Buffett were previously ranked as the world’s richest person, the designation the Tesla and SpaceX CEO now holds. Musk first surpassed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to reach the top spot on the ranking in January, but Bezos quickly edged back to the front. Musk rose back to the number one spot late this September and has held it ever since.
When Forbes asked Musk for a comment on his new top spot in the ranking, Musk responded with this:
“I’m sending a giant statue of the digit ‘2’ to Jeffrey B., along with a silver medal.”
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos’ fight at the top with SpaceX and Blue Origin
It’s safe to say that Musk’s comment was not a friendly jab. The two figures, and their fight for dominance over aerospace engineering and the prospective space tourism industry, have often been contentious.
The culmination of their space race came when Blue Origin lost its bid for a contract to build NASA’s forthcoming lunar lander. The federal space agency gave the $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX in April, and Bezos’ company threatened litigation:
“We firmly believe that the issues identified with NASA’s lunar lander procurement and its outcomes must be addressed to create competition and ensure a safe return to the moon for America. We’ve been engaged in conversations with NASA since the GAO announcement. We continue to point out the issues in the prior selection process. We’ve also confirmed that adding a second lunar lander award to Appendix H is legal and appropriate and we, today, have an open contract. We are hopeful that NASA will take advantage of our offer and we can all get to work.”
Musk responded to Christian Davenport, the Washington Post’s space reporter who received this statement from Blue Origin and posted it to Twitter, with an image of Blue Origin’s lander design, mocking its construction in the caption, deadpanning that NASA found Blue Origin’s lander “unconvincing.”