Musk Becomes Richest Man on the Planet

Approaching $200 billion ($195B according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, vs. Bezos’ $185B), he has blown his way past Bezos after Tesla shares surged north of $800 today. Its p/e ratio is now above 1,600 and accounts for more than 40% of the market capitalization of all the world’s automakers combined.

Brian Wang of NextBigFuture, who had correctly predicted Tesla’s successes, explains it in the short-term as a by-effect of the Dem wins in Georgia, which makes some form of the Green New Deal close to inevitable. Big new tax credits to come.

And this is just the beginning, according to Wang:

This is just the beginning. Tesla will be heading for another ten times increase in share price by 2025. SpaceX, Boring Company and Neuralink will become publicly traded and also will become trillion dollar or multi-trillion dollar companies.

Personally, I think Tesla is a ridiculous bubble at this stage (but sure, obligatory reminder about rationality and solvency).

Though I am strongly bullish on SpaceX, and do think there’s a very good chance that that is what makes Musk into the world’s first trillionaire. That is because SpaceX has unique technologies to fling things into space at massively cheaper prices, this very fact is going to expand the market space launches, and the whole thing is going to become turbocharged by the multiplicate monetization potential of Starlink. State-backed competitors in China and Russia are at least a decade away from replicating the reusable rocketry that SpaceX already has.

Conversely, is there really room for Amazon to grow much further? It was obviously turbocharged by the pandemic, but that’s going to go away in 2021, while unionization pressures may crimp profits. So I don’t see Bezos being a likely candidate for trillionairehood, unless Blue Origin can become a strong competitor to SpaceX.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


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  2. Shortsword says

    I’m going to need some good cope as for why I didn’t buy. Give me good stuff. Tell me Tesla is going to crash any day now.

  3. Supply and Demand says

    There’s been some chatter here that Tesla will replace Audi as China’s vehicle of state, mostly for PR purposes. If so, expect prices to surge even higher. China’s government is the world’s single biggest vehicle buyer by a factor of hundreds.

  4. prime noticer says

    my TSLA position is large and growing, as stated in a previous thread. i do think the price right now is artificial, but like bitcoin, tesla is here to stay, inflated price or not.

    the main issue as i see it is that TSLA is functioning as a proxy for all the projects Musk operates. you can’t buy shares of SpaceX or his other companies, so for now, TSLA is the only way to get a piece of Elon.

    however, for an idea of how much private investors think SpaceX is worth:

    SpaceX is in talks with investors to raise another round of funding and seeks to double its valuation to as much as $92 billion.

    the short answer – a lot. adding in the private value of SpaceX puts his perceived net worth way over 200 billion.

  5. OK, sure. Market cap to GDP ratio is an all time peak:

    It is also perhaps the single most overvalued major stock market at this time:

    Perhaps we have entered a step change in the long-term financialization level of the US economy, or perhaps not – who knows.

    In any case, its a pretty weird and unprecedented situation. But if it is a bubble, Tesla would seem to be its outermost film.

  6. Shortsword says

    This is just the beginning. Tesla will be heading for another ten times increase in share price by 2025.

    That Tesla has 40% of the total market cap of auto manufacturers is already crazy enough. How much do they expect it to be in 5 years? If Tesla’s value increased by 10 times while the the total market value of all other manufacturers stayed constant then Tesla would have close to 90% of the total market cap.

    What do you think the high point will be? 50%? 60%?

  7. Scott Galloway predicts Bezos will spinoff AWS (in part to avoid an antitrust case against Amazon) and it will be the most valuable company in the world 5 years from now.


  8. Morton's toes says

    Isaac Newton lost his fortune in a stock bubble. Do you think you are smarter than Isaac Newton?

  9. prime noticer says

    “I’m going to need some good cope as for why I didn’t buy. Give me good stuff. Tell me Tesla is going to crash any day now.”

    for copium i recommend watching reviews of Ford Mustang Mach-E or googling “solid state battery” for things coming down the pipe aimed at Tesla.

    an expert level car guy on youtube that i watch and trust in general, thinks Tesla is doomed in 2021:

    for the record i don’t think these things are gonna knock out Tesla, but those are the most serious threats they are facing in the near term. solid state battery as a threat is a few years out. Rob Mauer who runs Tesla Daily on youtube has somewhat convincing videos about all those topics.

  10. In fairness, Keynes did very well. So did David Ricardo – though not so his hapless friend Thomas Malthus, whom he advised to scant avail.

    But things were simpler back then. I don’t think even they’d do well now given the smart fractions and AI that have become concentrated in the financial industry.

  11. Felix Keverich says

    Somewhere Thorfinsson is crying in the corner.

  12. Anatoly, have you ever considered the possibility that some people simply have WAY too much wealth and that it might thus be prudent to redistribute some of this wealth? I mean, even if Elon Musk’s IQ is 160, a country with an average IQ of 160 is NOT going to have a GDP PPP per capita in the TRILLIONS or even in the BILLIONS in today’s US dollars (or even anywhere close to that, actually). It might have a GDP PPP per capita in the low millions by today’s US dollars, but probably NOT much more than that. In turn, this suggests that even relative to his IQ (which I am being generous by assuming that it’s indeed 160), Elon Musk is quite literally THOUSANDS or even TENS OF THOUSANDS or HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS wealthier than he “should” be–which, again, strengths the case in favor of some wealth redistribution! After all, productivity gaps between an 100 IQ person or even an 85 IQ person and a 160 IQ person are NOT in the MILLIONS–not alone in the BILLIONS! So, why exactly should the latter quite literally be MILLIONS or even BILLIONS of times wealthier than the former should be? Indeed, one could view such forced redistribution as simply being a case of the proles imposing a forced regime of noblesse oblige on our extremely ultra-successful cognitive elites!

  13. Showmethereal says

    Tesla is indeed a cult. The build quality of their products is pretty bad. As more and more automakers move into EV’s the cult will lose some of its luster. The stock price is absolutely a bubble. Their is no justification for it.

  14. FWIW, here is how I came to my calculations:

    85 average IQ: Average GDP PPP per capita of around $10,000
    92.5 average IQ: … $20,000
    100 average IQ: … $40,000
    107.5 average IQ: … $80,000
    115 average IQ: … $160,000
    122.5 average IQ: … $320,000
    130 average IQ: … $640,000
    137.5 average IQ: … $1,280,000
    145 average IQ: … $2,560,000
    152.5 average IQ: … $5,120,000
    160 average IQ: … $10,240,000

    So, Yeah, just slightly north of $10,000,000 average GDP PPP per capita in present-day US dollars for a country with an average IQ of 160.

    The logic of my calculation here is that with every 7.5 point increase in a country’s average IQ, this country’s GDP PPP per capita doubles.

  15. There are three separate realities:

    1. Tesla as a pioneer of technology and innovation: It is incontestable that Tesla has not just created real-world advanced EVs but more importantly mass produced them – as opposed to being a niche novelty player – and the massive infrastructure needed to operate them. (There’s also innovations around the mass manufacturing process itself ). Tesla has done for the EV what Apple did for the SmartPhone.
    2. Tesla’s revenue potential: while it has a huge addressable space there are many other EV manufacturers including those in China which are innovating and growing (Nio, Li, XPeng). And of course traditional automakers are not standing still either. They still have formidable manufacturing, distribution and repair infrastructure that even infinite money cannot replicate overnight.

    In addition, EV technology needed to fully replace gas powered autos over long hauls and bring down prices to levels most can afford is still some ways away (as Musk himself admitted). So revenue growth will be capped by both technical as well as external factors.

    Tesla also faces competition in exporting its battery technology from many firms working away from the vertical model that Tesla (like Apple) embraced.

    1. Tesla share price: Tesla’s current share price is not justified by even wildly optimistic revenue growth models. It simply does not line up as compared to other automakers even accounting for the Fed fueled stock inflation inflation. Currently no automaker has more than 15% of the market and even if Tesla gets to 25% in a decade which is near impossible from its sub-1 today l, the valuation is way too high.

    What’s driving Tesla’s share price is Musk who has exceed the mythos that Jobs had. Probably more than 50% of the share price depends on the Musk Mystique. A mature stock cannot ride on that level of risk.

  16. Philip Owen says

    Sports stars. The winner takes all or nearly so. Enough is left in the game to keep competitors on survival rations. Entertainment too. Women gold digging come to that.

  17. The Spirit of Enoch Powell says

    It is a Reddit-tier brand

  18. Ooh Space program! My favorite topic. I like both Musk and Bezos, they are my favorite oligarchs. They have vision. Between the two, Bezos (orbital stations) vision will win over Musk vision (large city on Mars) because at this point we don’t know low gravity health effects and they are likely not going to be good. On orbital station, gravity and climate can be adjusted at will and they will be different at different points of the station which is much better for human conditioning. We still must have a Mars colony for research purposes and mining so Musk vision also has merit.

    Anyway, Starship is going to be a big deal. It will deploy itself (fuel), weapons, and thousands of civilian and military satellites all over local space, including the Moon. It will be worth $trillions. To give you an idea, a single USA-245/Keyhole satellite costs around $5 billion. A couple of those will buy you an aircraft carrier. This space infrastructure build out will be the largest project humanity has undertaken so far in its history.

    If Rogozin doesn’t screw it up (a distinct possibility), future will be funny though. It is true that Russians are behind SpaceX in launch capability and will be limited to Angara 5V 35-40 tons to low earth orbit. (Angara 5V will be roughly equivalent or better compared to Falcon Heavy reusable mode and no you can’t fit 68 tons nominal to LEO on Heavy due to fairing size, and Angara will likely cost the same).

    But Russians will be the Space Energizer Bunnies. Russians are the world leaders in space nuclear technology. Their entry level project Nuklon for example will produce 500 kW of electricity, of which 450 kW will be payload usable. This is literally insane. For comparison, the most advanced project in space right now – International Space Station that’s what, $100 billion, generates 120 kW average. Russian entry level project will be 4x more powerful.

    If you read Nuklon contract specifications, it lists “ground penetrating radar for study of Moon geology and void spaces to the depth of several kilometers, payload power requirement 450 kW” and “plasma engines to reach the Moon in 200 days, with 10 ton xenon propellant tank”.

    Again, this is absolutely insane. Nobody cares about the Moon lol. You can reach the Moon in 3 days with chemical engines (same KVTK as in Angara 5V). You don’t need advanced plasma with 10 tons xenon (for reference, it takes few 100 kg for advanced NASA probes to reach Jupiter etc) for that. Americans did exactly the same ground penetrating radar surveys of the Moon to the depth of 2 km back in the 1970’s. Their power requirement for radar – 100W. Russians demand 450,000W. This seems like a bit of an overkill. This radar will have effectively infinite fuel for orbital corrections and it will spend 200 days in orbit over Earth. Make your own conclusions as to what “geology” and “void spaces” it will study.

    Anyway, by 2030, Americans will deploy to space multitudes. Russians will deploy to space megapower the likes of which the world has never seen before. Exciting times!

  19. Shortsword says

    I don’t know anything about this, what makes Russia ahead in nuclear space technology? Further, why would Russia continue to be ahead in a decade? If the technology you’re talking about is so groundbreaking then wouldn’t USA , EU and China also be working on it?

  20. Musk is not very good at keeping his products from crashing into things. No government should allow this man to fill the sky with satellites.

  21. Shortsword says

    Is Kessler syndrome a real possible problem?

  22. USSR/Russia flew TOPAZ nuclear reactors back in the 80’s. They gave TOPAZ II nuclear power technology to Americans back in the 90’s. Russians invented practical Hall effect plasma accelerators and gave this technology to Americans in 2002 and French as well at some point on a license. All the Western satellites use Russian designs straight outta Kaliningrad, either copies that Americans made or French SNECMA (they make Superjet engines).

    Biggest problem for space power is coolant which Russians solved with some sort of carbon fiber based radiator for Nuklon and for larger ships I still try to research droplet based radiators (Kaplya 2 experiment didn’t go too good due to coolant loss but I think its a solvable problem). Droplet based radiatiors are truly revolutionary and without them space civilization is impossible.

    For nuclear reactors, Russians have molybdenum crystallization process that allows for high temperature construction and higher efficiency.

    I dont know too much about Chinese, but EU is not that great for space and nuclear tech (they only have French Areva and those poor guys, I don’t think they are doing so good).

    Americans canceled JIMO in 2005 (similar but weaker design) and since then they have been worthless. They are trying to make up with Kilopower but thats 10 kW electric, that’s so beneath the Russians. TOPAZ made 5 kW in the 1980’s. And it flew in space. Americans are decades behind.

    Americans don’t respect nuclear power like Russians do. Russians are the greatest Nuclear Power Respecters in the world.

  23. Shortsword says

    Why did Russia give away the technology? Was it sold for a respectable price or just given away as some kind of post cold war good will?

  24. Um lol. That is a very good question. Sometimes Russian leadership does things that are not very well thought through. Even Putin, in early 2000’s wanted to join NATO.

    Russians are not anti-Western generally. Which is good because friendship is good but sometimes it can cause blind spots.

    It was all in the name of technical and scientific university cooperation (TOPAZ II made it to New Mexico and Hall drives to Ann Harbor Michigan and US Air Force). And its nice to share and cooperate, but not when it comes to key foundational technologies.

  25. Aside from the point of redistribution, a 160IQ country probably would eventually end up with trillions in GDP ppp. The current crop of geniuses in our own society are pushing closer towards the superintelligence escape velocity, and look a good chance of getting there in the next century or so. Once that nut is cracked the sky’s the limit.

    On this basis Musk should in fact be even richer, but for the unfortunate circumstance he finds himself in – dragged down by living in our prole-infested reality!

  26. (((They))) Live says

    Why don’t they use a Chinese car, SAD

  27. Almost Missouri says

    Okay, but the only part of the incoming administration that is not owned by China is owned by Big Tech CEOs. Is Joe Biden supposed to be the fountainhead of a new “conscious capitalism, sitting on a bed of empathy and good governance”?!?

    Maybe the academics are in a new fashion cycle on antitrust law, but that doesn’t mean the politicians care. Their donors definitely don’t.

  28. Indeed, pretty embarrassing for China if accurate – especially considering that it has three big Tesla competitors in the EV department.

  29. Trump has received a lot of money from China over the years.

  30. Why does he call Australia “shitsville”?

  31. China walks a fine line between nationalism and globalism. Ideally it would like access to global capital and markets while maintaining the ability to be independent of them in case of adverse events.

    By encouraging global brands such as Apple, Tesla to not just operate but enjoy a high profile ties these companies and their stockholders and more importantly US politicians who they lobby, ensure anti-China sanctions don’t go too far. For example if say China was to ban Tesla, its stock would crater since the Chinese market is huge with the government ahead of the many markets in the West in rolling out infrastructure to support EVs. Thus Musk – and all the lobbying power he brings – would be in China’s favor. Similarly many US corporations are looking for an easing of ties under Biden precisely because it would be good for profits.

    Russia would like something similar but the money that flows to the elites esp NATO/information warriors/intelligence agencies to fomenting anti-Russian hysteria outweighs any benefits of normalizing trade with Russia. Russia doesn’t have the market runway that China does for Western companies to invest in to make it worthwhile.

  32. Thank you for that depth of info!

    As to Russia sharing tech: after the USSR fell, the key product that Russia bought into was Western propaganda about “democracy” and foolishly felt that it could be part of the Western club and share in wealth creation and technology sharing while even the EU is allowed to be independent of the US-led Empire and Russia will always serve as a convenient foil for the West to fund their own programs. While Russia is not anti-West, the West is maniacally anti-Russian.

  33. ImmortalRationalist says

    What do you think of Thunderf00t’s criticisms of the Hyperloop?

  34. The market will crash and very badly, timing is just the question, then again timing is overrated, investment themes last a decade. Commodities are the place to be now, once again.

  35. Just imagine if he used his wealth the same way that Soros does, just this time supporting patriots. Ingvar Kamprad was supposed to have a background in his youth in patriot organisations, didn’t do any good. As Kevin MacDonald has pointed out we need more than just Wiliam Regnery II.

  36. Corporate America knows China is the biggest market of all, they have to prioritise China.

    A lot of Russian companies list on the LSE, this is a good way to develop a lobby, investors tend to be a wealthier and more influential constituency. Of course it is then a necessity that the Russian authorities ensure these companies are well run.

  37. In Catilinam says

    It might not be a bubble. Investors are expecting Quantitative Easing to flush billions of dollars into publicly traded companies through money printing. I would rather bet on the dollar losing purchasing power than the market collapsing.

  38. One big factor I can see is governments relentlessly pushing electric cars in the name of Greeeee (sorry) Green. That has to help. Though we might be at the Gartner hype cycle peak for EV and once the normies start using them things won’t be so rosy anymore.

    A Bloomberg writer also noted that Tesla was recently added to the S&P 500 (apparently being the sixth largest company at that point, lol) which means there has been a lot of forced buying by index funds.

  39. Tesla stock price doubled since November 15 reaching market cap of $700 billion at $816 per share.

    How many stocks out of N=($700 billion)/$816 were traded in last 50 days? How much money changed hands in those trades?

    Can we find a plot showing number of shares traded per day in last 50 days?

    I ask because I wonder what does it take to push $350 billion market cap to $700 billion market cap? Is it possible that only small fraction of existing shares are responsible for the growth? And if so, can it be engineered by those who say, own 80% of all shares?

    Bitcoin increased 4 times in last 12 month and Tesla about 8 times. Bitcoin capitalization is $350 billion. I would expect that the same mechanism is behind both trends.

    How much of $700 billion in Tesla or $350 billion in Bitcoin is “new money”? How much “new money” had to enter the stock market to propel such a growth?

  40. Perhaps it will be the Dutch Tulip Bubble of the 21st century.

  41. Showmethereal says

    I will believe it when I see it. Chinese love German luxury brands… The Germans are pushing heavy into EV’s.

  42. Showmethereal says

    If accurate. Its not as if Audi itself isn’t bringing EV’s into the market. VW who is Audi’s parent company has even made China the lynchpin of it EV strategy. I would be very very surprised if that rumor proves true. The Germans produce way more cars in China than Tesla can.. Sounds more like a rumor to push Tesla’s stock price up. Stranger things can happen though.

    China’s EV start ups dont have the manufacturing capacity so that wouldn’t happen for Nio or XPeng or such. If anything BYD or SAIC would get the nod if they put a domestic manufacturer were to get the nod over a German. They actually sell the most domestic EV’s and have manufacturing capacity since they are traditional automakers. So if I had to gamble about the Germans being replaced – you would see the government driving the BYD Han rather Tesla Model 3’s. The BYD model certainly has the nicer interior – lol. Which is why I think Tesla is a “cult”. Anyone who examines the build quality and interior of an Audi and a comparable Tesla – I dont see how they can expect Tesla to keep customers as the Audi’s of the world enter the market for EV’s in full force. Even now the younger China EV maker Nio has gotten higher quality marks than Tesla (in China). It is happening in Europe already where Europeans are diversifying in EV purchases. Same with China and the Han model I brought up… Salex are skyrocketing and starting to get close to the Model 3. Thats why Tesla slashed the prices for the Model Y in the past 2 weeks. How they can turn a profit slashing prices – I dont have a clue. Tesla’s stock price is “magic dust” to me.

  43. Showmethereal says

    I dont know Russian companies well – but I wonder why no Russian carmaker was able to make vehicles on the level of the Germans or Japanese. The population was big enough and there was obviously the engineering talent…. So why do you think it didnt happen?

  44. Kent Nationalist says

    The Tesla bubble would be popped

  45. Barack Obama's secret Unz account says

    the world’s first trillionaire.

    I thought that was Robert Mugabe?

  46. Over the last month which includes the run-up to TSLA being added to the S&P 500 on Dec 21, the S&P is up 1.5%. TSLA is up 27% (from an already crazy level). The only thing that’s beating it is Bitcoin (which at least has some rationale in that supply is limited while the dollar is being weakened thanks to the Fed flooding the market w $$).

    And TSLA is up 4% pre-market today. Every day the price looks unsustainable it goes up 5%. A correction of at least 20% is due I’d think. Then again TSLA is defying all laws of rationality.

  47. Sure you would have to diversify your wealth, certainly not have it tied to Tesla, or rather any one company in particular, ideally something that can’t be boycotted.

  48. Better returns to be made in commodities, Russia has a few car manufacturers like AvtoVAZ and Kamaz with trucks, not sure they export many though.

  49. Thing about Tesla is their batteries are still the best, you get the most miles, unless that changes Tesla will remain number one. Personally I will stick to petrol.

  50. Thats why Tesla slashed the prices for the Model Y in the past 2 weeks. How they can turn a profit slashing prices – I dont have a clue. Tesla’s stock price is “magic dust” to me.

    Establishing a foothold in China is a critical for Tesla. Musk is slashing to try and prevent Nio & co from expanding too fast while hoping to use the capital flowing in to scale.

    But I agree, Tesla’s valuation is beyond standard methodology and goes into the realm of cultism.

  51. My favorite Musk story, from an interview with his father, the emerald mine owner:

    Elon, by his father’s recollection then probably 16 years old, and his brother Kimbal, decided to sell emeralds to Tiffany & Co. on Fifth Avenue in New York – one of the world’s most famous jewelers – as his father lay sleeping. “They just walked into Tiffany’s and said, ‘Do you want to buy some emeralds?’” Errol recalled in an interview with Business Insider South Africa. “And they sold two emeralds, one was for $800 and I think the other one was for $1,200.”

    A few days later the family returned to the store to find that Tiffany was selling the $800 emerald, now set in a ring, for $24,000 — a markup of 30 times the price Elon had received for the gem.

    Musk’s business model hasn’t changed much since then, except other suckers took the place of his father.

  52. Russians make BMW and Mercedes in Russia, so if Russians want German car made in Russia they just buy it.

    Auto industry is global (AvtoVAZ is basically a Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi conglomerate, Niva used to be a General Motors brand etc), so just like a lot American Toyotas come from Kentucky, a lot of foreign cars in Russia come from Russia, and Russian car brands are more French, Japanese, and American influenced.

    Russians simply aim for lower price range in autos because credit markets in Russia are not developed so locals can’t borrow $billions in car loans to pay for fancy cars. People who can afford to pay cash for BMW just pay cash but there are very few of those, just like in the US (vast majority of BMW in US are leases and car loans, very few people can actually afford one outright).

    One Russia develops credit markets and leases and car loans, people will be able to afford fancy cars, and Russian manufacturers will move upmarket.

    But in modern financial system, credit is everything, and Russia is not developed there yet. But give it time, it will get there.

  53. After the SpaceX IPO, remember to sell your shares before collisional cascading of SpaceX low-altitude satellites gets underway. Luddism uber alles.

  54. The alternatives are crash (supported by cascade of negative divergences setting up since January 2018 and lately a two-month channel-buster in YM) or reflexive reset higher after dollar devaluation. The former is more imminent.


    Left column, seventh datum down. If you do your own chart, you see more.

    Is it possible that only small fraction of existing shares are responsible for the growth? And if so, can it be engineered by those who say, own 80% of all shares?

    The large holders are hedge funds, so they could in theory keep trading them back and forth always at the ask price. Too illegal to risk though. And mutual funds are certainly not going to play such games.

  56. Justvisiting says

    Musk would have “too much wealth” if he was smart enough to sell all his stock now and head for the hills.

    But–he is greedy–and has forgotten that pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.

  57. prime noticer says

    SpaceX will probably never go public, but they will likely spin off Starlink. however Starlink profits will largely be put back into SpaceX private operations.

    the main goal of SpaceX is to build a city on Mars. anything that gets in the way of that goal, like a board of directors, quarterly reports, or shareholders, is something they want to avoid. aggressively going after Mars is what they care about, not profit.

    more than that, Elon clearly hates the leftists, and has made minor comments over the years about avoiding their involvement in anything, if he can help it. the last thing he wants is moron leftist executives and board members fucking up everything. their goal would be to turn SpaceX into NegroFest or some similar total bullshit, and Elon knows it.

  58. Showmethereal says

    I know they maie cars… What i’m saying is there is no Russian carmaker that people know and desire around the world. I would assume (again I admittedly dont know enough) that they had the Soviet bloc all to themselves… So I am just wondering why post Soviet Union there were no carmakers ready to take on the international market. Russia had loads of engineers.

  59. Showmethereal says

    Yeah the whole thing is crazy. Tesla wants to be seen as a premium maker. Making huge price cuts to undercut start ups is not the way to be seen as a premium automaker. But yeah the customers and investors are in a cult cloud. If the customers werent status conscious they could have saved money and bought Nissan Leaf’s… So something has to give one way or another.
    Imagine Porsche saying “hey let’s price our Taycan below the Model S so we could be seen as a baragin”. Porsche would lose brand cache right away. Its profit margin would crumble and so would its value. Tesla is indeed magic dust. Will it or how soon will it go “poof”? I have never put any money into it… Maybe I will be wrong…

  60. Showmethereal says

    Thanks for the explanation. That makes sense… But Russia should indeed be careful in terms of extending too much credit. I know for instance in China leasing was very very low just ten years ago – even though it has gone up now it isnt extreme. My guess is BMW – while it might sell less cars in Russia than the US – it probably makes more profit per vehicle in Russia when pricing and financing/depreciated are considered. I know that is the case in China (though they do sell more there now – even when it was less the profit margins were higher than the US).

  61. Shortsword says

    Soviet Union never had good cars. They probably could’ve made decent ones if they put effort to it but they didn’t. A lot of it has to do with that USSR never transitioned out of heavy train usage like Western countries did. Western countries had decreasing railroad passenger-km throughout the cold war while in the USSR it continued to increase right up to the dissolution. This policy resulted in Soviet Union having much worse road network than Western countries.

    I don’t know the specifics of why USSR choose to prefer trains. It probably has to do with bureaucracy and control.

  62. Peter Lund says

    Starlink satellites orbit so low that they will deorbit passively in case of failures. It takes active station keeping (use of ion rockets) to keep them up and in the right lane at the right speed. Should they break up into smaller pieces (because they hit each other), the pieces will deorbit even sooner. The materials and the design is deliberately chosen so any piece that survives all the way down to the surface is extremely small.

  63. Hypnotoad666 says

    Musk seems to agree with your comparative evaluation of the prospects of SpaceX and Tesla, because he is keeping SpaceX private.

    If he’s smart (and of course he is), he should start using the insanely valued Tesla stock as currency to buy up some other companies. Heck, he could buy GM and Ford both for spare change at the moment.

    If I had $194 billion, I’d personally buy the New York Times and CNN just so I could fire everyone who works there and reduce their buildings to a smoldering crater, or parking lot.

  64. Hypnotoad666 says

    In fairness, Keynes did very well. So did David Ricardo

    Keynes had the advantage of being able to trade on insider information from the Exchequer (which was not illegal). Not sure about Ricardo.

    Newton was in charge of the Royal Mint for awhile. If he lost money during that gig, it just means he was actually honest.

  65. How do you draw a vacuum in a tube that has a train running on air bearings?

    Tesla will be toast when real car companies get their ass in gear. It already would be if NHTSA was doing its job.

  66. The same reason Japanese cars were so much better than American cars, the best engineering talent went into blowing shit up instead of making things better.

  67. Bezos will regain richest man status within a few years, barring someone inventing a practical nuclear fusion reactor or sex robot.

  68. Somebody else has probably also mentioned this
    (I tried to check, too many posts to continue), but there was a huge explosion at a Tesla battery related factory in China last night.

    Musk relies on government (Cali, US, NASA) subsidies at every step, so he is not really what he presents himself as.

  69. Reg Cæsar says

    What i’m saying is there is no Russian carmaker that people know and desire around the world.

    Ladas were strangely popular in Scandinavia in the ’80s, particularly in Denmark and Iceland, which have no automotive manufacturing of their own.

  70. Reg Cæsar says

    Though I am strongly bullish on SpaceX, and do think there’s a very good chance that that is what makes Musk into the world’s first trillionaire.

    Musk and Besos [sic]* have a ways to go before reaching John D Rockefeller, let alone Mansa Musa.

    BBC’s list shows Augustus Cæsar having been a trillionaire in today’s cash. It depends on the currency, too– 40¢ US could have made one a centitrillionaire in Zimbabwe not that long ago.

  71. The real-life Nikola Tesla was certainly a genius, perhaps at times beyond what we can now evaluate.

    To name an electric vehicle company for him very much displays bad taste and ignorance.

  72. Colonizing Mars is just useless escapism to not solve the problems here, which are plenty enough, just take a look at this website. And anyway people will just bring the same problems with them to Mars and have the same type of problems there.

  73. My point is that the concept of a Martian escape hatch will subconsciously make it less urgent to solve the problems here, since there is always an escape hatch anyway.

  74. If you are trying to develop a revolutionary rocket, I think your best bet is to have an inspirational vision. That way, the people working on the project will be inspired to work harder.

    You’ll also get a secondary payoff from people who are not employees. For example, there’s some guy that makes fancy 3D animations and models pro bono because he’s inspired by it. Likewise, a crowd of enthusiasts will generate free PR, and help lobby the government to be friendly to you.

    And anyway people will just bring the same problems with them to Mars and have the same type of problems there.

    This is a fallacy. Immigration is a filter. If it is only your rockets to Mars, it is a pretty big filter.

    That said, I’m not sure how tenable the idea is. 0.38g is a long way from one gee. Though, conversely, it might make everyone live longer.

  75. They should try first to build a settlement on Antarctica using Musk rockets as the only means of delivery and each rocked after launch would have to stay for one year on Earth orbit before being able to send supplies to Antarctica. And no communication devises w/o 15 min time delay in both ways.

  76. Like Elysium?

  77. There is no practical reason to not mine Antarctica first before you even think of trying to mine the moon or asteroids. There is not even a good reason to send anything beyond space probes to Mars, this whole idea is stupid escapist fantasy and a waste of resources.

  78. And Earth’s population is expected to fall from 10 billion starting the year 2100 anyway, and more probably sooner rather than later.

  79. showmethereal says

    Absolutely agree…. Humans can’t solve our problems on earth and we can’t go it on Mars. But there is value in space travel. It doesn’t generate innovation we can use on earth. So I’m all for it space travel – I just think colonization is a dumb idea.

  80. showmethereal says

    Wow didn’t know they were popular. I know Ladas were in the Caribbean in the 80’s when I would go through the area – but they weren’t “popular”… It was just because of price. Now Japanese cars were “popular”.

  81. showmethereal says

    “Heck, he could buy GM and Ford both for spare change at the moment.”

    And therein lies the insanity of the financial economy versus the real economy. The insanity being that a company that makes nowhere near the level of profit – and has nowhere near the level of physical and tangible assets -could have the ability to take over those based on the speculative price of its stock

  82. There is no practical reason to not mine Antarctica

    Environmentalists would lynch you. Not saying I’d do it, but there are some pretty interesting things living in Antarctica, if you include microscopic organisms. Things that have been frozen for thousands of years and can be dethawed.

    Like Elysium?

    O’Neill cylinders and other space stations seem less appealing. One reason is that they are more susceptible to weapons. I’m not too sure that they would work either. We’re probably talking a pretty big diameter, if you want to emulate earth’s gravity without unpleasant side effects.

    And Earth’s population is expected to fall from 10 billion starting the year 2100 anyway, and more probably sooner rather than later.

    IMO, the main appeal of Mars is segregation, but nobody wants to admit it.

  83. This guy is hilarious. He has 5 videos debunking Tesla and done with humor and great sarcasm.—-Tesla sells its cars at a loss but Tesla Co itself is slightly profitable because it sells green air credits to other car makers. These credits are given to Tesla by 13 US states and are an outright give away and subsidy. What a scam!

  84. (((They))) Live says

    You’re setting the bar pretty low, the Falcon 9 and the Dragon could do that now, The Dragon stays in orbit for months when supplying the ISS, putting it into a polar orbit for a year than having it land somewhere in Antarctica is not hard, SpaceX, Russia, China could all get that does easy enough

  85. (((They))) Live says

    I don’t think Musk picked the name, I think Martin Eberhard did

    Or did you get burned buying Nikola shares ?

  86. showmethereal says

    Seems plausible but Western Europe developed good trains and good cars.

  87. Colonizing Mars is just useless escapism

    Yep. The only planet in the solar system worth colonising is Earth. The idea of colonies on Mars is a silly wish-fulfilment fantasy.

  88. there are some pretty interesting things living in Antarctica, if you include microscopic organisms. Things that have been frozen for thousands of years and can be dethawed.

    As the Antarctic explorers in Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness found out.

  89. O’Neill cylinders and other space stations seem less appealing. One reason is that they are more susceptible to weapons. I’m not too sure that they would work either. We’re probably talking a pretty big diameter, if you want to emulate earth’s gravity without unpleasant side effects.

    Large O’Neil cylinders will be more appealing for large human colonies because of simulated gravity and climate control. You can have forests and lakes in them, unlike Mars where terraforming will take a very long time and you can’t control gravity at all.

    And sure a price of a few hundred $trillion sounds expensive now, but its actually quite affordable. I mean, Airbus 320 jet airliner would also look expensive to 17th century peasant in France, but today, any obese housewife can afford a ticket on one to go around the world. Just like that, those space stations would cost $100’s of trillions and be very affordable to anybody.

    That said, just like the Arctic, there will be significant military, scientific, and mining colonies on Mars. But due to low gravity and underground living, conditions will be much harsher, it will not be for everyone.

    As far as weapons go, Earth will be the most vulnerable to attack compared to any space colony. Earth is the worst because it is a giant gravity well. Any real space combat boils down throwing rocks at each other and Earth humans live on the bottom of a deep well. It is MUCH easier to throw giant rock down a deep well than throw rocks out of a deep well.

    Any space colony that is self sustainable will gain total military superiority over Earth very quickly because sterilizing planetary surface from space is fairly easy, just ask the dinosaurs.

    Which is why military will be the first to build out space infrastructure.

    IMO, the main appeal of Mars is segregation, but nobody wants to admit it.

    This. Pilgrims didn’t set out to colonize the New World because the Netherlands and England ran out of resources. Same with conquistadors and Spain. Last I heard, there are still humans living in Europe to this day. But colonists wanted fame, fortune, freedom, and glory that they couldn’t find in the Netherlands, England, or Spain. Same will happen with Earth and space colonies.

  90. Oh, Mars colonies will happen, for military and scientific, and mining reasons, similar to Arctic on Earth. It won’t be a place normal people will want to stay permanently to raise a family or whatever, but workers and soldiers will be stationed there for as long as low gravity health effects don’t damage them too much, maybe few years, and then they will get rotated out for new crews. But human presence will be there.

  91. Might be a ’50s cliche, but I think the Moon is the ultimate high ground. Control that and you have a pretty good deterrent to any attack on expensive space stations.

    In regards to living underground, I think the prospect is somewhat damaged by the context of our cultural biases. When people think of underground spaces, they often think of the subway – generally a place run by corrupt, incompetent people, full of filth and no selective filters.

    I wish Russia would invest more in trying to develop underground parks. It seems like it might be a good attraction to have something like that in some of these cities that are abysmally cold in winter. And it would be a good place to test out ideas for spaces on the Moon or Mars.

  92. No. I don’t play shares, want to start and will possibly begin next month or two. The forecast as of now is sunny for the people I work for and related companies.

    Musk is funny, I like that side. I do not like that everything he does in business relies on massive government subsidies.

  93. Subways in the USA and UK perhaps (I have not experienced, but it appears a nightmare), but S.K. is not, Japan is not, PRC is not, H.K. is not, have not been in the Pyeonyang subways, but they look pretty free and well-behaved, as very nicely designed.

  94. ‘Personally, I think Tesla is a ridiculous bubble at this stage’

    They said the same thing about Bitcoin but it just kept on growing and growing.

  95. Throw enough subsidies in (some people should calculate it, not just for Tesla, also
    Space X, and the several other ‘projects’, vast sums), make some Musk ultra-wealthy.