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On the money

Bill Gates has lost out on a fortune

Bill Gates in 1983. Doug Wilson/Corbis/Getty Images

📈 💸 😳 Bill Gates would be richer than Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos combined if he’d hung on to his Microsoft shares, says David Wilson in Bloomberg. Gates, 66, owned 2.06 billion shares in September 1998, when the software maker became the world’s most valuable company. Microsoft took back the top ranking from Apple last month, and Gates’s 1998 holding would now be worth about $693 billion, topping Musk’s $281.6bn and Bezos’s $201bn. But Gates sold most of his shares before retiring in 2020.

Elon’s financial conjuring trick

💵🧐💰 Much has been made of Elon Musk selling $5bn worth of Tesla shares this week, after Twitter followers voted that he should. But the real reason he wants cash may be to buy more Tesla shares. Under an old remuneration agreement, Musk has an option to acquire 22.86 million Tesla shares at $6.24 each – the current price is about $1,065 each. If he does so, he will magically turn $143m into $24bn overnight. He’ll lose a chunk of that if he has to pay tax on the gain in the shares’ value – but what’s a few billion between friends?

An inside job?

💼 👀 👮🏻 A partner at consulting firm McKinsey has been charged with insider trading ahead of a $2.2bn Goldman Sachs deal to buy an online loans provider. US prosecutors have accused Puneet Dikshit, 40, a lead partner on the deal in McKinsey’s New York office, of using privileged information to turn a personal profit of more than $450,000. The company has already fired him for “a gross violation of our policies and code of conduct”. The criminal complaint claims that shortly after suspicious activity was first reported last month, Dikshit googled Rajat Gupta, a former Goldman Sachs director and ex-head of McKinsey who in 2012 was found guilty of insider trading.