WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Fresh from resolving an SEC dispute, Elon Musk resumes tweets targeting the commission and calling them ‘Shortseller Enrichment Commision.’
- Such tweets peeved investors sending its stocks to a dive at 2.4 percent to close to $275.
- Musk’s disdain for short sellers may be the reason why he wanted to take Tesla private.
Barely a week since Tesla CEO Elon Musk signed a deal with the SEC to settle charges over accusations that he deceived traders with misleading statements, he took a half-assed shot at the agency via Twitter.
In a tweet apparently mocking the U.S. SEC, Elon Musk said, “Just want to say that the ‘Shortseller Enrichment Commission’ is doing incredible work. And the name is so on point!”
Someone else tweeted him about being careful about enraging the ‘Shortseller Enrichment Committee’. To which Musk tweeted back saying, “Sorry about the typo. That was unforgivable. Why should they be upset about their mission? It’s what they do.”
The tweets have irritated investors sending Tesla shares down to 2.4 percent in after-hours trading to $275. Prior the tweets, shares already closed to $281.83, at a 4.4 percent decline.
The CEO’s contempt for short sellers was believed to be the main reason why he briefly pursued plans of taking the company private.
Musk has long ridiculed short sellers who have been targeting Tesla as potentially overpriced and betting for its stocks to decline. This made Tesla among the most shorted stocks on the market which led to a public feud with Musk.
The tweets came following Musk’s agreement to step down as chairman board for at least 3 years and pay a fine of $20 million. As part of the settlement, he did not admit to any wrongdoing.
The proposed settlement requires court approval and has yet to take effect. It was not known if Musk’s latest tweets were approved by the company.
Alma Angotti, a former SEC enforcement official confirmed in an email that the tweets won’t probably affect Musk’s settlement with the SEC because it does not deny any wrongdoing and the company information doesn’t seem to be of substance.
However, she said it may have been more sensible for the company to ask Musk not to tweet any company-related matters until they have put in the policies, procedures and controls required by the settlement.
Musk’s tweets have furthered controversy and have annoyed investors and possibly regulators. Angotti said that all the more it has boosted SEC’s claims that he is uncontrollable and that his false tweets in August may have been just to stop the short sellers.
Neither the SEC nor Tesla was available for comments.
Source: USA Today