Facepalm: On Thursday, Elon Musk tweeted “Just want to that the shortseller enrichment commission is doing incredible work. And the name change is so on point.” Tesla shares have dropped over 7% since then, taking them even lower than they were after the SEC (which actually stands for the Securities and Exchange Commission) announced their lawsuit. Musk responded by further bullying short sellers on Twitter.
Someone really needs to delete Musk’s Twitter account. We all know the story by now: Musk suggested on Twitter that Saudi Arabia would be taking Tesla private, sending shares soaring, but changed his mind shortly after, resulting in the SEC filing a lawsuit against Musk saying that he had been manipulating shares. They then agreed to a settlement that was just recently signed by a judge, stipulating that Musk had to step down as Chairman of Tesla and pay a $20 million fine.
It appears a lot of people are very salty about the whole affair. Many Tesla investors took to Twitter to complain that Musk was burning their money with his tweets, one going so far as to even say: “I have lost 30 years of my life savings all on Tesla thanks to your tweets, please stop.” While venting his anger, Musk took aim at short sellers, tweeting that “what they do should be illegal.” He later added that “the last several years have taught me that they are indeed reasonably maligned.”
Greenlight Capital, an investment firm who had just short sold Tesla stocks, felt particularly irritated. In an investor letter obtained by Reuters today, Hedge fund manager David Einhorn compared Tesla to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., a company whose bankruptcy Einhorn had predicted four months in advance. “Like Lehman, we think the deception is about to catch up to Tesla. Elon Musk’s erratic behaviour suggests that he sees it the same way.”
Einhorn spent quite some time in his letter insulting the “despondent” Musk and allegedly doomed Tesla. Musk responded, again on Twitter, by announcing he would “send Einhorn a box of short shorts to comfort him during this difficult time.”
Musk is a bit too witty for his own good. Rather wisely, the SEC declined to comment on the tweets.