Monday, 22 October, 2018

Elon Musk Reportedly Bailed On SEC Settlement At The Last Minute

Elon Musk smoking weed on Elon Musk smoking weed on"The Joe Rogan Experience. Joe Rogan Experience YouTube
Kenneth Drake | 30 September, 2018, 01:34

- Tesla investors have taken a wild ride as Wall Street values the promise of one of the world's leading electric auto makers, the hurdles the company faces as it tries to become a world-class manufacturer, and a mercurial CEO who can get the market buzzing with a single tweet. However, it's not surprising that Musk would settle with the SEC so quickly, even after reports that he didn't want to stain his reputation with a settlement or be "untruthful" to himself. While the CEO wouldn't have had to admit any guilt, Musk would have been barred from being chairman for two years, and Tesla would have been required to appoint two new independent directors, CNBC said. Musk is ineligible to be re-elected chairman for three years, but he can stay on as CEO.

Musk's role at Tesla is uncertain now that the SEC is seeking to bar him from serving as an officer and director of a public company, following his August tweet about having "funding secured" to take Tesla private at $420 a share. Combined, these two things would cost Tesla owners $13,000 United States dollars. The SEC said the company had no way to determine if his tweets contained information that must be disclosed in corporate filings, or if they contained complete and accurate information. Based on that conversation, the bank says "the DOJ's involvement depends on proving the Musk tweet was meant to manipulate the stock". "Our focus remains on the continued ramp [up] of Model 3 production and delivering for our customers, shareholders and employees".

Ihor Dusaniwsky, head of research at financial analytics firm S3 Partners, said in an email that he had seen several hundred thousand shares of new short selling in Tesla.

Despite all this, investors haven't bailed on Tesla completely. That's putting intense pressure on Musk and the board to stop the bleeding.


At Friday's close, GM had a market capitalization of about $47.5 billion, according to Bloomberg data, while Tesla's was down to $45.17 billion. "But, we think the cash level (or stock price) needs to improve to be able to handle the $US920mm convertible bonds due in Feb 2019 (conversion price is ~$US360)". Musk traditionally has had little trouble raising money on Wall Street.

The very attributes that have fueled a mania around Elon Musk - his vision, brash personality and willingness to take risks - could prove to be his downfall. Breakingviews cleverly posits that a Musk-less Tesla will reveal the true value of the innovative but financially challenged company.

But the accord was refused, and now Tesla stock is tanking.

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