Elon Musk said his fight with federal regulators isn’t over, but he would “finish it.” The Tesla CEO has long fought with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, but his crusade may be hurting his car company’s stock.
Musk and the SEC have had many battles over the years. In 2018, Musk tweeted that he may take Tesla private if the stock reached $420. He claimed he’d “secured” the money. The SEC began an investigation into this claim, which ignited this war.
Elon Musk slammed investigators, called them names, claimed there was corruption amongst the ranks, and said the agency was working in collusion with his business rivals, reports said. The regulatory agency eventually ruled against Musk in that case, fining him $20 million. But that was not the end of the war.
On Tuesday, Musk replied to a tweet of an article that claimed the SEC may have leaked info about its investigation into the Tesla CEO to the press. Musk wrote, “This is just peeling back the first layer of the corruption onion. Stay tuned…”
Then, on Wednesday, a Twitter user told people to “grab your popcorn,” because he believe the tech billionaire could have enough dirt on the SEC to take on the SEC. When someone said it wasn’t a good idea to start a fight with a federal agency, Elon Musk responded, “I didn’t start the fight, but I will finish it.”
It’s unclear what Musk has on the agency, but he seems confident it’s enough to win this never-ending battle and is putting the pieces together behind the scenes.
Elon Musk Cheers On Justice Department Investigation
One thing that Elon Musk hates more than the SEC is short-sellers. For those who didn’t get a business degree, short selling is when an investment company bets that a company’s stock will go down. On Thursday, reports surfaced that the Justice Department was investigating if it could bring racketeering charges against two short-sellers for unsavory business practices.
“I am greatly encouraged by the Justice Department investigating short-sellers,” Musk told CNBC. “This is something the SEC should have done, but, curiously, did not.”
He said short-selling was bad for everyday traders, small investors, and companies.
“Too often, sophisticated hedge funds have used short-selling and complex derivatives to take advantage of small investors,” Musk stated. “They will short a company, conduct a negative publicity campaign to drive the stock price down temporarily and cash out, then do it all over again many times. The term for this, as you may be aware, is ‘short & distort.’”