Update (1340ET): Asked if his twitter remarks were vetted by the company, or if they were a joke, Musk responded with a cryptic "no".
That sounds like a pretty clear admission of being in violation of his agreement with the SEC to allow Tesla's board to approve all of his tweets pertaining to the company.
- TESLA CEO, ASKED IF TWITTER REMARKS WERE VETTED OR A JOKE, SAYS 'NO'
As the mystery deepens, one twitter account has emerged with a plausible theory.
Theory:— TeslaCharts (@TESLAcharts) May 1, 2020
Elon wanted to crash the stock. The stock isn't down enough. This afternoon gets really interesting.$TSLAQ
Musk is looking for another opportunity to buy low, and then smack the shorts in the mouth on the way back up.
But as the whole world wonders whether he's lost his mind, or whether he might face legal repercussions, neither Tesla's massive PR operation, nor anybody else, has put forward anything approximating an explanation.
So far, Musk's tweets have knocked $14 billion off Tesla's market cap...
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Update (1225ET): Since we haven't heard any claims, from Tesla or Musk, that the CEO's twittter account was hacked, we're going to assume this is one Titanic Musk meltdown.
He has continued to tweet a stream of nonsense, including a reference to his (ex-gf/gf/baby mama) Grimes (whose baby purportedly fathered by Musk is due on Monday, according to Elon).
We also can't help but wonder...
Tesla issued stock at $767 two months ago. Musk's tweet has pulled stock down to $687 at the moment. I wonder what those buyers are thinking about.— Wash Your Hands Charley Grant (@CGrantWSJ) May 1, 2020
Even "Kylie Jenner" chimed in (h/t @litquidity)....
Kylie chiming in pic.twitter.com/5ueJANx1R8— litquidity (@litcapital) May 1, 2020
It's bad enough that a CEO is deliberately undercutting his own shares (in blatant violation of his fiduciary duty to shareholders and the settlement he made with the SEC, not that he has ever been punished in the past). But Musk's comments are adding to strains from Dave Einhorn's questions about Tesla's billing practices.
Tesla's board also has an "obligation" to oversee Musk's communications with investors, and could also be held accountable for Musk's actions.
Now, can we get a comment from Mark Cuban?
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Elon Musk just tweeted that he's planning on selling all his possessions and "will own no house", before tweeting that Tesla's share price is "too high" - basically a wet dream for Tesla bears.
Which raises suspicions about whether Musk's account was hacked.
Here's a screenshot of the three tweets (which included a "FREEDOM" tweet referencing his earnings call rant about California's "fascist" lockdown).
Musk's twitter bio has also been changed, though it's unclear whether this happened on Friday, or whether it was changed prior to today.
Whatever happened, it's impacting Tesla's shares, which are sliding on the "share price too high" comment.
No word yet form the company as the world wonders whether Musk has been hacked...or is perhaps in the middle of another meltdown.
Musk's insanely huge ego and erratic behavior have been closely followed over the years: From making ridiculous promises and production targets, to smoking weed with Joe Rogan, to his romance with Grimes and penchant for beefs (the SEC and the diving team that rescued the Thai soccer team are two previous adversaries).
The beef with the SEC resulted in Musk giving up his chairman role at Tesla, though he remains CEO and his control over the company is still widely seen as absolute. But if there's one thing shareholders likely won't tolerate, it's a CEO who takes shots at his company's share price.
At least that's what one might think: Musk has actually done this before. Back in 2017, Musk said Tesla's share price was "higher than we deserve", triggering a dip in shares, though the incident was quickly forgotten, and Tesla shares continued their meteoric rise.
Then again, nobody has more riding on Tesla's stock price than Elon Musk, who signed off on a new compensation scheme a couple years back that would only pay off if he met certain lofty share-price targets. He's not even close to his long-term goal, which is why we expect Musk will soon declare the whole episode a hack, even if it was truly an "episode".