Billionaires' Twitter-Spat Moves On After Gates Downplays Shorting Tesla's Stock

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jun 10, 2022 - 11:20 AM

Authored by Rita Li via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The public feud between two of the world’s richest people keeps unfolding as Elon Musk hit back at Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, who had just played down his tune on shorting Tesla stocks.

Bill Gates speaks during the Global Investment Summit at the Science Museum in London, on Oct. 19, 2021. (Leon Neal/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Despite claiming that Tesla’s done a fantastic job, Gates said during an interview with French YouTuber HugoDécrypte that he had paid out more tackling climate change than Musk—who then responded in one word—“Sigh”—via Twitter on June 4. The Tesla CEO has recently cast doubts on Gates’ goodwill in fighting climate change given the latter’s short position against the electric carmaker.

I give a lot more money to climate change than Elon or anyone else. I give a lot of philanthropic dollars, I back companies,” Gates said in his recent talk. “Electric cars are about 16 percent of emissions, so we also need to solve that other 84 percent.”

“But somebody shorting the stock doesn’t slow him down or hurt him in any way,” the billionaire argued, without denying a previously-confirmed half-billion-dollar bet against the automaker, which would now require up to $2 billion to close out.

Musk proved in April a leaked text exchange with Gates, unveiling that Gates admitted to short-selling Tesla shares. Musk also turned down the other’s request “to discuss philanthropy possibilities.”

“Sorry, but I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change,” he struck back. Yet Gates told The Wall Street Journal in early May that he doesn’t see how one’s Tesla short or long position reflects his seriousness about climate change.

The billionaire also suspected Musk’s potential impact on Twitter, suggesting that the latter’s plan to purchase the platform would allow for more so-called misinformation to proliferate.

An analysis of the public filings and records shows that a dozen of liberal groups that pressured Twitter advertisers to boycott the platform early last month—in response to Musk’s potential acquisition—received money from entities funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.