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Musk’s Money Mystery Intrigues SEC (bloomberg.com)
79 points by _fizz_buzz_ 6 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 70 comments





MuskMania has reached information heat death: it can generate nothing new on its own. See the thread below for a good example.

Since this article doesn't supply enough new information to get us out of that state, we're treating it as a dupe of https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17709543.

When significant new information arises (note: not the same thing as the next provocation), then there will be something to discuss.


I feel this is a questionable call. The SEC questioning Tesla is in my opinion a pretty significant development. Also, I think this was the only Tesla article on the front page - not exactly a mania ...

The mania isn't in having more than one article on the front page at a time (though that happened repeatedly yesterday). It's in rehashing the same cartoonish argument over and over. Elon is a superhero! vs. no way he's a supervillain!

That monster has been bred, of course, by the hyper feedback loop between Musk and the media. A hyperloop, you might call it. But we've passed the point at which it's all noise. Our kingdom for some signal.


@Dang: Maybe we can use the article version from Bloomberg instead?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-08/tesla-tak...

Alternate article, with actually some news on the SEC: https://www.wsj.com/articles/sec-has-made-inquiries-to-tesla...

The opinion piece only fuels Musk Mania, and I agree with you that its not a good starting point for discussion.


Either of those articles would make a better post, if you'd care to submit one. Email hn@ycombinator.com and we'll keep an eye on it and turn off flags if the discussion is substantive.

Normally we'd change the URL on this submission, but this thread is past redemption.


Matt Levine writes entertainingly, but in both today's and yesterday's newsletter is more information than in all the "Tesla going private" article in the last days.

I appreciate Matt Levine's columns too, but the amount of information needed is relative to HN's capacity to discuss a topic substantively. In this case that capacity is unusually low, so the amount of substantiveness the article needs to provide is unusually high. The proof that this one didn't get there is in the pudding of the discussion that resulted.

The article here has a lot of information that the one you linked to does not. I understand the fatigue, but this is no dupe.

MuskMania has reached information heat death

The term is actually 'muskellunge', originally coined by Dumas père.


The problem, at this point, is that I think the average person must find all this very tiresome. Let's set aside all the theories about whether or not Musk is actually a stable genius for doing everything he's done lately (including calling one of his critics "pedo guy"). With everything that's going on in the world today, I just don't have the energy to keep up with all this grandstanding. The result? I'm sick of hearing about Elon Musk. I'm sick of hearing what he has to say. I'm sick of thinking about Tesla and, now, I probably won't ever buy one.

I don't think that's "the problem". There's plenty of demand for the cars. Elon Musk fatigue may be a real thing, but that's more related to the news cycle (and the Twitter cycle), in my opinion, than Musk himself.

I wonder why the media new cycle keeps making him say outlandish stuff! What do the majority of other company CEOs have over the entire industry and Twitter to somehow appear to be quietly doing their job?

If you cry for attention when times are good, you shouldn't complain about attention when times are bad.

I expect to see that demand shrink. If I find his behavior lately to be weird, I think that other people will as well. I'm also perfectly happy to vote with my dollars.

Maybe, Musk is also sick of all of this. This is why he is trying to take his company private

From yesterday's article by Matt Levine:

Now I do not mean to be rude, but is it possible that a CEO who is constantly tweeting attacks on journalists and jokes about bankruptcy, who is also busy running two other companies, who built a mini-submarine and jetted off to Thailand to try to rescue those boys in a cave and then tweeted slanders about someone who actually helped rescue them, and who runs around distributing flamethrowers, might be … distractible? A distraction? Both? Plenty of CEOs go around mouthing very serious platitudes about how public markets and quarterly earnings are a distraction from the important business of running their companies, and you kind of have to take them at their word that were it not for the demands of earnings releases they would be laser-focused on operations, but … Musk … like, we can see him tweeting! Twitter is public! The distraction is coming from inside the house! Does he think that “going private” means “getting off Twitter”? You can just get off Twitter! It doesn’t even require any financing!


I bet he thinks he is sick of it. But that doesn't excuse his behavior. Call me old fashioned, but someone with so much power and privilege should not be acting the way that Musk has been lately. These are just the basics we're talking about here. One wouldn't tolerate that kind of behavior from one's child, so why is it okay when our captains of industry do it? Part of being an adult, let alone one of the most successful people in the world, is accepting the fact that life is not always fair. Musk needs to grow up and get off of Twitter. Simple as that.

He's clearly not sick of using his Twitter account!

How’s this Elon’s fault? He’s endlessly criticized in unjustified ways. That guy didn’t reasonably critize Elon’s plans, he instantly attacked his motives and said to stick his submarine up his rearend.

And 10% of Thailand’s GDP is based on the sex industry or $6.4 billion a year. “Pedo” is kind of a misused connotation but when people get attacked their impulse is to respond with a personal attack.

It’s not a “meltdown”. It’s just human nature magnified by Twitter.


Musk didn't seem to mind when the media cycle fawned over him endlessly.

Hype comes with scrutiny. Nobody put a gun to Musk's head and told him to appear on talk shows, to cameo in Hollywood blockbusters, etc. If he wasn't prepared to make that tradeoff he shouldn't have done it.


I don't think davesque's comment said anything about "fault".

He said he's gotten tired of all these stories about Tesla and Musk, so he's unlikely to buy a Tesla now.

That's a statement about davesque and how his frustration is souring him on the brand. Fault doesn't really play into it.


How could "but it was just a generic racial slur aimed at a whole nation!" make this any better? The correct line of defense would be "Musk said something stupid, move on".

He's a CEO, not a 12 year old boy, FFS.
Krasnol 6 days ago [flagged]

Musk is not 12. I can't believe somebody would seriously try to justify his pedo insult...What's next? justifying Trump?
hunterjrj 6 days ago [flagged]

Paging Scott Adams (or one of his sock puppets)...

DISCLAIMER: I work for a Tesla competitor, any opinions are solely my own. I am not a financial analyst, I may be a lizard-person.

If I were Elon, I would love it if I could take my company private and keep my fans as shareholders. I would love it if I could "go private" and not have to actually buy back all of the shares of people who want to go long anyway. I would love it if shorts had no mechanism to short my company.

I would love it, but I don't know if I could find a real financial instrument that allows for it.


"or that the real financing is the friends we made along the way."

I love it every time this type of line is used.


Wall st is not really buying it either. Time will tell, of course, but the shorts may end up winning big in the end.

This is an opinion piece and not very informative.

It does explain why the situation looks weird, for anyone who didn't understand that already. There's not much else you can say about it, other than joke about it.

On the contrary, there's lots of information. It's the first real attempt at analyzing the legality of it all that I've seen.

And Mr. Levine's writing is highly entertaining, in addition to giving a clear explanation that the layman can understand of the story. And the entertainment value is because the situation is actually ridiculous to begin with.

Nothing wrong with opinion pieces on Hacker News.

I also can't help myself from reading opinion pieces from Matt Levine most days of the week.

If hoaxing inevitably lands you on a loss, why would it be a hoax?

Is Musk constantly inside-joking himself? Why $420 a share? Why do his car models spell S3X? Is his internal email bong69@boring.com? I love this guy.

I’d file that under childish and awkward instead of funny.

I find an ultra powerful visionary being childish and making fart jokes very funny.

I find it disconcerting.

You and I aren’t his audience then, I guess.

In India, 420 means scam\fraud. Just sharing the other (interesting) side. I don't think Musk used this number for any fraud.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_420_of_the_Indian_Pena...

https://www.quora.com/What-does-420-mean-in-India


Don't forget that the Model 3 was originally planned to be "Model E", but Ford owns the rights to that name. Also, there's a planned compact SUV which goes by "Model Y". U+1F644

He even made a public comment "Ford is trying to kill SEX"

https://jalopnik.com/ford-killed-sex-1585513454


Also BFR (Big Fucking Rocket).

Inside jokes like that are a way of communicating with other nerds and gamers.


I once worked for a company where the CTO's e-mail was aliased as pigfucker@domain.com.

No, he is not that interesting with email ids. It's just elon@tesla.com

> Why $420 a share

Beause 42 is always a good answer, maybe.


Do you think calling heroes "pedos" is funny too?

Do you think it make sense to judge the entire work/life of someone by an affirmation made at some point in the past on a public forum ? From a moral point of view people are not black and white, there are infinite shades of grey in between.

If you dig deep enough you will find morally questionable things in everybody's past.

That being said, that tweet was a bad idea.


That's just the tip of the iceberg for Elon. He has a lot to answer for Tesla including the "self-driving" claim fiascos and all this erratic behavior. He puts video games into the center console of the Model 3 while also claiming that drivers need to pay complete attention during operation.

Compared to Sergey, Besoz or Tim Cook and I'd rather have them as CEO than someone interested in "memes".


One of the reasons to go private... no shareholders that demand a bland CEO.

Personally, I think it was very offensive. I also found the hero's comment on the Musk submarine "to stick it where it hurts" very crass and offensive too.

Maybe the "hero" shouldn't be throwing insults on twitter like a child. I thought the insult was well considered because, in context, the diver was going after kids. It's a sly kind of funny that someone from another country might think is very funny.

This is the first comment I’ve seen approving that tweet and it’s every bit as deluded and cringeworthy as I’d expect. Musk never even apologized for that one did he?

> it’s every bit as deluded and cringeworthy as I’d expect.

Not deluded at all. Sorry if you didn't get it. It's very strange that puritanical adherence of America has been rolled back (mostly) but the pedo label is still so toxic in American culture that it's assumed that other cultures share the same values.


Perhaps the funding he secured involved Tesla's revenue sources to include cannabis operations.

Yea my first thought was that Musk was just trying to squeeze the shorts, but that would be highly illegal. Musk can't be that stupid. The CEO of a publicly traded company can't act like Trump and tweet in bad-faith to try to bully reality into conforming to his wishes.

I suppose the CEO of a publicly trading company CAN act like the President of the United States?

Seems like a good strategy actually. The strategy got Donald Trump the Presidency.

(edit): why all the downvotes? I realize my comment might have come off as sarcastic. Sorry that was not my intent--I just wanted to point out something I noticed.


Lol, a private company CEO should be more serious than USA president?! At least I didn't see from where Trump is not serious about his tweet.

> a private company CEO should be more serious than USA president

We live in interesting times. Statistically speaking, a jackass CEO is born every minute, whereas a jackass POTUS is very, very rare.


> Of course the SEC is looking into this. I can’t think of a thing that the SEC would look into more. If Warren Buffett was giving insider tips about accounting fraud at the Fed to Lloyd Blankfein so that he could help Donald Trump and the pope insider trade against the Illuminati, the SEC team investigating that would be scheming to get transferred to the Elon Musk team.

Obviously, this is a silly article. But the point remains: Mr. Musk clearly put himself at risk with that tweet. The core questions are:

1. Was Mr. Musk telling the truth about "secured funding" ?

2. What is the SEC's plan of action on investigating this matter?

The opinion piece otherwise doesn't contribute much information, aside from giggles and snide comments. It will be a mystery. Feds often don't like talking about pending cases, so it could be weeks, or even months, before any official action comes down from this. And who knows? Maybe Musk really is telling the truth about secured funding and there's no fraud involved.

EDIT: Yo downvotes: care to explain why you're downvoting a direct quote from the article? As I stated above: the opinion piece is clearly a silly piece of work that doesn't contribute much to the discussion. The core facts are still "at large" and we really won't get much information on this matter for weeks and/or months. That's really all there is to this story.


Probably because it's not quite an opinion piece. A buyout at this massive scale would've been rumored by now by the potential suiters. The only other alternative is single-buyers who are willing to put up that much personal capital, also highly unlikely.

Larry Page is on record a few years back saying he'd give his fortune to Musk rather than donate it to charity [0].

I imagine Musk has a handful of billionaire friends he could probably hit up for cash. Throw in some money from SpaceX, and he could probably make the buyout price.

0: https://www.businessinsider.com/larry-page-elon-musk-2014-3


The buyout at $420 would cost around $70 Billion. Maybe a bit less if they leverage things (aka: find another bank who is willing to loan them some money).

Larry Page doesn't have $70 Billion in cash. That's the other important part: $420 implies this is a cash buyout. Larry Page has tons of Google shares that he can offer, but that's not cash.

------------

Either someone (most likely a bank and/or international fund) has the $70 Billion that Mr. Musk alleges he has "secured", or Mr. Musk was lying on that tweet. That's really the only two scenarios here. Unfortunately, it will take a very long time for information to come about on this issue.


> Probably because it's not quite an opinion piece.

Then why is it published on the "opinion" section of the website? https://i.imgur.com/qjmJqaK.png

Its an opinion piece. A writer from Bloomberg offers their opinion on an issue, as opposed to the facts. Its very important to know when you're reading an opinion vs reading a journalism post.

Most media (even Fox), does a decent job with the journalism pages. Its the opinion pieces where all the bias comes in. Still, opinion pieces are useful to see what people out there are thinking. Its important to know what the viewpoints are.

But most opinion pieces "dress up" the facts to suit their argument, as opposed to reporting precisely on the facts.


Put your money where your mouth is. Buy at $350 currently which is a steal since this thing is going to $420, right?? LUL

Heh. The Tesla fanboys know me around here. I've been posting Bearish opinions on Tesla for literally years now.

That doesn't change the facts. The article here is an opinion piece. If you want facts, read this one instead: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-08/tesla-tak...

Seriously, for the betterment of EVERYBODY, you need to know what good factual articles are vs what opinion pieces look like. Hacker News is supposed to be a place where we elevate the discussion and have intelligent talk.

There is certainly a time and place for opinion pieces, but they need to be treated with the proper amount of skepticism whenever you read them.


Norway. They've got a trillion dollars in their sovereign wealth fund and like to imagine they are rehabilitating their reputation as not being bad for the environment even though the basis of their wealth is oil extraction.

"$420" - pretty sure this is Musk just being his hilarious mad lad self as usual.

I've read speculation that this was a pot joke. Fortunes were made and lost after he made that comment.



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