Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Is Elon Musk trying to commit ‘suicide by SEC’ by taunting the agency? (latimes.com)
113 points by petethomas 19 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 219 comments



>Of more concern to Tesla investors: What if he knows something they don’t know about the company’s financial future — and is hoping to hang any failure on the nasty, overreaching regulators rather than his own dubious management skills?

That seems very possible.

I think the reality of scaling up Tesla to live up to its valuation might be too daunting for Elon to handle. It might even be impossible. EV sales as a % of total vehicle sales is surprisingly low. If EV's do take off, it's likely to be the established car manufacturers who are good at making cars at scale who eventually capitalize on the opportunity. And the most likely to drive the S-curve adoption.

Being taken out by the SEC would be a way to keep confidence in Elon Musk Inc going which would obviously be beneficial to his other companies. He could even team up with Mark Cuban to rail against them on Twitter.


> If EV's do take off, it's likely to be the established car manufacturers who are good at making cars at scale who eventually capitalize on the opportunity.

This is what I used to think, but every year the "Tesla killers" fail to kill, or even wound. I never even hear about the other EV's by themselves, only as the competition to Tesla. Anybody who watches the news would have known that the Model 3 was a colossal failure. But it wasn't. It was just 6 months late, which is not bad given the scale of the project. The narrative is just not reality here. Tesla has a head start on the industry. That doesn't guarantee anything, but I think that it's a bigger advantage to Tesla than it would be to any other car company because one of Elon Musk's strengths (Spacex too) is iteration speed.

Last I heard they got the price down to $45K, so they are in striking distance of the $35K target and won't stop there. EV's are mechanically simpler than gas powered cars. Once the technology and economies of scale are there, they will be cheaper. And I don't see any other company in a better position to get there first.

Edit: Predicting that the established players being the ones to take the lead in a new technology sounds like common sense, but it isn't:

> It's likely to be the established electronics companies who are good at making electronics that take the lead in semi-conductor manufacturing.

> It's likely to be the established mail order companies who are good at delivery logistics that take the lead in online retail.

> It's likely to be the established taxi companies who are good at running taxi fleets (and have a legal monopoly) that take the lead in ride sharing apps.

If the pattern holds (which is not by any means guaranteed), Tesla has more to fear from a yet to be founded startup than it does from the legacy car manufacturers.


> every year the "Tesla killers" fail to kill, or even wound

That's true, but I think it's because of bad marketing rather than bad technology. The Chevy Bolt has the specs to beat the Model 3, but it is being positioned as a low-end car, a competitor to the Honda Civic rather than the Model 3. Power seats, for example, are not even offered as an option. That is not a car a rich person is going to buy to impress their friends. But GM could easily turn it into such a car. They obviously know how to make power seats. All the heavy lifting has been done. I have no idea why they aren't doing it, but GM has a long history of shooting itself in the foot when it comes to electric vehicles.


Yes I think you're right, but that may be an even harder gap to close than tech.

Good Marketing: Crazy genius CEO who is always in the news, builds rockets in his spare time, launches his car into space, smokes weed with Joe Rogan, and constantly thumbs his nose at the authorities. Customers like this company so much that the CEO can ask for volunteers and actually get a response. $0 advertising budget. All marketing by word of mouth. Direct to consumer sales with transparent pricing.

Bad Marketing: Standard car company. Nobody even knows the CEO's name, and he only speaks publicly in boring prepared statements run through a huge PR team. Massive advertising budget producing totally boring car ads that are indistinguishable from other companies. Sold through dealerships and sketchy salesmen who negotiate a different price for each customer.

I can see the big companies beating Tesla on tech a lot more than I can see them becoming like Tesla as a brand.


According to their SEC filings, Tesla spends between $60 and $100 million annually on marketing, and they've definitely placed billboards in major cities since I have seen several of them in the LA area.


Was true for a while. I guess that's no longer the case.


Which is true? They did and stopped, or started now?


> $0 advertising budget.

uh, what's elons PR budget?

Toyota. Don't know the CEOs name. Instead I "know" that they produce vehicles with extremely high quality that will last me a good long time. I "know" that my F-150 will get the job done. My BMW is a status symbol.


AFAIK, GM is selling the Bolt at a loss. They don't have the ability to source batteries in quantities or at a cost low enough to compete with Tesla. This is also a problem for much of the EV competition. Tesla made the right bet by vertically integrating battery production and aiming for economies of scale. This is a huge competitive advantage that many people fail to understand. Batteries are most of the cost of an EV, and you need a lot of them. It's the reason why you don't see "Tesla killers" overtaking the market.


> The Chevy Bolt has the specs to beat the Model 3

Really? What specifications? The Model 3 is better in pretty much every way in every comparison I've ever seen, including specs directly from the manufacturer websites.


Let me rephrase that. The Bolt has the specs to be what the Model 3 promised to be but isn't: a practical all-electric car with reasonable range at a <$40k MSRP.


>>The Bolt has the specs to be what the Model 3 promised to be but isn't

Could be that this is the same large company problem that is often seen elsewhere. In most established firms it impossible to bring up a new line of products that cannibalize the existing products. In order for any large car manufacturer to make it big on EV, they have to allow their EV offering to beat their existing products, that's impossible in most companies.

Besides merely the car isn't what Tesla is about. The fact that you can bypass dealerships, online ordering, supercharger network etc kind of add to a new paradigm of doing things. For existing manufacturers, they will have to kill a lot of their existing business to get that to work.


I've done the same thing with my shed business with online ordering. Cut the dealers out and the product is far better priced.


The model 3 starts at $44K. They are $4000 away from doing that. I would bet that it drops below $40K by the end of the year.



Wow, that is some remarkable timing.


> But GM could easily turn it into such a car.

Almost any car company could, which is interesting. The entire powertrain and infotainment system are manufactured by LG Chem and sold as an integrated package.

GM made it into a minimum viable product, and since they're GM, it's pretty meh. It would be interesting to see what Hyundai or Kia would do with the same tech.


The model 3 is supposed to be a competitor to the Honda Civic.


GM is stopping Bolt production this year.

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1120090_gm-to-kill-chev...


That's the Volt, not the Bolt. Completely different car. The Volt is a plug-in hybrid. The Bolt is all-electric.


Ah, I didn't see the difference between _v_olt and _b_olt.

I'd like to blame terrible marketing, but I should've paid closer attention.


The Bolt isn’t the Volt.


But it does illustrate wooden-headed marketing. Two such similar names and no implicit means of distinguishing one from the other, except perhaps "the one that sounds like it should be the pure EV isn't". No wonder people are confused and think GM is discontinuing the EV.

I can't imagine Apple releasing the yPhone alongside the iPhone.


Haha. Great line. Forevermore I shall refer to it as the yPhone. Cheers!


indeed, it even captures my personal thoughts when i see them in the wild: the WHY phone

> "why would you spent so much money for a device you'll throw away in less then 24 month anyway?"


Off-topic but someone else will likely get that device, the iPhone 5s from October 2013 has the latest iOS.


> This is what I used to think, but every year the "Tesla killers" fail to kill, or even wound.

The "Tesla killers" have been sleeping, but they are about to wake up. No doubt Tesla jump started the market, but the other manufacturers have decades of experience. On top of that, no other car maker has the problems that Tesla does due to its CEO and his inability to stop tweeting. Whilst Tesla had a start start, it fell behind in many other areas like production, delivery and customer service. Other car companies have been doing this successfully for decades. There are hundreds of horror stories on the Tesla forums and on reddit of people having nightmarish customer service experiences with Tesla, and delivery problems. Elon Musk himself has enlisted volunteers to help deliver the cars. Do you think an established car manufacturer like Toyota or Ford will have any problem in getting their vehicles anywhere on the face of the Earth?

When the giants have fully woken up, I suspect they'll utterly trample on Tesla.


- with what supply of batteries? They'll always be behind Tesla without the gigafactory

- how will they sell them? Dealerships are 100% hostile to EVs, they won't bring in the maintenance business

- Oh, you think the giants are good at customer service? The only difference in complaints in your example is that dealer networks distribute the dissatisfaction, but Tesla forums get all of them


> with what supply of batteries? They'll always be behind Tesla without the gigafactory

With supply chains setup years in advance because they know how to do logistics.

> - how will they sell them? Dealerships are 100% hostile to EVs, they won't bring in the maintenance business

Fair, but not insurmountable.

> Oh, you think the giants are good at customer service? The only difference in complaints in your example is that dealer networks distribute the dissatisfaction, but Tesla forums get all of them

Every company is at shitty at customer service as they can be while not destroying their business.


Funny it took them so long to do so given the huge bankrolls behind these companies and that none of the tech is new whatsoever.

Good on them for changing their ingrained oil economy mindsets though. I'm sure it was entirely a moral choice by the hundreds of big auto execs worldwide.


Companies aren't moral. They do what makes them money, mostly in the short term.


Musk has already promised a $25k Model 3 in 3 years.

https://electrek.co/2018/08/17/tesla-cheaper-25000-electric-...


Oooh Musk promised something. That will surely happen, then.


It tends to, yes, once you account for Musk Time (which is something around 1.8x normal time, AFAIR).


Things work out well if you use Mars years (1.9x)


Yep. Look at his announcements from a few years ago. "How is he going to build that many charging stations?". I find it pretty impressive how much of that happened exactly the way it was announced.

Besides: The Germans are struggling just as much delivering their highly announced flagship EVs.


Yep. Look at his announcement from a few months ago. "I will pre-approve all posts on Twitter".


I admit that I'm a huge Tesla fanboy, but I don't trust a single promise that Musk makes.

A $25k Model 3 isn't happening in 3 years, considering the Model 3 has been out for over a year now and the $35k model is nowhere in sight.


I hope you are able to locate $35k model 3 now :-)


Musk also promised to have all of his tweets reviewed prior to posting, and we all know how well he kept that promise...


Musk has promised lots of things.


Do you pay attention to other cars besides tesla?

What Tesla killers have failed?

> Last I heard they got the price down to $45K, so they are in striking distance of the $35K target and won't stop there

Are they? That's a 20% price drop still to go.


I don't pay attention to any cars at all (other than my ancient Ford Ranger), but I still hear about Tesla. Advantage Tesla.

All of them. Tesla is still eating everybody's lunch in the EV space, right?

Tesla is the first company to mass manufacture EV's. At this stage of tech / economy of scale a 20% price drop is trivial.


I'd put the Jaguar I-Pace as more of a Tesla killer than pretty much anything else that has come out. Even then, you don't see a Jaguar that often.

If BMW comes out with a luxury sedan electric car that would be a tesla killer.


> If BMW comes out with a luxury sedan electric car that would be a tesla killer.

Instead they produced the i3 which is ugly as sin, has only 180 mile range even WITH the gas-powered range extender, and underwhelming performance, and the i8 which is an overpriced plug-in hybrid with only 15 miles of electric range.


I guess we'll see. Model 3 seems to be moving towards the Toyota Camry market and away from the BMW market, though. I think there is room for both, and hopefully many more too. EV's are at the early stage where new entrants will be cannibalizing gas car sales more than each others.


>What Tesla killers have failed?

Fisker, Aptera, Lucid, Faraday Future

Edit: Forgot supposed Apple car :)


It'd be daunting even if he weren't simultaneously running a space launch company and personally leading the rocket engine design team: https://twitter.com/lrocket/status/1099411086711746560?s=21

Though if it's all too much and he'd rather focus on rockets, I don't see why he wouldn't just step down as Tesla CEO. If things go south he could just blame the new CEO.


Musk is basing his entire funding plans for Mars colonisation in Tesla succeeding. Read his new CEO contract, it's another moon shot. He doesn't intend to step down any time soon. Apparently a new wave of shorts FUD has started to spread now which probably means Tesla has something new to unveil and people are preparing for the next round of hate. Let's see how the semi and the Y turn out.


Engaging in blatant stock manipulation then blatantly violating your SEC settlement is not "shorts FUD".


The funding plan for Mars is based on the SpaceX satellite internet business. The only way Tesla can contribute is if Musk donates his personal shares or compensation, unless somehow he can make a Mars trip profitable for the other Tesla shareholders.


>The only way Tesla can contribute is if Musk donates his personal shares or compensation

Why donate? He can just slowly sell shares just like Bezos does with Amazon. And Starlink is something Musk can't fun alone.


> personally leading the rocket engine design team

and the propulsion department


This begs the question: does Elon Musk seem like the kind of person who isn't willing to fail in public?

Whether it's for personality reasons or for the sake of keeping his other companies well respected, is he unwilling to let the public lose confidence in him and/or his projects?

My guess is he doesn't care that much about our opinions of him, personally and professionally.

He might be picking a fight with the SEC simply because he can.

There's something to be said for having "FU money" and using it, in the near-literal sense.


There’s no such thing as “FU money” with the SEC though. They can bar him from serving in any fiduciary capacity on behalf of any company under their jurisdiction. For life.

Musk is playing with fire.


I agree that I wouldn't be playing with fire in his position, but I'm not surprised that someone with a track record of unicorns is doing things that nobody else would fathom to do.

Either he's very bad at this and getting worse, or he knows something we don't.


I argue Bezos has FU money. He's about to lose half+ to his ex, and basically is funding a personal war against the Enquirer. I am sure he will spend them into the ground.


>>They can bar him from serving in any fiduciary capacity on behalf of any company under their jurisdiction.

Seems like a nice idea to encourage him to start a car company some where in Germany. Also the fact that over zealous prosecutors go after industrialists won't exactly motivate(more like scare away) people wanting to start companies.

Sometimes you must opt not to fight a few contests. The fact that you can win, means a net negative in the larger scheme of things.


> Also the fact that over zealous prosecutors go after industrialists won't exactly motivate(more like scare away) people wanting to start companies.

Strange how the invisible hand of the market gets paralyzed when it comes to "job creators". If every industrialist relocates to the Bahamas or Panama but the opportunity for new companies is still there - new people you've never heard of will crop up to start them!


Is there any reason to believe Germany's version of the SEC wouldn't have similar issues with this sort of behavior?


Not at all. In my experience European financial regulators are significantly less likely to tolerate companies trying to argue technicalities as Musk's team has done in response to the SEC's show cause order. European regulators expect compliance with the spirit of the law while U.S. regulators tend to expect compliance with the black letter law. Certainly pros & cons to both approaches but Musk's behavior certainly wouldn't fly under either regime.


In the US. The world's a big place.


The events that will trigger Tesla's collapse all revolve around the solar city acquisition, which was an extremely bad move for Tesla. But it was done to save Musk. He is more important than the company, and he's got the keys.


He's the most shameless self-promoter you'll find, so my guess is he's terrified of failing in public.


> My guess is he doesn't care that much about our opinions of him, personally and professionally.

Hahahaha. Everything about his twitter account says the exact opposite.


I have always thought that the real potential in Tesla is a fully-realised gigafactory. When you can near totally automate complex manufacturing at scale, you can basically whitelabel the factory as a product in and of itself (or put it in orbit and build Mars habitats :)


> If EV's do take off

EV's have already taken off. It's only a matter of time before the fossil fuelled car business is just a niche product.


> If EV's do take off, it's likely to be the established car manufacturers

But Elon Musk has said that that's what he wants. He doesn't want Tesla to win, he wants EVs to win. That's one of the things I admire about him.

But be acting flaky and irresponsible, and picking stupid fights, he's undermining people's confidence in Elon Musk, which reflects on his companies, and possibly on his product: EVs. I think it would be much better for his companies and for EVs in general if he ran his companies in a responsible and reliable manner, and he didn't pick stupid fights.


Or Musk thinks picking fights with regulatory authorities is a war he can win.

Or Musk just doesn’t give a damn about the SEC considering they take his tweets more seriously than the deliberate market manipulation practised daily by various publications in concert with big investors.

Maybe Musk feels that spaceflight to Mars is so close that he can afford to thumb his nose at US regulators because he will just move to Mars where they have no reach.


> EV sales as a % of total vehicle sales is surprisingly low.

What’s surprising about it?


Tesla's valuation


Tesla's growing 50% / year, and the valuation shows expected future earnings.

Only some Chinese electric car companies grow faster than Tesla.

So far it looks like in 10 years electric cars will get cheaper than gas cars, which makes the case for the future earnings potential.


Eh, I'm pretty sure a big factor of the valuation is full self driving, and that isn't happening anytime soon despite Musk's repeated insistence it is only a year or two away from when he last said so.


Probably you're right, but I still hope not.

Elon Musk just redefined the expression full self driving to having all the features for self driving in the last conference call, like detecting signs and changing lanes automatically.

Of course we know that it's very far from it (even though I believe Tesla is doing the data gathering part extremely well)


I agree, that Musk is hiding something, one that would seriously hamper his reputation. I think it might have to do something with the Solar City acquisition.

He doesn't want to admit he fucked up and failed because it would cast doubt on all his other half-baked ideas.

Tesla will definitely feel the pressure from other car manufacturers, but so far it has nothing much to worry about as the only really viable game changer as of now is the Hyundai Kona Electric. The new Audi e-tron was promising but ruined it with using electric mirrors which require your eyes to focus on far objects and near objects unlike a normal mirror, and heavy steel frame, which pretty much negates any excellent regen (due to heavy weight).

The Jaguar i-Pace is also a good alternative, but I feel like Hyundai's Kona E is an unbeatable value. Forget Chevy Bolt & Nissan Leaf....garbage.

The model 3 is seriously bad....did you see the interior? it's empty....its completely void apart from the giant tablet thing....the price is it's killing point.....now that there are are viable alternatives.


It's a shame there's no love for small cars in America. Renault-Nissan applied the lessons learned with the Leaf to a subcompact, the Renault Zoe, and it's a great car.


I love my Subaru BRZ!

I want a Tesla Roadster for my next car, but that $200k price tag is hard to swallow. If they could produce a $120k model with a 300 mile range and 0-60 in around 3 seconds rather than a 620 mile range with 0-60 in 1.9 seconds, I'd buy it.

But really if anybody else came up with a small, sporty, EV coupe, I'd consider it. The Model S P100D is a quick car, but way too big. Even the smaller Model 3 is bigger than what I'd like.


Honda is moving its Urban EV concept to production, so let's hope they'll give some love to their Sports EV concept too!


You mean those small Japanese Kei cars? They are really cute.


No no, subcompacts are bigger than that. An electric car made to comply with kei car regulations is the Mitshubishi I-miev / Citroen C-Zero, which is 3.50m long and less than 1.50m wide. This compromises the whole car. Having driven it, it doesn't really feel good.

The Zoe is 4m long and about 1.70m wide. That's the same dimensions as the rest of the cars in its segment. This "Ford Fiesta" size is great for European cities, and the cars don't feel compromised on the higher speed roads, as their size and weight makes them more agile than bigger cars, whose only real advantage is space and stability at higher, illegal speeds.


I drove the Ford Fiesta before, the small size made it easy to park and fun to drive.


Let's see how it goes with the Porsche Taycan. Porsche minds the engineering details that Audi, for some strange reason, often misses.


ah I was not aware that Porsche did that, is there example of this? I'm a petrolhead myself.


It's not hidden, Tesla has massive debts coming due and the stop price is nowhere near the point where they can get away with not paying cash.

The Model 3 is a reasonable 30k car. maybe 35. If they can actually get the price down to that point it might be worth it.


Maybe I'm naïve, but I'm actually buying the obliviousness of his behavior. I don't really believe in Tesla and would gladly buy the whole "suicide by SEC" thing, but reading what actually happened, this doesn't really sound like a big deal. Musk has been having emotional moments for a long time now, at this point it's really easy for me to just shrug off this as "he's always been like this". The last ten years of Musk carrier are just non-stop publicity-stunt drama, it's really easy to believe for me now that he honestly doesn't see the boundary that seems obvious to all lawyery SEC folks and other properly corporate people.


He's not oblivious. He's being obstinate and bristling at their authority.

He's been CEO of a public Tesla for 9 years now. Respecting the SEC and securities laws is just part of the CEO job. He's got great lawyers that remind him of this daily. And you'd think the $20 million fine and loss of the Chairman role would be enough of a wake up call.

It's so frustrating to see, because I really want Tesla to succeed and I think he's one of the great executives of our time, and he wastes his time and attention on short-term inanities like short sellers and daily stock price movements. If he just buckled down and built cars, he'd blow all of those short sellers out of the water.


> Respecting the SEC and securities laws

He should respect the law, as in abide the law. But should he really show respect, as in deep admiration to the law or the commission? I know America is not the land of the free it used to be, but it is not a totalitarian state yet.


It's a stupid fight to pick. He doesn't have to like the SEC or the law, but they exist, and they exist for a good reason. If he wants Tesla to succeed, he can't ignore or deny that.

And although I love Elon Musk, the SEC is right; he shouldn't be twittering stupid things to temporarily boost his stock price. There's no gain for him in it, it's misleading, and it undermines long term trust in him and his company.


You're taking one of the two definitions of respect, the other definition is:

>due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others.

Which seems like a perfectly reasonable proposition.


He probably should, at least not to the level of deliberately antagonizing them. It's foolish behaviour. Would be different if he didn't engage in illegal behaviour.


He's stressed out about it because he continually over-promises. He needs to be concerned about the stock price because Tesla is going have to cover billion dollar debts in cash instead of stock.

He also just can't stand the hit to his ego to have so many people shorting his company.


[flagged]


fraud? exposed?

You don't start two or rather three industries with those qualities


I agree that 'fraud' and 'exposed' are complete hyperbolic falsities , but what industries did Musk start, exactly?

The closest I can think of is his early e-banking-ish stuff.


- Internet banking (has wasn't the only one, but successful in it [he participated in what is now called PayPal])

- Commercial space launches (admittedly there's competition, but with different goals/ none have come this far) with LANDING ROCKETS

- Consumer electric vehicles (How would you disagree with this? There was nothing serious before Tesla. )

He hasn't invented much technology. But often enough he saw that we're not using our tech to its full potential and worked on doing exactly that. Pretty successfully, I would say.


> How would you disagree with this? There was nothing serious before Tesla.

I would disagree with this by saying he wasn't with Tesla at the start. He saw the potential of the industry early - but he didn't start it.


You're technically right. I'd say it was close enough to it, though.


"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." - Hanlon's razor

Elon is a human just like all of us. Look at his antics with twitter, Joe Rogan, and PewDiePie. It's not 4-D chess, it's just a normal person acting like a normal person, ie: stupid at times.


I actually wanted to start with a remark that "there's nothing more stupid than bringing up the whole Hanlon's razor thing, but this time I would agree with that"... So, yeah. Unlike "Occam's razor", there's absolutely nothing to justify "Hanlon's razor" as being an obviously more useful proposition than it's exact opposite. In fact, I would say it's harmful and annoying, because it contains implicit assumption that you (/me/the speaker) is smarter than whoever we are talking about. Which is arrogant and quite often is not the case. I wish people would stop quoting that.


Knowing nothing but chatter on the internet I'd say Musk goes through manic episodes.


Would also explain his energy level. Manics can sometimes "use" their episodes to achieve hyperfocus, but as with synthetically induced mania (amphetamine) there are side effects.


A old DJ/Raver friend mentioned a friend of his went through episode where he moved to Detroit (or some such) put together a Rap Band as their manager and got it signed to a well known label. He knew absolutely no one in Detroit, nothing about rap music, and had no contacts with anyone at a label.

He did that in three months.


LOL. I was huge raver from ~18-22 and saw lots of that type of stuff from both natural and un-natural mania.

I had a friend once who had a (natural) manic episode and wanted to get rid of a non-running car in his garage. He cut the car into small chunks with a large Dremel-type tool and threw it away in the dumpster. I mean the entire car. This took about 48 hours. The dumpster was so heavy they had to bring a special truck, and someone had to ask who threw away a car. I think the apartment complex forwarded him a bill for special industrial trash removal.

HN-worthy nerd tangent:

Remember all the discussion a while back about the threat posed to humanity by runaway self-improving AI super-intelligences?

I've always thought that you don't need a super-intelligence in the IQ sense. You just need something with the intelligence of a moderately smart human with super-focus and super-motivation. Imagine something that ran by default in the state you describe above but with no cognitive impairment side effects. That would be super-human. A "race" of these would find conquering humanity trivial even if their IQ-type intelligence were merely comparable to ours.

Most humans exist in a state of low-grade depression most of the time. I have for years thought that the dopamine pathway is the rate limiter for human achievement, not IQ or memory or anything else. It's one of the many reasons I'm a moderate IQ skeptic. Our reward/motivation system is calibrated for a very slow hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The problem is that we have not found a good way to artificially boost this without side effects that impair cognition in ways that result in things like dumb comments on Twitter that get you in trouble with the SEC.

Amphetamine|coke|mania is a helluvadrug.


Oldschool ravers - powered by another Alphabet.


Plausible. (Source: I go through manic episodes.)


Yeah I have three friends that suffered from episodes of mania. I just remember talking to a friend when Mel Gibson was in the news for going off the rails, she said it was like our other friend going off. Very disquieting since that friend had recently thrown himself in front of a train.

Take care of yourself.


I haven't thought about it in his case, but it is very plausible. I remember seeing it in Kanye when he was acting out before he talked about his bipolar.


Musk is another tortured CEO prodigy, as was Jobs. You can get rid of him, he can inadvertently get rid of himself, but at the end of the day he is Tesla. Take him out of Tesla, and you get for electric vehicles what happened to the iPhone / Apple after Jobs died.

Yeah they may pump out a few more Model X's, S's, 3's with some minor mods, keep milking the cow (if it even is a cow, maybe a potential cow, and also if they can even get to a point where they can scale) and eventually... who knows? The scale problem hasn't even been solved yet. You're not going to find another leader with that much raw energy, intellect, drive, and passion who's going to have a chance at bringing us to that reality even close to as quick as Musk can.

My only concern with the whole show is, can anyone (particularly seasoned auto veterans) stand to work with him long enough for the scale and production problems be addressed. As well as iron out all the wrinkles with the designs (some notoriously faulty parts which take quite a long time to fix sometimes..)


The Musk/Jobs companions is a bit of a stretch. Jobs had a profitable product and company from the start. Musk never founded such a company, and was booted as PayPal CEO after a short stint.


SpaceX.


We have absolutely no idea whether or not SpaceX is profitable.


He doesn't run day-to-day, which is probably the reason its not a shitshow


I don't see how he can reasonably defend himself in this situation. His tweet was both material and inaccurate. Tweeting material information without clearance is obviously against his settlement.

What confuses me is that TSLA's price hasn't suffered. I have a hunch this isn't as serious of a matter as is being reported, but I'm not sure why.


It's easy of you consider he's just promoting facts as any normal CEO would.

He's not yet used to the idea he has to be hyper specific with some data.

He's a showman, a salesperson, he's always going to err on the positive.

Constantly pitching, selling.

It's the SEC etc. that care about very specific details that could affect the company.

So while you're right - as a CEO has has 'no excuse' - the fact he would do it makes perfect sense.

I don't think he's trolling anyone, he's the same as he ever was, probably under a lot of stress, a little manic, and avoiding what he probably thinks is the narrow confines of corporate culture and language.


He's been a CEO for 9 years and the settlement didn't say be more specific, it said get your tweets approved.


Yeah, you are right. I'm not defending him, just trying to explain it.


> What confuses me is that TSLA's price hasn't suffered.

If I'm to speculate, it's because last time Tesla tangoed with the SEC, it got a slap on the wrist. Perhaps the market is expecting more of the same.

Tangentally - I don't know how common this belief is, but Matt Levine in his newsletter argued that the best way the SEC could protect Tesla's shareholders is to not get rid of Elon Musk regardless of his behaviour. I'm not saying that is Levine's belief - it might have been a thought experiment - and I disagree wholeheartedly with it because it doesn't consider 2nd order effects on CEO behaviour against a powerless SEC and how this would impact other non-Tesla shareholders.


I think it is not serious because on Tesla's earning call they already announced the same 500k number.


To be held in contempt may not mean much to Musk. The SEC apparently takes violations of agreements seriously, as it should. We don't need companies building up their valuations with fake news so that we can end up with another 2008. It's in taxpayers' interest to keep misleading CEO's like Musk in check. And, this is a very small "check" to his power. In fact, it is something he already agreed to do. If he didn't want to follow the agreement, he didn't need to settle with the SEC, which is what he did for about a day before turning back and settling with them.

It seems he is changing his mind again about that settlement. Apparently nothing is settled with Musk. He changes his mind daily. How can someone run a company like this? Employees must be afraid to do anything without his say-so, and even then it may not hold true for long.


The problem is that he engaged in pretty blatant stock manipulation before (Funding secured!) which did change the stock price and part of his settlement was getting his tweets cleared.

He flagrantly violated that condition of his settlement. That's what makes it a big deal.


I'm honestly unsure what he has to gain by doing this. I can't imagine that the departure of the counsel isn't related. Maybe the GC announced he was leaving and that rattled Musk somehow? Very strange.


Sometimes people do things that neither they nor anyone else gains from.


I suspect you have the cause/effect of the GC leaving backwards.


Exactly.

On Feb 19 Elon Musk tweets 500K cars.

On Feb 20 Tesla General Counsel, after 2 months on the job, says "fuck this, I'm too old to put up with this shit, I'm outta here".

Actually the GC was a little more diplomatic. As CNBC put it: A person familiar with the matter said he was not a good cultural fit with Tesla and wanted to return to his family and law practice in Washington, D.C.


He wants attention. Good, bad or otherwise.


Yep. Musk is a manchild with too much money and an ego to match.


The tweet was obviously meant to highlight how the company has gone from 0 cars to x00,000 in just 8 years. Not a new, formal estimate.


Personally I’d rather see him focus on SpaceX and the Boring Company.

The legacy manufacturers have all caught the bug, batteries are achieving mass scale in China, and electric vehicles have irreversible momentum.

Mission accomplished.


But which one of those legacy manufacturers would dare put rocket thrusters on their next model?

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1005577738332172289


Personally I'd rather see the people in charge of transit tell him to fuck off with his stupid tunnels, unless he comes up with a proposal actually worth listening to.


It's pretty simple. Musk was hounded by short sellers who bet billions against Tesla and then spread patently false information about the company's activities and prospects[1]. Musk has one of those asymmetric senses of fairness (like the one that drove Gates to tears during Microsoft's anti-trust trials) that lost all faith in the SEC as it stood by and did nothing about what he felt was clearly illegal behavior.

In his mind, he was treated 'super unfairly' by bullies while the guardians stood by and did nothing. He really dislikes them for that.

Is his open disrespect a mature response? No. It's idealistic if not naive and he could be about to find out that the SEC does have teeth.

[0] https://www.theregister.co.uk/2000/10/25/inside_the_ms_trial... (sorry, couldn't find a better source)

[1] ?

"The SEC similarly should be leading the charge against purveyors of short-and-distort schemes. Unfortunately, the commission inexplicably has been reluctant to do so.Just like a pump-and-dump, a short-and-distort scheme violates the Securities Exchange Act antifraud provisions, as well as SEC Rule 10b-5. In fact, it has brought hardly any enforcement actions targeting this conduct."


Just as a heads-up: Your 2nd link doesn't work for anybody but you (references a file on your local machine), and leaks your user name on that machine.

Maybe this is the link you wanted to post (contains the quote you posted):

https://www.dlapiper.com/~/media/files/people/weiner-perrie/...


Maybe dang or another admin could fix his comment? Or at least remove the personal information (first name, last name).


Flagged (for moderator attention, not for deletion)


Thank you.


Shorts don't have access to material information. They can do what they want.

He lied to investors to pump the stock. It was blatant.


This is a partial transcript of the Q4 2018 earnings call. There is a strong case to be made that the information was not market moving.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question is from Colin Rusch with Oppenheimer.

Colin Rusch

Thanks so much. Can you talk a little bit about the geographic dispersion for the guidance for 2019, where you're expecting the Model 3s to sell through as well as the other models?

Elon Musk

Well, I think we did, actually. Yes, it's clear in our letter.

Deepak Ahuja

We indicated in Q1, we will start delivering Model 3s in Europe and China. And we also shared a chart showing the potential market size for midsized premium sedans in North America, Europe and Asia, suggesting those markets could be even bigger. So I think that gives a good sense of where we'll be. And we'll launch the right-hand drive version at some point to go to the other markets.

Elon Musk

Yes. Maybe in the order of 350,000 to 500,000 Model 3s, something like that this year.


It doesn't matter if it's market moving. Or rather, the terms of his settlement are that all of his communications need to be pre-approved by counsel to determine what is market moving. He didn't get the pre-approval so he's broken the agreement.


The actual settlement notice says "put in place additional controls and procedures to oversee Musk’s communications" which appeared to happen in this case. [1]

Also, since the 500,000 number was already public and referring only to Model 3s, it's entirely plausible that 500,000 total cars for the year is not material. The SEC conveniently leaves out this exculpatory evidence.

1: https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2018-226


The press release isn't the full detailed set of conditions.

I don't know that the contract is publicly released, but https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/16/17983032/elon-musk-sec-s... says:

> The company also has to employ a lawyer who will oversee all of Musk’s communications, including his tweets. This person will have to pre-approve any message coming from Musk that could have a material impact on the company’s stock price.


It’s not exculpatory because by Tesla’s attorneys own admission Musk failed to follow the procedures put in place per the settlement agreement.

It doesn’t matter what he tweeted. It matters that he tweeted something related to Tesla and that something wasn’t pre-approved by Tesla’s legal department before he tweeted it.


From the 8-K that same day:

> In total, we are expecting to deliver 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles in 2019, representing a growth of approximately 45% to 65% compared to 2018.

The only sane interpretation is that Musk was referring to the potential market size to build on Deepak's statement.

If Musk was referring to anticipated 2019 Model 3 production/sales, then their 8-K guided for 360-400k total vehicles, and Musk on the call a few hours later guided for 450-600k vehicles (assuming historical S/X sales). Which would be nuts.


I liked Matt Levine's analysis:

> probably what will happen is that Musk will go to court and the judge will yell at him and he will say he’s sorry and then six minutes later he’ll tweet “my fingers were crossed and I am NOT sorry” and he’ll go on TV that night and be like “you know what I have contempt for? Court,” and everyone will just be like “ehhhhhhhhhh good enough.”

( https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-02-26/elon-m... )


No, this doesn't seem right. Musk is clearly burning through the good will he'd built up. There's going to be a limit to how much his aura can shield him, and it seems like he's really pushing to find that limit.


Why do you think he's being intentionally descructive asnd not just not caring what anyone (including the government) thinks?


Because Tesla, as a company, is actually majority owned by the shareholders that make up 80+% of the company.

A very small move of the SEC can destroy those investors chances of ever being paid back.


So that during an economic downturn he can get a government bailout, blaming any failures on externalities like the "unfair" SEC.

It's the same reason for making the company take on too much debt. When you're big the government won't let you fail. That's the belief anyway.


I've been following Elon for a very long time, and one of the reason I like him is that he sticks to what he says. So if today Elon says that he respects the justice dept, its very like that he really means it, and he will stick to it.

I would not trust Matt Levine on this.


This... doesn't sound like you've been following him for a very long time.

Compare the prior incident -- I'll use a summary from Matt Levine again:

> Remember when Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk committed securities fraud by falsely claiming on Twitter that he had secured financing to take Tesla private? Remember how Musk and Tesla settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission by agreeing to pay fines and have Tesla lawyers review Musk’s tweets before he sent them out? Remember how Tesla hired a high-powered Washington litigator as its general counsel and Musk’s Twitter babysitter? Remember how Musk then said in a 60 Minutes interview that he and Tesla were absolutely not ever going to comply with the terms of the settlement that they had signed, that he does not respect the SEC, and that no lawyer would ever pre-clear his tweets?

But heck, let's see what CBS said about it. Most of this is just quotes from the interview:

> His warzone tweeting drew fire when out of the blue in August he tweeted, quote: "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured." The SEC disputed that claim and charged him with securities fraud. The case was settled with Musk agreeing that his "communications relating to the company… including… Twitter" would be overseen by his board.

> Lesley Stahl: Have you had any of your tweets censored since the settlement?

> Elon Musk: No.

> Lesley Stahl: None? Does someone have to read them before they go out?

> Elon Musk: No.

> Lesley Stahl: So your tweets are not supervised?

> Elon Musk: The only tweets that would have to be say reviewed would be if a tweet had a probability of causing a movement in the stock.

> Lesley Stahl: But how do they know if it's going to move the market if they're not reading all of them before you send them?

> Elon Musk: Well, I guess we might make some mistakes. Who knows?

> Lesley Stahl: Are you serious?

> Elon Musk: Nobody's perfect.

> Lesley Stahl: Look at you.

> Elon Musk: I want to be clear. I do not respect the SEC. I do not respect them.

( https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tesla-ceo-elon-musk-the-2018-60... )

So, he signed a binding legal agreement committing to have his tweets reviewed pre-publication, and immediately did a television interview in which the main messages were (1) that he wasn't complying with the settlement, (2) that he planned never to comply with the settlement, and (3) that he did not respect the SEC.

Truly, a man of his word.


You are cherry picking a few minutes from an interview that was several hours long.

CNBC didn't air the full interview, and the cut at that point of the interview as very misleading. Here is what Elon said in response, "This is a very misleading edit. Please post the full transcript where I complete the sentence." Source:https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1072373731039870979

He also said "60 Mins actually had several hours of interview time, which they distilled to 14 mins. Many stories could been told with that time. This was accurate as viewed from an Upper East Side Manhattan dinner party." Source: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1072351502654672897


> Elon said in response, "This is a very misleading edit. Please post the full transcript where I complete the sentence."

To be totally clear, the sentence being referred to is no part of what I mentioned above, and would not appear to be relevant.

> You are cherry picking a few minutes from an interview that was several hours long.

Was there another part of the interview where he said he would comply? That seems unlikely, given that he still hasn't complied. This isn't "cherry picking" so much as "taking the part that we're talking about, and ignoring the parts that have nothing to do with it".


Elon is referring to the last sentenced your quoted from the interview.

Is he going to stick to the settlement? Who knows. Did he break the law by tweeting the figures? No. Why not? Because the information was already public. He said it in recent Tesla earning. Please google for more information.


> Elon is referring to the last sentenced your quoted from the interview.

No, he isn't. The thread you link is discussing this sentence:

> I mean that's not realistic, because I am the largest shareholder in the company and a very high percentage of the shareholders support me and the company. So essentially I could just pull for a shareholder vote and get anything I want [provided I could get support for at least a third of the other shareholders].

(The material within [] was apparently not quoted by CBS. This is a fair complaint for Elon Musk to make, but it's not part of anything I quoted, and it doesn't address the settlement, compliance efforts, or the relationship between Musk and the SEC.)


I have never even watched 60 minutes, but they have more credibility on this then the who was tweeting about the Shortseller Enrichment C omission. .


That exchange is exactly what he agreed to: only tweets that could be material needed pre-approval.


What was said on that tweet, that made SEC angry was, already mentioned in the Tesla earning - therefore is a public knowledge. This tweeter thread has a screenshot of the transcript. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1100215984713957376

Later Elon called SEC out on their lack of due diligence. "SEC forgot to read Tesla earnings transcript, which clearly states 350k to 500k. How embarrassing … " Source: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1100215984713957376


Isn't there a difference between "350-500k" and "500k"?


The 350-500k was only for Model 3s. So really not much difference.


I think that is a valid point. There is a difference.


The FDA should only inspect contaminated meat.


Exactly. The FDA (USDA, actually) obviously does not approve each piece of meat for sale.


I wonder if he'll respect the DoJ more than he respects the SEC.


Tesla will not have a $35k EV anytime soon.

The battery pack alone costs more than $20k.

Tesla can’t produce that car for $15k and make a profit.

Gigafactory Battery production is expected to continue ramping up, with higher throughput lines, but operating costs are still exorbitant, and battery production is barely breaking even at current production. In fact, from what I know they’re in the red.

I don’t see a $35k Model 3 until battery production costs cut in half, which I won’t expect for another 3-5 years.

I know Tesla is beginning to manufacture it’s own batteries, but to be honest, I don’t see them succeeding.


Musk is clearly not making it any easier and I wish he would be more careful (and continue to be on Twitter). It's not fun for investors. Please don't create these fires.

I also hope that SEC would maintains an objective view of the issue and not get offended at the lack of respect from Musk.

Finally, I would love for Tesla to continue to thrive under Musk's leadership, unless he continues to shoot himself in his foot.


It's not fun for investors.

It was fun for this investor when I sold calls not too long ago after Musk's last meltdown. Probably not fun for the buyer of that contract who exercised and is now $30/share in the hole.


What if he's burning out and doing this somewhat subconsciously in an attempt to shed responsibilities?


What does he really risk if found guilty of contempt? I don't think the SEC is going to settle again


They could ban him from running Tesla and any other publicly listed company. That threat got him to sign this settlement in the first place.

https://www.economist.com/business/2018/09/28/the-sec-threat...


He's a narcissist. He believes his own hype and he thinks he's untouchable.

That and they have about a billion dollars in debt coming due in a few days. Gotta keep that distraction going.


This sounds like a targeted campaign to discredit Musk. Careful about what you read.


Why this bizarre cultish paranoia? He's in this mess because he committed securities fraud. He got a slap-on-the wrist sweetheart deal and he can't even stick to that.

He's done all of this to himself, and he can't seem to stop.


I completely agree with everything you've posted on this topic, Elon is 100% his own worst enemy on this front. However, as I scroll through this thread I see lots of top level comments with a single reply from the same (green) account; I can see how some might knee-jerk and jump to calling that astro-turfing/short sellers/someone with an axe to grind.


> I can see how some might knee-jerk and jump to calling that astro-turfing/short sellers/someone with an axe to grind.

I would've made the same comments if he were not making them. If it's green, sure you can be skeptical, but that does not prevent people from reading the comment for its merit. If someone wants to call someone a short just for being pessimistic about Musk's behavior then just add that to the pile.

Musk blames all his problems on shorts. Tesla's failures are not his responsibility. He's only responsible for its successes, including those of interns who make the media. Musk is the only one who can get things done quickly at Tesla because only what he says goes, and even his word does not mean much lately. Had a settlement with the SEC, backed out. Settled again with a worse deal a day later, and soon after violates the agreement and states on TV he never had any intention of following it.


it's not really paranoia when you factor in how much short interest the $TSLA stock has, there are literally tens of billions of dollars to be gained if the people with these short positions can discredit or shift public opinion on musk


That's fairly minuscule, really. Short sellers can't make Musk bash the SEC or call people pedos; that's on him.

Musk himself has $55.8B in compensation tied to market cap at stake, which gives him equally self-interested reasons to balance things out. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/21/tesla-shareholders-approve-e...


>Short sellers can't make Musk bash the SEC or call people pedos; that's on him.

But they certainly can engineer a fake rumor of an SEC requesting contempt of court by manipulating journalists and forging documents, if sufficiently motivated. Consider the SuperMicro story submitted to mainstream publications last year that was obviously fake and caused a massive decline in their stock. I don't think it's above a sophisticated actor to socially engineer a journalist in service of a "short and distort" campaign. Even Jim Cramer laid out the typical tactics of a short attack: get a short position open and then spread false rumors to a "bozo reporter" [0][1]

I'm no big Elon Musk fan, but the funny thing is -- correct me if I'm missing something -- I can't seem to find any evidence that the SEC ever published the complaint[2] documents supplied by a USA today journalist on the sec.gov website. Searching for "Case 1:18-cv-08865-AJN" only brings up the original settlement from October 2018. That alone gives me pause.

[0]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6gxPCurDJs&t=1m43s

[1]: https://seekingalpha.com/instablog/2918951-g-hudson/1026551-...

[2]: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5750664-Show-Cause.h...


So, let me get this straight. You think short sellers are a massive cabal of evil geniuses and they just go around forging court documents and duping journalists? But just in the case of TSLA, not all the other companies it would be possible to short? And you think that's more likely than that the SEC asked the judge to hold Musk in contempt, which he obviously is by a plain reading of the settlement agreement?

This is waayayayayayaaaayyyyy off the deep end. Please check your priors, they are busted.


You're acting as if market manipulation is some far-out conspiracy theory rather than something relatively common. I don't think it takes a "kabal of evil geniuses" to dupe a few credulous journalists who are incentivized and looking for a scoop by forging some documents. There are far more complex market manipulation conspiracies that are well-documented (see: LIBOR scandal)

Furthermore, why haven't we heard anything from the SEC? They are an increasingly transparent organization. Why haven't they issued a press release or published their court filings on their website? Are we supposed to just trust a journalist's word and ability to verify that an anonymous "source familiar with the matter" isn't just bamboozling them?


C'mon, mate. Someone linked you to Musk himself commenting on this story. The "faked court docs" conspiracy theory dies definitively there. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1100215984713957376


> You're acting as if market manipulation is some far-out conspiracy theory rather than something relatively common.

of course it's common.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1026872652290379776?lang...

There's one excellent example of illegal market manipulation.


> You're acting as if market manipulation is some far-out conspiracy theory rather than something relatively common.

Something of the scope you're suggesting has literally never happened, as far as I am aware. Certainly not recently (i.e. last forty years) in the US. Bet ya fifty dollars the SEC did in fact send this show-cause order.


So you also think that these short-sellers also made Elon respond to people on twitter, confirming the SEC action? https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1100215984713957376?s=08


Elon Musk knows as much about it as we do. It's not like he can call up the SEC and ask them to confirm/deny if they're taking action on him.

Sorry, but this story originally came from Bloomberg and I lost all faith in Bloomberg after they refused to retract the SuperMicro story. I will believe it when I see it on the sec.gov website. Until then it's as good as bullshit in my eyes.


> It's not like he can call up the SEC and ask them to confirm/deny if they're taking action on him.

He and his legal team will absolutely receive copies of any court filings in this case.

Individual filings won't be on sec.gov. You can check PACER, though.

This filing also indicates Musk's legal team chimed in about the tweet in response to the SEC's inquiry (page five). If that weren't the case, Musk would certainly contest that statement. This bit too:

> "According to counsel, immediately upon seeing Musk's 7:15 tweet for the first time after Musk had published it, Tesla's "Designated Securites Counsel" arranged to meet with Musk, and they drafted Musk's corrective 11:41 tweet together."


>Individual filings won't be on sec.gov

For an application to a court seeking that someone be held in contempt of court? Yes, this absolutely would be on sec.gov as a 'litigation release' and there are 2500 such examples listed there. If it were true and the SEC is just waiting to issue a press release, I think it's prudent to actually wait for that rather than believe some apocryphal document.

As for contesting the statement, who knows? He is not exactly the most stable individual these days (which is what makes him and his companies a natural target for shortsellers)


As opposed the absolutely nothing to be gained by preserving the cult of Elon?

The only difference between Tesla and any other company is that Tesla has a lot more reasons why people want to be short.


Because he's an innovator in multiple industries and generally seems like the type of person that would be admired on a site like HN and yet he constantly gets shit on for the smallest things.


Committing securites fraud is not something I'd consider one of "the smallest things"


Your hyperbole is only proving my point


He literally had to settle a with the FCC for manipulating Tesla's stock price by falsely claiming that he was going to take the company private; that's not hyperbole


Their plot to trick Musk into agreeing to the terms of a legal settlement with the SEC and then breaking those same terms was fiendishly clever.

You know. Them.


They?


If the SEC were not following through with any other company, I would question their competence and charter. I would be interested in why you think TSLA in particular is being picked on here. I'll prime the conversation by saying that I see the facts as being an agreement where Musk agreed to not do $THAT, and turned right around and did $THAT, where the definition of $THAT can be agreed upon by the vast majority of people.


Elon does a good enough job of discrediting himself.


Elon's top of range priority table and list of accomplishments make sense.


Your comment is (currently) downvoted, but it's a perfectly reasonable suggestion considering plenty of evidence of entrenched interests doing everything they can to take down Musk, obviously including the massive short position against Tesla, and the oil industry writer for the NY Times intentionally driving in circles in a parking lot to cause the car to run out of battery:

https://www.tesla.com/blog/most-peculiar-test-drive

He's got the military industrial complex against him with SpaceX, and the oil and car industries against him with Tesla. It doesn't get more imposing than that.


"There are powerful people who'd like to see Musk fail" and "Musk doesn't do himself any favors calling people pedos and whatnot" can both be true.


Enough with the strawman argument. I never suggested that both couldn't be true. That doesn't counter anything I said.


He's gonna get a shareholder lawsuit if he isn't careful


Tesla is gaining a lot of free publicity from this.


To what end though? Is there anyone plausibly in the market for a Tesla car that doesn’t know about the company and cars at this point?

I’d guess their unaided awareness within target market must be over 50% and aided over 95%.


How many people haven't heard of Coca Cola? How much do they spend on advertising regardless?

Brand awareness requires upkeep.


When I'm in the market for a $50-$100K car with a depreciation lifespan of 7+ years which requires ongoing factory-provided service for its netire lifespan, I'm not excited to become aware of a car company whose founder/CEO behaving erratically in ways that make the government threaten to trigger a collapse of the company.


The old saw that any publicity is good publicity isn't true. Tesla being in the news because their leader is committing securities fraud and acting increasingly erratic isn't helping the brand anymore than Coca Cola being in the news for giving people food poisoning.


I wouldn't be so sure about it. We cannot speak in meaningful way whether Musk's kind of publicity is good or it is bad without considering his target audience first. Do we know some group of people who might cheer Musk's behaviour?

I can think about just one possibility linked with age, but found it unlikely: if average age of owners of S, 3 and X models was between 43 and 53 years[1], it would be unlikely to drop significally. Didn't Musk promised for next models to be cheaper (and more affordable for younger generations) than previous?

Though idea of Musk running campain targeting younger and rebellous generations seems implausible for me regardless of price.

[1] https://www.teslarati.com/survey-model-x-owners-income-doubl...


I tend to agree. I limit my claims to "advertising can still make sense even if 100% of the target market is already aware of the product."


Do the majority of car buyers care about what the SEC thinks compared to how the car performs or how popular the vehicle is perceived to be overall?


Probably not, but...

Electric cars are associated with environmentalists. This makes your brand hard to market to conservatives, despite the fact that they are big part of the luxury car market. I wonder if sticking it to the SEC could be used to rebrand Tesla...


search "Elon Musk" at crazydaysandnights.net for a different perspective on this guy


From that site's footer:

> Crazy Days And Nights Is A Gossip Site. The Site Publishes Rumors, Conjecture, And Fiction.

Not what I would use for gathering real information.


His behavior is not unusual for someone who is burned out and/or a pothead. Ignoring consequences is typical stoner behavior. We'll have to see how this plays out.


Ignoring consequences is closer to being drunk behavior than stoner behavior. Also weed is used medicinally as well, and it's no good demonizing all those medical users and labeling them as bums that ignore consequences. In general, I'd advise against senselessly judging and stereotyping people.


I think this is more than pot talking. This is repeated bashing of any checks to his power. Whistleblowers, negative media, and government agencies giving critical oversight all get the same shunning from Musk. Except NHTSA of course as they appear to be captured.


> The SEC says Musk has manifestly violated an agreement reached in September, when he settled an SEC lawsuit by consenting to have his tweets preapproved by Tesla attorneys before sending them out on Twitter. > That didn’t stop Musk from issuing an unapproved tweet at 7:15 p.m. EST on Feb. 19,

Who the fuck this people are?!?! Besides, no one got the 420 stock price joke???!?!!


Musk paid the SEC $20m in his last settlement, what do they want, gratitude?

There is definitely a cabal gunning for him, what I don't understand is why. There are funds short TSLA who are talking their books as well, but he seems to have provoked a deeper coalition of interests that is hard to pinpoint. All I can tell is much of the criticism seems contrived.

Maybe he's truly checked out because this is all just a simulation, and he wants to test what is symbolic and artificial, and what is real because philosophically and existentially it's the only meaningful problem to address, but from an investor and mental health perspective, that's dissociation and if that's really the case, I hope he likes painting in watercolors.


> Musk paid the SEC $20m in his last settlement, what do they want, gratitude?

They want him to follow the other terms of the settlement, presumably. The fine's only a part of the punishment.


But it (aside from the $20 million fine) it isn’t even a punishment. Every publicly-traded company has their tweets reviewed. Every. Single. One. It’s normal. It’s reasonably prudent for both the CEO and the shareholders. No shareholder wants to wake up and find 5%+ of market cap has been wiped out with a tweet.


Don't forget that he was forced to step down as Tesla's Chairman.

That the SEC settlement required Musk to hire a lawyer and institute a review process indicates that at least one publicly-trated company wasn't having tweets reviewed, and the SEC complaint this time around alleges this tweet wasn't reviewed either.


Uh, he also got removed as a chairman.

Having the sense to review tweets is different than having an SEC settlement enforcing such action.


Remember, the SEC's function is to protect investors. Likewise, the function of the Chairperson of the Board is to represent investors on the Board. The SEC didn't remove Musk as Chair to punish him for his actions. The settlement required Musk to step down as Chair to give investors the representation they're entitled to because Musk didn't fulfill the fiduciary obligations of the role.




Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: