Do You Want Some Cheese with That Whine?
Since posting materially false statements about Tesla to Twitter, the SEC negotiated a settlement that Elon Musk stop doing this.
Now, Musk and his lawyers are saying that the SEC attempting to enforce this agreement constitutes harassment, because Elon Musk should be able to do whatever he wants whenever he wants.
Seriously, if the Securities and Exchange Commission were enforcing these sorts of rules the way that they were in the 1970s, Elon would already have been frog-marched out of his offices in handcuffs:
Tesla Inc. accused U.S. regulators of harassing Chief Executive Elon Musk over his compliance with a 2018 regulatory settlement that sought to restrict his use of social media.
In a letter filed Thursday with a federal judge who oversaw that settlement, attorneys for the company charged that the Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting unfounded investigations of Mr. Musk and Tesla. Earlier this month, the electric-car maker disclosed that regulators sent a subpoena last year that sought information showing how the company and its CEO complied with the terms of the deal.
Shocker, they haven’t complied, because Musk is a toxic narcissist psychopath.
The SEC hasn’t distributed $40 million in fine money to shareholders allegedly hurt by Mr. Musk’s 2018 tweets that he planned to take Tesla private, according to the letter. The SEC alleged that Mr. Musk’s statements weren’t truthful. The regulator’s 2018 lawsuit eventually led to an unusual agreement that Tesla lawyers would preclear certain of the CEO’s tweets and other public statements.
It should be noted that the agreement did NOT say that the fine was to be redistributed to shareholders, but instead that the fine, “Will be distributed to harmed investors under a court-approved process,” which means that (for example) Musk’s hated short sellers also have a claim, and it also means that the SEC CANNOT distribute this money, a court has to determine how and to who these funds are disbursed.
He is claiming that enforcing this agreement, which is intended to prevent further deceptive communications on the financials of the company, is actually political retribution for him tweeting mean stuff about Joe Biden:
“The SEC seems to be targeting Mr. Musk and Tesla for unrelenting investigation largely because Mr. Musk remains an outspoken critic of the government,” attorney Alex Spiro wrote in the letter to Judge Nathan.
Mr. Musk frequently ridicules government officials despite his need to work with regulators who play a role overseeing both Tesla and SpaceX, the rocket company he founded. He has taken aim at the SEC, highway safety regulators and the Federal Aviation Administration, whose space division he has called “fundamentally broken.” Mr. Musk has also criticized public policies such as financial incentives to spur electric-vehicle adoption.
Teh outburst that brought on SEC scrutiny and the settlement?
Mr. Musk landed in trouble in 2018 over a tweet that said he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 a share. The SEC alleged that Mr. Musk had never discussed such a going-private deal and that his statement, which caused Tesla’s stock to skyrocket, constituted fraud.
Musk’s excuse was that it was a joke. (He’s never funny, and you should never joke about this sort of stuff)
The judge, and the SEC, should do their best to disabuse the Apartheid era emerald mine heir of the idea that he is above the law.