Its our fault because we’re animals. We’re aggressive, we attack perceived weakness – we’re all ambitious, and sometimes civilized. And in our civilization we invented the quarterly report and the lobbyist. The first tool, public company governance, helps us keep the ships going straight in a large ocean of companies and numbers. The second tool, the influencer of our politicians, is a job as old as humans are – with one of our first stories involving the merits of eating forbidden fruits, and since the 1960s – funding public lies about climate change.
On Tuesday, August 7 2018 at 9:48 AM PST, Elon Musk tweeted:
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
About thirty minutes before this tweet, the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund had taken a 5% position in the company. This caused share prices to spike from $342 to $358. Musk’s tweet caused a further jump before the SEC halted trading. Upon resumption of trading the stop jumped closer to $380.
In a letter released to employees, Musk stated:
- we are subject to wild swings in our stock price that can be a major distraction for everyone working at Tesla, all of whom are shareholders
- quarterly earnings cycle that puts enormous pressure on Tesla to make decisions that may be right for a given quarter, but not necessarily right for the long-term
- there are large numbers of people who have the incentive to attack the company
Elon Musk has had enough of our shit, and I agree with his decision.
Very recently, Montana Skeptic – the Twitter-based Tesla short seller – was doxxed, and it just so happens that the fellow worked for an investment firm heavily into oil. Short sellers, like Montana, lost $1.3 billion in the minutes after Musk’s tweet. But they’re still up overall as they’ve managed to create a high amount of volatility in the market over the past years, and skilled traders make money off of that.
These short sellers are absolutely being complemented by right wing “think” tanks whose sole purpose in the electric car industry is to muddy the waters. Tens of millions of dollars are spent to create fake news. First, a paper is released, then a blogger picks it up, then the article is copied and pasted across many websites, and lastly, the politicians start to talk up the point.
This is not something pv magazine discovered. It’s old news, and groups like Energy and Policy Institute have documented it clearly. For the past two years, Massachusetts Attorney General Healey has been seeking to determine whether:
Exxon may have misled consumers and/or investors with respect to the impact of fossil fuels on climate change, and climate change-driven risks to Exxon’s business.
Let’s be frank. This fossil game is in its waning years. Saudi Arabia, the capital of global oil, has aggressive – nation changing – solar power ambitions, and as of yesterday, they’ve also got electric car ambitions with the hottest brand name on the planet. The UN showed that in 2017, more money was invested and more capacity was built for solar power than for coal, gas and nuclear combined. However, those with money and power are more than willing to extend this game – at the cost of human lives.
Musk has a vision that is clear.
And in case you’re worried that Musk will get soft without the refining pressure of the markets, I present evidence otherwise:
Good job Elon Musk, hope you enjoyed the fish.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own, and do not necessarily reflect those held by pv magazine.
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