Elon Musk might have stirred a controversy again, by yet another tweet – this time calling the SEC the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission”.
Per last weekend’s settlement, Tesla agreed to pay $20 million in fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) while Musk would step down as chairman but continue as the company’s CEO. The settlement was made after the SEC’s allegations that Musk’s August 7 tweet claiming that he had secured funding at $420 per share for taking Tesla private was “false and misleading” for investors. (Musk announced that Tesla would remain a public company within a few weeks of the tweet). Apparently, there were some claims/allegations at the time that short-sellers - who try to profit by borrowing shares and selling them to buy them back at expected lower prices - lost millions due to Musk's August 7 tweet.
On Thursday, District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan asked Elon Musk and the SEC to justify that the settlement deal they had made was fair and would not hurt the public interest. Just hours after the judge’s order, Musk posted his tweet, “Just want to [sic] that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work. And the name change is so on point!"
Elon Musk has been vocal for several years about his distaste for short-sellers of Tesla stocks. "The last several years have taught me that they are indeed reasonably maligned," he said about short-sellers in a separate tweet. "What they do should be illegal."