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Was Elon Musk’s Tesla Stock Tweet The Most Expensive Troll in History?

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:53 PM
W. E. Messamore
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:53 PM
  • Elon Musk tweeted Tesla stock “is too high imo” Friday morning.
  • It sent TSLA shares crashing over 11% and wiped out $16B in value.
  • But he might have to answer to someone more unforgiving than the SEC for this stunt. Musk’s pregnant girlfriend is now mad at him.

Elon Musk has done it again. The Tesla CEO crashed his car company’s stock price (NASDAQ:TSLA) more than 11% Friday with a single tweet:

elon musk tweet tesla stock price too high imo
Source: Twitter 

(Why Elon Musk is right about Tesla stock value.)

The incredible tweet sent Tesla stock into a spiraling sell-off Friday morning. Is this the most expensive troll in history? If Musk is joking, which seems likely, he has a costly taste in humor. By noon Wall Street time Elon Musk had single-handedly wiped out $16 billion of his own company’s value.

tesla stock price friday
Chart: Yahoo Finance

But if he’s not joking, Elon could land himself in hot water with the SEC– again. This isn’t the first time Tesla’s CEO has gotten himself into trouble tweeting about Tesla stock.

Is Elon Musk Trolling the SEC?

Back in 2018, he caught SEC charges for tweets that gave TSLA a big boost :

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Elon Musk, CEO and Chairman of Silicon Valley-based Tesla Inc., with securities fraud for a series of false and misleading tweets about a potential transaction to take Tesla private.

Here’s the tweet:

elon musk tweet take tesla private
Source: Twitter 

Elon Musk eventually settled with the SEC  without admitting or denying wrongdoing. He and Tesla each paid a $20 million fine, and he stepped down temporarily as chairman while remaining CEO. Then he lashed out at the SEC:

I use my tweets to express myself. Some people use their hair. I use Twitter… Hello, First Amendment… I want to be clear: I do not respect the SEC.

So far, his Tesla stock price tweet appears to be an epic joke by an engineer who’s excessively fond of trolling on Twitter. Maybe he’s stressed, with his and Grimes’ baby on the way . Back in January, we couldn’t tell if that was a troll or not. But Musk better not buy any Tesla stock any time soon, as he did in February . Either that or Tesla doing stock buybacks any time soon will invite SEC scrutiny.

Tesla CEO On A Twitter Rampage

Musk was on an absolute Twitter reign of terror Friday morning. The Tesla stock price tweet was just one of many oddball things Elon said.

He also said he would sell all his possessions, including his house. But he’s making an exception for a place he owns that used to be owned by Gene Wilder, who played Willa Wonka in the 1971 classic film, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

gene wilder elon musk
Source: Twitter 

He also tweeted the lyrics to the national anthem. It seemed to be in line with his tweetstorm raging against coronavirus lockdowns in recent days.

elon musk star spangled banner
Source: Twitter 

But it appears Elon Musk’s antics have landed him in worse trouble than he’ll get from Tesla stockholders, immune-compromised COVID patients, or even the SEC.

grimes mad at elon
Source: Twitter 

Good luck, Elon. It was nice knowing you. Maybe use your engineering prowess to design a sleep tracking app that doesn’t unlock your Twitter unless you’ve had seven solid hours of shut-eye in the previous twenty-four.