Tag Archives: Tesla

Musk settles with SEC, pays fine, reduces control at Tesla for 3 years

Elon Musk and Tesla have negotiated a settlement with the SEC, agreeing to each pay a fine of $20 million while Musk reduces his role with the company for the next three years.

Musk and Palo Alto-based Tesla agreed to pay a total of $40 million to settle the case, and he will give up his chairmanship for at least three years. The electric-car maker also is required to install an independent chairman and two new board members, though Musk will remain on the board, according to terms of the settlement.

Musk and Tesla will each pay $20 million to settle the case; both reached the deal without admitting wrongdoing.

I suspect this will not reduce Musk’s influence on Tesla very much. To me, this whole kerfuffle was the SEC acting like a bunch of mobsters, pulling its weight against someone it apparently doesn’t like. “Nice business you have there, Elon. Sure would be a shame if something happened to it.”

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SEC goes after Musk

The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed a complaint against Tesla in an effort to force Elon Musk out as head of the company.

The complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission came after a last-minute decision by Mr. Musk and his lawyers to fight the case rather than settle the charges.

The filing by the SEC in federal court in Manhattan threatens to deal a severe blow to the Palo Alto, Calif., electric car maker. Its brand and Mr. Musk are closely intertwined, and analysts have said the company’s roughly $50 billion market value is driven by Wall Street’s appreciation for Mr. Musk’s vision and skill as an innovator.
SEC Sues Elon Musk for Fraud, Seeks Removal From Tesla

Tesla wasn’t named in the suit as a defendant, but the SEC is seeking to bar Mr. Musk, Tesla’s largest shareholder and its top executive, from serving as an officer or director of any U.S. public company. Tesla shares, which have been under intense pressure amid questions about the firm’s financial strength and Mr. Musk’s behavior, tumbled 9.9% to $277 in after-hours trading Thursday on Nasdaq.

This is very bad news for Tesla. However, it might be good news for SpaceX, as Musk has admitted to being very overworked. If he is forced from Tesla, he will have an enormous load removed from him.

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Will SpaceX bail out Tesla?

Link here. There appears to an effort on Wall Street to convince SpaceX to use its significant profits to bail out failing Tesla. It is also unclear whether Musk agrees with this approach.

If SpaceX does this, it will be a very bad thing for the company’s future, throwing good money after bad. Musk might love both companies and what they are trying to accomplish, but the future of the two companies appears to be heading in opposite directions. To weigh SpaceX down with an unprofitable company that has a failing product would seriously harm SpaceX’s abilities in the future.

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Wall St pushes to have SpaceX save Tesla

Three articles in the news today illustrate both the corruption of the press as well as a desire of one analyst on Wall Street to convince Elon Musk to use his success at SpaceX to save Tesla.

All three news articles are based on a single recommendation made by one Morgan Stanley research analyst. Thus, the headline in the first article is an outright lie. There isn’t growing speculation, there is one guy with an opinion, an opinion by the way that Elon Musk doesn’t appear to share, according to the third article.

Musk said last year that there was too little cooperation between Tesla and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. to justify merging the two, dismissing the idea that had been raised by one of Jonas’s colleagues as “quite tenuous.”

From SpaceX’s point of view, combining these companies makes little sense. It would essentially be using the success of SpaceX to prop up Tesla’s financial weakness.

Musk of course controls both companies, and can do this if he wishes. If I was Musk, however, I would keep the companies separate, and let the chips fall where they may. Musk however might care enough about Tesla that he might want to save it, using SpaceX’s profits. If he does, however, he will instantly weaken SpaceX, as it will then no longer have as much cash available to pay for its future plans, such as the Big Falcon Rocket.

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Tesla stock crashes due to possible loss of tax credit

The stock of Elon Musk’s Tesla electric car company crashed this week, dropping 7% on Wednesday, with the revelation that the Republican tax plan proposes eliminating the $7,500 tax credit for buying an electric car.

Its share price fell more than seven per cent to about $296 apiece from Wednesday’s $321. The draft law emerged as the Elon-Musk-led automaker announced its worst-ever quarter, recording a $671m loss and admitting it had not met its production target for its new Model 3 car, producing just 220 of them against its 1,500 target.

Economists believe that the tax credit is a key driver for electric car sales, and cite the example of when the state of Georgia cut its $5,000 tax credit and saw sales of electric cars slump from 1,400 a month to just 100 a month in response.

What this story highlights is that electric cars are simply not economical at this time, and that the government is distorting the market by pushing them. Without government aid, practically no one would buy them.

It would be far better for everyone to let the market decide. Not only would this save us tax dollars, it would allow the industry to focus its innovative efforts on upgrades that are cost effective and profitable, rather than on pie-in-the-sky fantasies that actually do no good at all.

Hat tip Wayne DeVette for pointing me to this story.

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