Culture

Elon Musk mocks SEC just days after Tesla settlement

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk stands on the podium as he attends a forum on startups in Hong Kong, China January 26, 2016.

Musk appears to have run afoul of the $20 million settlement he recently reached with the Securities & Exchange Commission, with a tweet that called the federal regulator the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission" and mocking the "name change". The SEC alleged that Musk hadn't locked up the estimated $25-billion to $50-billion that it would have required to pull off that deal.

"Just want to [sic] that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work", Musk, a frequent critic of investors betting against the electric auto company, wrote on Twitter. Per the terms of the settlement: "Tesla will establish a new committee of independent directors and put in place additional controls and procedures to oversee Musk's communications".

The SEC declined to comment. "Why would they be upset about their mission?"

The tweet came less than four hours after U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan ordered Musk and the SEC to explain by October 11 in a joint letter why their settlement was fair and reasonable and would not hurt the public interest. "He is just belittling the SEC", Pitt added.

Tesla has consistently been one of the most-shorted USA stocks as many investors continue to bet on declines in share prices.

In June, Musk wrote that shorts "have about three weeks before their short position explodes"-presumably a prediction that Tesla's strong quarterly results would cause Tesla's stock to rise". U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan allowed one week for the two to provide the letter, and said that the court needs to make a "minimal determination of whether the agreement is appropriate", according to CNBC. Tesla stock dropped 2 percent in after-hours trading after Thursday's tweet.



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