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Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk changed his public Twitter name from Musk to Tusk as he lashed out at the Securities and Exchange Commission, which earlier this week approached a court with a complaint that Musk had violated a Twitter-related deal he struck with the regulator last year.
Musk first drew the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission last summer when the Tesla CEO said on Twitter that he was planning to take the company private and had already secured funding. It was this phrase, “funding secured”, that alerted the Securities and Exchange Commission, which launched a probe into this claim, prompting Musk to come forward with the revelation that he had for years been in talks with the Saudi sovereign wealth fund to take the company private.
Following hectic share price movements for Tesla, the SEC made Musk promise he would run any tweets that could affect the share price of Tesla by the company’s board of directors—the obligation that the watchdog now says Musk violated by tweeting that Tesla will produce half a million cars by the end of this year.
The tweet that raised SEC’s hackles was followed by another one, which was seen as a belated attempt to reverse the damage by clarifying that “Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k.”
A day after the SEC launched its compliant with a judge, Musk went back to Twitter to tell the world Tesla would be releasing some big news today at 2 pm. The tweet said simply “2 pm” and was followed by another one that said “California”, with Musk possibly opting for the laconic way in a bid to avoid further attention from SEC, which has made it perfectly clear it was not taking potentially price-moving tweets lightly.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.