Posted January 21, 2023, 11:26 amUpdated January 21, 2023 at 2:53 p.m
How should Elon Musk use Twitter? On Friday, Elon Musk was questioned at length about his frenzied use of the social network he owns last year during a trial by Tesla investors accused of fraud. Dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and tie, the billionaire took to Twitter for half an hour to defend his style of communication and his achievements at the helm of the automotive group. His testimony is due to continue on Monday.
Recall that Elon Musk has been accused of fraud by investors for tweeting that he intended to delist Tesla more than four years ago. Tesla’s boss made a surprise announcement on August 7, 2018, by saying that he wanted to exit the group at a price of $420 per share, after which funding was “secured”.
The tweet was written “hastily”, the choice of words was “careless”, but “this is not a scam”, beating his lawyer Alexander Spiro, who assured that Elon Musk intends to delist Tesla and has no doubts. About financial opportunities thanks to the guarantees of the Saudi sovereign fund.
Negative speculation ‘should be illegal’
“Have you taken a break from Twitter? ” asked Nicholas Porritt, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit, citing a recommendation from a senior Tesla official and investor. “I don’t think so,” the billionaire replied simply. Tweeting is “the most democratic way to communicate. This gives all investors, big or small, access to the same information,” he added.
Elon Musk also said that market reactions to his tweets are often unpredictable. Immediately after the offensive tweets, Tesla’s name actually rose to $386.48. It fell to $335.45 a share on Aug. 16, far from the $420 a share Musk had mentioned, according to figures presented to the jury by Judge Edward Chen on Tuesday.
Down speculation “should be illegal,” he said. According to him, the investors in the maneuver are “evil people who steal the money of small investors. They want Tesla dead […] and they’ll do anything to kill businesses, that’s bad.”
Wrath of the SEC
But for Nicholas Porritt, “Elon Musk, the (then) CEO of Tesla, lied and his lies cost people millions of dollars.” A lawyer for the plaintiffs tried to show on Friday that Elon Musk and his entourage are well aware of the consequences of his impatience on Twitter.
Elon Musk, for his part, insisted that 2018 was a difficult year for Tesla. “I slept in the factory not by choice, but by compulsion,” he said, adding that the company’s listing on the stock exchange was an additional constraint as it was hit by attacks.
This situation has already caused the anger of the American stock market police SEC. Believing the executive had failed to provide evidence of his financing, it ordered him to step down as chairman of the board, pay a $20 million fine, and later demanded that his tweets directly related to Tesla’s business remain private. – approved by an authorized lawyer.
“Elon Musk sees this lawsuit as a way to get the SEC to reconsider this decision,” said Josh White, a former economist at the federal agency. “He thinks he did nothing wrong and has the right to say what he wants on Twitter.”
Elon Musk supports Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms
Elon Musk again commented on the French news via Twitter on Friday. Responding to a video showing the demonstrations in Lyon on Thursday, billionaire Emmanuel Macron expressed his support for the government: “Macron is doing a difficult but fair job. Retirement at age 62 was introduced when life expectancy was shortened. It is impossible for such a small number of employees to support such a large number of retirees,” he wrote.