Tesla stock soars as Musk taunts the SEC with a tweet

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The news of Tesla CEO Elon Musk settling with USA financial regulators sent the company's stock soaring Monday morning.

The Justice Department has opened its own investigation into Musk's August 7 tweet, in which he said he would take the company private at $420 a share.

Musk's tweet about taking his company private, along with attacks on critics on social media, raised concerns with investors about whether Musk has become too focused on criticism from so-called short-sellers who had been making bets against him and Tesla.

In any case, the $40 million, which will be distributed to harmed shareholders after a court-approved process, are but a very small fraction of the more than $7 billion lost due to the whole debacle.


Tesla shares sank last week after the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused Musk of securities fraud, opening up the prospect of a long-drawn out fight that could have seen Tesla lose its leader, undermine its ability to raise capital and cripple operations. Along with leaving, Musk has to pay a $20 million fine for a tweet he fired off saying he planned on a massive buyout of Tesla. The funding had not been secured.

Musk will step down as chairman of Tesla for three years, starting in November. Secondly, the company's board will also appoint two new independent directors, with a new committee dedicated but not limited to regulating Musk's communications as he remains CEO.

"The resolution is meant to prevent further market disruption and harm to Tesla's shareholders", Peikin added.

"The SEC's complaint alleged that, in truth, Musk knew that the potential transaction was uncertain and subject to numerous contingencies". A more assertive board could provide the kind of tighter oversight that many legal experts, and Tesla investors, say is overdue for a company of Tesla's market value.


The stock had dropped 14% on Friday after he'd turned down the initial settlement terms.

Neither Tesla nor Musk admitted wrongdoing under the settlement, which was reached two days after the regulator sued the billionaire over his tweeted claims to have had the funding and investor support to buy out stockholders at $420 a share.

As such, the company was also implicated in Musk's actions.


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