ICYMI, Elon Musk appeared on 60 Minutes on Sunday, and while it wasn’t quite as good as him sparking a blunt on Joe Rogan’s podcast, it was still a tad incendiary.
Musk’s beef with the SEC started in August when he tweeted that he was “considering” taking Tesla private at $420 a share (LOL 420, GET IT?) and added “funding secured.” For reasons that should be obvious to everyone including my cat Cash, who took a community college class in financial reporting back in 2013, the SEC got pissed when it found out no such funding was secured and fined both Musk and Tesla $20 million. It could have been worse for Musk, but he put the blunt down long enough to settle rather than take the case to court and risk possibly being barred from serving as an officer or director of any public company ever.
As part of the settlement, Musk was to step down as Tesla’s chairman and his tweets were to be monitored by a responsible, presumably sober adult at Tesla to prevent a repeat of the August debacle. According to his 60 Minutes appearance, not only is that not happening, Musk DGAF it isn’t.
From his interview with Lesley Stahl:
Stahl: Have you had any of your tweets censored since the settlement?
Stahl: None? Does someone have to read them before they go out?
Stahl: So your tweets are not supervised?
Musk: The only tweets that would have to be, say, reviewed, would be if a tweet had a probability of causing a movement in the stock.
Stahl: And that’s it?
Musk: Yeah, I mean, otherwise it’s “Hello, First Amendment.” Like freedom of speech is fundamental.
Stahl: But how do they know if it’s going to move the market if they’re not reading all of them before you send them?
Musk: Well I guess we might make some mistakes. Who knows?
Stahl: Are you serious?
Musk: Nobody’s perfect.
Stahl: Look at you.
Musk: I want to be clear, I do not respect the SEC. I do not respect them.
Look, I of all people totally get the enemy of authority shtick. Fuck the police and all that, right bro? Yeah so here’s the thing … it’s one thing when I, a drunken accounting tabloid writer, say “fuck the Big 4”; it’s entirely another when the CEO of a publicly-traded company says “come at me bro” to U.S. securities regulators. The SEC may be staffed with porn-addicted paper pushers but those pricks can push Musk’s paper right into a U.S. District courtroom if they really want to.
I’m also a champion of the First Amendment but — and I’ll forgive him for this as he may not quite understand how it works given he’s not originally ‘Murican — “freedom of speech” doesn’t mean “freedom to say whatever the hell you want and not ever pay the consequences for it.”
Tesla told Ars Technica that the tweetsitting rule by the SEC does not have to be in place until December 28, at which time “any communications that reasonably could contain material information” will require pre-approval.
My recommendation to Musk: find a weed dealer who will hook you up with the chill strain instead of whatever stuff your current dude has you all wound up on.