Published: Sat, August 18, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Matthew Castillo

Elon Musk SPIKES Tesla Stock $5.5 Billion With Worrying Interview!

Elon Musk SPIKES Tesla Stock $5.5 Billion With Worrying Interview!

An interview that, among other things, reveals the once high-flying businessman has taken to calling this year "the most hard and painful" of his career and that "the worst is yet to come". Tesla's stock price is down 1 percent for the year.

Meanwhile, regulators are also looking into the "funding secured" affair after Musk tweeted that he is ready to take Tesla private at a price of US$420 a share and he has already found the money to do so.

Musk stunned markets last week with a tweet that he was considering taking Tesla private for $420 per share and that he had secured funding. Nearly a week later, the chief executive said the basis for that statement was conversations with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which first expressed interest in helping take the company private in early 2017.

Musk is bothered by the short sellers who have made Tesla one of the most-shorted stocks.

The SEC reportedly served Tesla with a subpoena this week.

All of this prompted Times columnist Kara Swisher to ask: "Is Elon Musk Crazy?"

But Erik Gordon, a University of MI business and law professor, said Tesla's board had a fiduciary duty to shareholders to take action. "You can love the company, you can love Musk and hate having him be the CEO at this point".

Today's interview with the New York Times is likely to increase that pressure after he admitted to a raft of personal problems, exhaustion and says his friends are concerned for his health. "They can have the reins right now", said Musk.

Mr Musk opened up to the newspaper about the personal toll he says he has endured, working marathon hours trying to ensure that deadlines are met, with Tesla ramping up production of its crucial Model 3 sedan.

"They can have the job".

The events set in motion by Mr. Musk's tweet have ignited a federal investigation and have angered some board members, according to people familiar with the matter. In one recent Twitter tirade, Musk lashed out at a cave diver who participated in the dramatic rescue of 12 trapped boys in Thailand, levying unsubstantiated claims that the man was a "pedophile".

"I thought the worst of it was over - I thought it was", he said.

The entrepreneur added: "It's not been great, actually".

In a blog post Monday clarifying his tweet, Musk said he spoke with the board about taking Tesla private and had "no question ... a deal with the Saudi sovereign fund could be closed".

"There were times when I didn't leave the factory for three or four days - days when I didn't go outside", Mr Musk said.

"If you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know", he told The Times.

The Times report said board members had raised concerns over his "workload but also about his use of Ambien", a sleeping drug.

He blamed investors who are betting on the decline of Tesla's value as the cause of much of his stress, accusing them of "desperately pushing a narrative that will possibly result in Tesla's destruction". Tesla produced 5,031 Model 3 electric cars in the last seven days of the second quarter, the company said in early July, meeting its long-elusive production target after several hiccups.

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