Elon Musk: SEC Chaos Might Allow Tesla CEO to Work on Less ‘Boring Projects

There was some great news on Wednesday for The Boring Company though, and evidently, Musk wasn’t going to miss the chance to get his fingers …

If Elon Musk was busy last week, he’s swamped this week. The workaholic Tesla boss has his hands full at the best of times overseeing one of the world’s most valuable car companies (Tesla), a ground-breaking private space exploration enterprise (Space X) and his lesser-known but equally interesting public-transit company (The Boring Company). Telsa has been occupying a lot of media coverage lately, with safety concerns and company layoffs. On Monday his schedule got even more hectic as he was forced to file a response to a worrying SEC complaint which wants to hold him in contempt of Federal Court.

The SEC want to stop him tweeting, and Elon said (roughly speaking) “you can take my titles, but you’ll never take my tweets” citing his first amendment rights. Many political commentators thought this was absolutely the wrong way to go. There was some great news on Wednesday for The Boring Company though, and evidently, Musk wasn’t going to miss the chance to get his fingers tapping,

Looking forward to building a Boring Company tunnel in Vegas. Assuming to be operational by end of year! https://t.co/cSSO4SJ140

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 12, 2019

What Next For Musk When the SEC Dust Settles?

So what happens next? Well if he’s found guilty, he could potentially be banned from tweeting, face a huge fine and/or lose the Tesla CEO position. He has already given up as Chairman, but Chief Executive Office could be a more significant blow to the company. At this point does Musk even care? I would argue possibly not.

Space X Can Help us Reach Another World, But the Boring Company Can Improve This One

Elon Musk is an innovator and a problem solver first and a businessman second. What he excels at is creating groundbreaking products and marketing them in a way that generates an almost religious following. Tesla launched an electric car when no one could make one that looked and performed better than a cereal box. He changed the plug-in vehicle game forever. But now what? Its already worth more than GM and electric cars are becoming the norm rather than the exception, as is development in self-driving technology. Teslas use rubber tires and environmentally expensive battery manufacturing processes.Most of their charging stations use dirty power grids like everyone else.

Even the most ardent supporters have to admit that they are still an environmental negative when charging their Model S, 3 or X. Don’t even think about what we are going to have to do to dispose of the batteries when they are spent in 20 years. You can’t just melt them down like a regular car. Add in the fumes and fuel from Space X-ploration and Musk isn’t looking like the tree-hugger he was accused of being at the beginning of all of this. Enter the Boring Company.

Musk Is First of All a Visionary

Elon Musk loves to be on the cutting edge of innovation and Tesla is the mainstream now. It’s Beverly Hill’s Prius (a little joke for the Los Angelenos there). His biggest goal is he wants to get to Mars, but for sure he wants to keep making a difference on earth too. As a resident of the West-Side of Los Angeles, Musk knows what pain traffic causes in urban areas as much as anyone. Well, the Boring Company seeks to solve these problems by creating a more efficient, speedier and safer public transportation system. In LA everything is so built up over the ground, underground provides a unique opportunity.

This is where Elon can be an environmentalist. He knows that changing car motors to electric doesn’t get the life-shortening particulates out of our cities and that Lithium is a nightmare to procure. The real answer to urban pollution is to get cars off the roads or at least reduce their road time.

tesla stock price, citron researchtesla stock price, citron research

Tesla’s path is clearly plotted, what left is there for Musk to do?| Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP

More Attention Will Improve Boring’s prospects

His incredibly hectic schedule has at times made it seem like The Boring Company was an afterthought, and some struggles with Californian bureaucrats may have dented his enthusiasm. Musk is no stranger to legal obstacles after launching Telsa’s direct to consumer business model, and it is great to see the City of Las Vegas apparently on board with what Boring are trying to do. The proposed loop for the tunnel would help ease congestion and provide transport from the Las Vegas International airport. All for a staggeringly low cost of $35 to $55 million! California can barely build a public toilet for less than $100 million.

Tesla is Fully Evolved, It’s Time to Let Go

Losing the Tesla CEO position might be exactly the jolt Musk needs. Of all his companies, Boring Company needs him the most. A safe pair of hands could push Tesla along at this point. All you need is to avoid scandals and keep coming up with fun updates for the cars. Much like Tim Cook is doing at Apple without Steve Jobs. Musk has laid out enough of a vision for the future of the company with all the planned models that there isn’t much “envisioning” left to do. Boring Company needs a push at this stage; however, as with Urban centers around the world increasingly getting busier, infrastructure is groaning.

Lack of Urban Infrastructure a Major Obstacle to Global Growth

The US Government have so far failed to address this issue meaningfully. With all the talk of the wall and raising taxes and Russia, everyone has forgotten that both sides want to spend money on the US’s crumbling infrastructure. Bi-partisan concessions or agreement seem to be toxic in Washington at the moment, which is a shame as it means this vital project is, once again, left to gather dust on the steps.

Boring by Name, Not By Nature

Look at how the Boring Company came to be created in this quote from Musk on Joe Rogan’s show,

“I have this, it’s sort of a hobby company, called The Boring Company, which started out as a joke, And we decided to make it real and dig a tunnel under LA. And then other people asked us to build tunnels, so we said yes in a few cases.”

Well, what started as a joke might turn out to be pivotal in making the 15-mile, 2-hour commute a thing of the past. It could be Musk’s enduring legacy if he doesn’t get people to Mars.

While I’m thinking about it, someone @ Elon musk or The Boring Company and ask him/them to take over California’s high-speed rail project. Billions could be saved as they wouldn’t need to worry about buying so much land. It could also be more direct as it wouldn’t affect any protected areas. Get digging guys.

SEC To Weigh In On ‘Factual Assertions’ By Elon Musk’s Lawyers In Tesla Case

A federal judge overseeing a legal settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Tesla CEO Elon Musk wasted no time in saying …
Mayor Rahm Emanuel Makes Announcement On Express Train Service To O'Hare Airport

A federal judge in New York will determine if Tesla CEO Elon Musk violated terms of a settlement with the SEC when he tweeted inaccurate information about the company’s production plans without having it vetted first. Joshua Lott/Getty Images

A federal judge overseeing a legal settlement between the Securities & Exchange Commission and Tesla CEO Elon Musk wasted little time in saying she’ll allow the regulator to respond to “new factual assertions” made by the colorful billionaire’s lawyers. Musk’s representatives argued that an inaccurate tweet about the electric-car maker’s production plans didn’t violate terms of the agreement.

SEC attorney Cheryl Crumpton asked for Judge Alison Nathan’s permission to “file a reply memorandum of no more than 15 pages by no later than March 19, 2019, in order to respond to new factual assertions and legal arguments” raised by Musk’s lawyers, in a filing Tuesday. Nathan granted the request about an hour after it was filed, and also gave each party until March 26 to request a “evidentiary hearing” on the matter, without indicating when she’ll make a determination in the case.

The SEC last month asked Nathan to find Musk in contempt of the October 2018 settlement after it confirmed that his February 19 tweet (which Musk corrected four hours later) wasn’t vetted in advance by Tesla lawyers, as terms of the deal require. Attorneys for Musk argued in their March 11 court filing that the tweet didn’t contain material information since the production figures were essentially revealed in Tesla’s fourth-quarter earnings materials and during its January 30 conference call.

“Musk correctly used his discretion to determine that his 7:15 pm tweet was not material and did not contain information that could reasonably be considered material,” his defense team said. “Second, even if Musk were incorrect in his judgment that the tweet was not nor reasonably could be considered material—a view shared by Tesla and reflected by the market’s nonreaction—he cannot be held in contempt unless there is evidence that he did not diligently attempt to comply with the Order.”

Elon Musk via Twitter

Elon Musk via Twitter

The ongoing case in the U.S. Court for the Southern District of New York was sparked by Musk’s self-inflicted social media wounds—namely, tweeting in August 2018 about “funding secured” to take Tesla private that turned out to be inaccurate. The SEC didn’t ask for a specific punishment in its February filing, though the regulator had sought Musk’s removal as Tesla CEO and chairman in a lawsuit it filed in September 2018 claiming the privatization tweet was an attempt at stock-price manipulation.

He kept his management job, but the settlement forced him to give up the chairman role, pay a combined $40 million of fines with Tesla, add two independent directors to the company’s board and agree to have social media posts containing material Tesla information reviewed in advance by company lawyers.

Musk’s tweet, that “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019,” was inaccurate and was later updated: “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.” And though not as erratic as some past tweets (such as when he accused a critic of being a pedophile), it came after a December interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes in which he claimed no one at Tesla was checking his tweets in advance and declared his disdain for the SEC. “I want to be clear. I do not respect the SEC. I do not respect them,” he told interviewer Lesley Stahl.

That interview “destroys, or at least substantially damages, his credibility,” Peter Haveles, a partner at the law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP, who’s argued cased in Nathan’s court, told Forbes last month. “It just says ‘I don’t respect the process, I have no desire to comply.’”

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‘Earthie’ Plushie Toy Sold Out After Making Waves Onboard The ISS

The successful and historic first flight test of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon carried an adorable cargo to the International Space Station on March 2. Earthie …
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Little Earthie meets Mother Earth in a photo taken by NASA astronaut Anne McClain. SpaceX’s “super high tech zero-g indicator” plushie has sold out, according to its maker Celestial Buddies. The company promised that the famous toy will go back in stock in April. ( Anne McClain | Twitter )

The successful and historic first flight test of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon carried an adorable cargo to the International Space Station on March 2.

Earthie, a blue and green plushie that has arms and legs, joined the dummy pilot, Ripley, in a journey toward low-orbit, and spent the past week observing astronauts do their workinside the orbiting outpost.

Unfortunately, for anyone who wants to take home the stuffed toy, its maker Celestial Buddies announced that Earthie had completely sold out.

Famous Toy

In a post on its website, the company revealed that it had no idea that the toy will be flying alongside Ripley, who is named after Sigourney Weaver’s character in Alien, during the flight test. Little Earthie was a last minute addition to the mission to serve as a “super high tech zero-g indicator.”

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared a video of the toy that can be seen floating gently inside the capsule in zero gravity on Twitter.

Earth floats gently in zero gravity pic.twitter.com/XUH3KeDPVe — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 2, 2019


Celestial Buddies shared that it has received overwhelming interest over the plushie. By the time Crew Dragon lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, its entire inventory had been completely wiped by the number of orders they receive from those who want to take home a memento of the historic event.

Even the astronauts aboard the ISS are completely enamored by the little Earth with its beady eyes and perennially open mouth.

.@AstroAnnimal welcomes humans aboard the first @SpaceX#CrewDragon to visit the station and introduces two special guests, Ripley and Little Earth, ushering in the era of @Commercial_Crew. #LaunchAmericapic.twitter.com/QqzEEgDWzt — Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) March 3, 2019

Earth Plushies To Go Back On Sale In April

Celestial Buddies promised that it will have more Earth plushies on hand, but those who want one will have to wait until next month.

“We apologize for our current lack of Earths… we have never had a product on backorder before… but we have never had one of our products launched into space before, and we were taken totally by surprise,” the company said.

Celestial Buddies also has other plushies that are equally adorable like the “Our Precious Planet,” which is a larger and more detailed version of Earthie. Perhaps one should get the Mars plushie in anticipation for SpaceX’s journey to the red planet in the future.

ⓒ 2018 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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Elon Musk to SEC: You Can’t Make Me Never Tweet

On Monday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk filed his response to an SEC request to that a federal court hold him in contempt for violating a settlement …

Photo: Getty

On Monday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk filed his response to an SEC request to that a federal court hold him in contempt for violating a settlement agreement. In the filing, Musk argues that restrictions on his tweeting amount to an “unconstitutional power grab” by the SEC and that he didn’t even violate the agreement anyway.

The battle in federal court is the latest episode in a saga that kicked off last August when Musk tweeted that he was “considering taking Tesla private at $420” and that he’d secured funding. He had not secured funding, Tesla didn’t go private, but its stock price went nuts. The SEC was pissed and tried to get Musk barred from running a public company. Musk was cavalier about it until he wasn’t and eventually settled with the regulator, agreeing to pay a $20 million fine, resign as chairman of Tesla’s board, and run any tweets that are material to Tesla’s business by lawyers before posting.

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In February, Musk proceeded to tweet that “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019.” Realizing the tweet wasn’t accurate, he followed up four hours later, clarifying that he meant Tesla’s factory would hit an annualized production rate of 500,000 cars in 2019 but only deliver around 400,000 models. Within days, the SEC claimed he should be held in contempt because he “did not seek or receive preapproval prior to publishing this tweet, which was inaccurate and disseminated to over 24 million people.”

In their response on Monday, Musk’s lawyers argued that this case is about “a celebratory string of tweets, expressing excitement about Tesla’s success since 2011 and pride for what Tesla anticipated achieving in 2019.” They said that Musk had simply “used his discretion” to determine the “tweet was not material” to the settlement agreement and that the production numbers were already public knowledge as they were included in an earnings call and an SEC filing. As proof that he’s doing his best to comply with the agreement, Musk wrote that he has cut his “average monthly Tesla related tweets nearly in half.”

In an interview with 60 Minutes last December, Musk was asked how Tesla could determine which of his tweets had the potential to move the company’s stock price. “Well, I guess we might make some mistakes,” he replied. That sort of uncertainty has led Musk’s attorneys to argue that the settlement amounts to a violation of their client’s First Amendment rights. They wrote that the SEC’s interpretation of the settlement prevents Musk from speaking about the Tesla business, in general. “Musk never consented to and would not consent to such a sweeping gag order.”

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The heart of the conflict is that the SEC isn’t defining what Musk can’t tweet, but it is saying that if he tweets something that could move Tesla’s stock without proper communication with investors first, he’ll face consequences if it wasn’t approved by Tesla’s lawyers. In this case, the tweets came in after-hours trading and didn’t have a noticeable effect on Tesla’s stock, but investors still aren’t happy and are suing him for tweeting “repeated misstatements.”

Ever since he reluctantly agreed to settle with the SEC, Musk has shown contempt for the agency. He told 60 Minutes that he has no respect for the regulator and later claimed that his 420 tweet was worth getting fined $20 million. In its motion for contempt, the SEC cites the 60 Minutes interview as an example of Musk not being diligent in his effort to comply with the settlement. In their response on Monday, Musk’s lawyers claimed that the contempt charge “smacks of retaliation and censorship.”

What sort of consequences would Musk face for his stubborn insistence on his right to tweet whatever the hell he wants? According to the Washington Post, the SEC could impose more fines or greater restrictions on his social media activity. Peter Haveles, a trial lawyer with the law firm Pepper Hamilton, told Wired that if the SEC’s motion for contempt is granted, “there is a good likelihood that the District Court will fine Mr. Musk and that it will put him on a short leash, with a strong warning that further violations could result in Mr. Musk being banned for some period of time as an officer or director of a public company.”

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While it’s infuriating to watch a man who is in charge of two major companies risk everything because he’s addicted to posting, it’s also kind of encouraging in a weird way. Most of us don’t have billions of dollars and the freedom to do virtually anything we want. Elon Musk does, and what he wants to do is tweet. Anyone can tweet. So the next time you fire off a post that makes you proud, think to yourself: “What I’m currently experiencing is possibly the most joyful feeling that Elon Musk can imagine.” Money can’t buy happiness, but that tiny dopamine rush from a retweet is everything.

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Elon Musk and Tesla’s legal team take a stand against SEC in bold response

Elon Musk and his legal team are taking a stand against the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) motion to hold the CEO in contempt of …

Elon Musk and his legal team are taking a stand against the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) motion to hold the CEO in contempt of court.

Responding to an imposed March 11 deadline by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, Musk’s legal team argued that the CEO’s actions on Twitter did not violate his previous settlement with the SEC at all. The filing also argues that Musk correctly used his discretion to determine that the February 19 tweet did not contain information that could be reasonably considered material to Tesla. Instead, the tweet and its following clarification are better understood as a “proud and optimistic restatement of publicly disclosed information.”

Musk’s legal team not that the Tesla CEO had significantly cut back his Tesla-related Twitter habits following his settlement with the SEC last year, showing that he is taking the terms of his agreement seriously. The lawyers also pointed out that the SEC’s interpretation of its settlement with Musk raises First Amendment issues.

“The Order as the SEC interprets it would raise serious First Amendment issues and implicate other constitutional rights. The SEC seeks to rewrite the Order to eliminate Musk’s discretion, effectively requiring Musk to seek pre-approval of any tweet that relates to Tesla, regardless of its significance, prior dissemination, or nature. Such a broad prior restraint would violate the First Amendment. Moreover, the SEC seeks to procure through a contempt proceeding enforcement power that is far broader and less clearly defined than the power Congress has granted it via statute. The Court should construe the Order narrowly to avoid applying it in a way that would raise significant constitutional concerns,” Musk’s lawyers wrote.

Musk’s legal team further pointed to the SEC’s mention of the CEO’s 60 Minutes interview, where he stated that he respects the law but not the SEC, as a sign that the agency appears to be retaliating against Musk. “This contempt action, following Musk’s sincerely-held criticism of the SEC on 60 Minutes, also reflects concerning and unprecedented overreach on the part of the SEC,” Musk’s lawyers added.

Elon Musk’s strong response to the SEC will likely be polarizing. Musk and the SEC have butted heads in the past, and each time it happened, TSLA stock was affected. When the SEC asked a judge to hold Musk in contempt on February 26, Tesla stock was adversely affected, plummeting over 3% after-hours after the announcement. Ironically, Musk’s Twitter announcement on February 19 did not appear to affect the company’s stock at all, as the posts were uploaded after trading hours.

The SEC’s recent row with Elon Musk started after the CEO posted a series of tweets on February 19. In one of the posts, Musk stated that “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019.” A few hours later, Musk posted a clarification, stating “meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, i.e., 10k cars/week. Deliveries for (the) year still estimated to be about 400k.” The figures were mentioned by Musk during Tesla’s first-quarter earnings call when he stated that Tesla could probably produce “maybe in the order of 350,000 to 500,000 Model 3s” this 2019.

Elon Musk’s response to the SEC’s recent request to hold him in contempt could be accessed here.

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