Entering text into the input field will update the search result below

Tesla: Additional Things We Now Know About Elon Musk

Sep. 06, 2018 1:28 PM ETTesla, Inc. (TSLA)204 Comments
Kevin Wenck, CFA profile picture
Kevin Wenck, CFA


  • Elon Musk ended the sideshow by grandly announcing that his loyal shareholder base would prefer that the company remain public.
  • Without providing any facts, Musk continued to claim that funding was available to take the company private.
  • We can only speculate about why Musk made the original announcement, but the series of events displays more examples of Musk’s irresponsible behavior.
  • Although Musk is revered as a “visionary leader” among Tesla supporters, the latest episode shows how little Musk is concerned about reality.


After a tumultuous period of hugely volatile swings in Tesla's stock (NASDAQ:TSLA) set in motion by Elon Musk's August 7 announcement of "Taking Tesla Private," there was a "Staying Public" blog post on August 24 that announced that Tesla will remain a public company. I found all of this absurdly comical given that a company with over $11 billion of debt (and negative working capital!) definitely needs an ongoing lifeline to possibly available capital in public securities market, but somehow the idea seemed to be believable to many people.

The fact that there was absolutely no possibility that the current shareholder base could have supported such a transaction or that capital was actually available to "buy out" shareholders not wishing to participate in such a transaction now offers an additional perspective on Musk's previously irresponsible claims and projections about Tesla's operating activities throughout its history.

As for Tesla's continually missed targets, forecasts, and projections concerning its operating activities and financial projections (Bill Maurer has an excellent summary of such unfulfilled statements), a more benign perspective could have been that "the world is a complicated place and not everything will go according to plan." Tesla supporters have seemed to continually have such a benevolent view of Musk's unfulfilled timelines and statements even though the financial reality of such unfilled statements had totaled over $5.7 billion in operating losses over its history.

Now that Musk has made similarly outlandish and now unfulfilled "projections" about the possible future capital and corporate structure of Tesla, I believe all of the earlier unfulfilled statements and projections about operating activities should be viewed from a much more critical perspective. Essentially, in my opinion, Elon Musk is willing to say and do anything to manipulative the narrative about Tesla into having people believe what he would like them to believe. The latest episode

This article was written by

Kevin Wenck, CFA profile picture
Retired small-cap growth stock and long/short hedge fund manager.  As I still actively manage my own portfolio (pretty much in line with how I managed my long/short hedge fund) and also actively follow global economic trends, there will be investment related topics that I feel are interesting to write about in my Seeking Alpha articles.As for my other writing activities, I've also had a really interesting career in the investment management industry (going back to the 1980s) and so I've completed the first volume (Atlas Stumbled: Prologue) of what was originally planned to be a four volume set of books about the very many interesting and "larger than life" characters (many of which I've personally met) that have been part of the U.S. financial markets and business environment over the last 30 years.  All of the characters in the book had to be "apocryphal" but readers will recognize most of them.  Many of the characters also ultimately had a pretty direct connection with the eventual financial crisis in  2008.  The first completed volume is available through Amazon on Kindle:https://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Stumbled-Prologue-Kevin-Wenck-ebook/dp/B009G76XJK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471113724&sr=1-1&keywords=atlas+stumbled#nav-subnav

Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

This article expresses the author’s opinions and perspectives about various investment related topics. Since all statements in the article are represented as opinions, rather than facts, such opinions are not a recommendation to buy or sell a security. My own investment position described in the disclosures is not intended to provide investment advice or a recommendation of a specific investment strategy but is a required disclosure item by Seeking Alpha. My own investment position may have been initiated at very different price levels than current prices levels and so that is also why my disclosed position is definitely not intended as an investment recommendation. All investors should also do their own research before making any investment decision.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

Recommended For You

To ensure this doesn’t happen in the future, please enable Javascript and cookies in your browser.
Is this happening to you frequently? Please report it on our feedback forum.
If you have an ad-blocker enabled you may be blocked from proceeding. Please disable your ad-blocker and refresh.