Elon Musk Taunts SEC on Twitter, Says Short Selling ‘Should Be Illegal’

Tesla CEO Elon Musk mocked the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Twitter Thursday after the regulatory body settled fraud charges against Musk on Saturday.

Musk, who had been in a legal battle with federal regulators, posted a tweet calling SEC the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission” and expressed his anger over the suspicions that his tweets had affected the company’s share price. Recent moves by the SEC against Musk have sent Tesla stock south, rewarding shortsellers, or traders who placed bets the stock would tumble.

Musk also slammed short selling as a concept, contrary to what he said in a tweet back in 2012, when he said that “even though they cause me grief,” he would defend the existence of shorts, as “they are often unreasonably maligned.” Six years later, he has changed his mind, tweeting that the years taught him “they are indeed reasonably maligned.” He also added that what short sellers are doing “should be illegal.”

Musk also engaged in a conversation with his Twitter followers, saying that if Tesla investors “are truly long-term, it will be fine” and giving financial advice on what to do with Tesla shares.

Musk has been involved in the confrontation with the SEC since August, 7, when he made a tweet that he had secured funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share, which, allegedly, caused company’s stock to soar. The SEC started an investigation, stating that Musk didn’t secure the funds and filed a lawsuit against the billionaire last week.,

The agency announced on Saturday that Musk agreed to a settlement deal to step down as Tesla’s chairman and pay a $20 million fine. Tesla also agreed to pay a separate $20 million fine to settle claims it failed to adequately police Musk’s tweets.

However, the settlement still needs to be accepted. Judge Alison Nathan, a US District Court judge in New York, requested a joint letter — due October 11 — explaining why she should approve the settlement, as the SEC originally demanded Musk be barred from serving as an officer or director with Tesla.

he proposed SEC settlement also requires Tesla to put additional controls in place “to oversee Musk’s communications.” Agency representatives declined to comment on Musk’s latest tweets, and Tesla didn’t respond to reporters’ requests.

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