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Elon Musk Takes Another Shot At Tesla Short Sellers, Calls Them 'Jerks Who Want Us To Die'

Elon Musk Takes Another Shot At Tesla Short Sellers, Calls Them 'Jerks Who Want Us To Die'

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk once again took shots at Tesla short sellers for what he says is “hurtful” behavior. It’s not the first time Musk has lashed out at short sellers, a topic most CEOs rarely acknowledge.

The Blame Game

“They’re jerks who want us to die,” Musk said in the Rolling Stone interview. “They’re constantly trying to make up false rumors and amplify any negative rumors. It's a really big incentive to lie and attack my integrity. It's really awful.”

Musk has a long history of speaking up about Tesla’s short sellers and teasing them when Tesla stock rises. After Tesla’s first quarter earnings beat back in April, Musk took to Twitter to taunt short sellers.

Musk tweeted a nearly identical message taunting short sellers back in 2013.

Tesla’s Unique Position

While short selling is part of the equation for every single public company, Tesla is in a unique situation due to the overwhelming size of the bearish bets against the company. According to financial analytics firm S3 Partners, Tesla’s total global short interest currently stands at $8.6 billion, making it the most heavily shorted stock in the entire U.S. market.

So far in 2017, Musk has gotten the best of his “hurtful” short selling counterparts. “Tesla shorts have been the ones who have been hurting for almost two years, maybe now the shoe is on the other foot,” S3 analyst Ihor Dusaniwsky said.

The End Of An Era?

Earlier this week, hedge fund manager Jim Chanos said he expects Musk to resign from his position as Telsa CEO by 2020 to focus on his efforts on SpaceX. Chanos said Tesla’s inflated share price is mostly due to investor enthusiasm for Musk rather than the company itself.

“Obviously this is not being valued as a car company, it's being valued on Musk ... he's the reason people own the stock,” Chanos said. Chanos has reportedly been adding to his fund’s short position in Tesla throughout 2017.

According to S3 Partners, Tesla short sellers logged a net loss of roughly $4.1 billion through the first three quarters of 2017. Tesla stock is up 47 percent year-to-date but is down 13.2 percent in the past three months following the launch of the Model 3.

Related Links:

Elon Musk Loves To Call Out Short Sellers

Short Sellers Pour Into FAANG Stocks

Image: Heisenberg Media, Flickr


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