Tesla (TSLA) short-sellers' media publicity called out by high-profile finance veteran

Discussion in 'In the News' started by simonalvarez0987, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. simonalvarez0987

    simonalvarez0987 Active Member

    Dec 21, 2017
    #1 simonalvarez0987, Sep 14, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2018


    The past few months have been challenging for Tesla and Elon Musk. As the company attempted to make progress in its efforts to ramp the production of the Model 3, a consistent stream of attacks from short-sellers and critics, as well as aftereffects of Musk’s own behavior on Twitter, have weighed heavily on Tesla stock.

    Amidst the constant stream of negative reports against the company coming from mainstream media, James Anderson, co-manager of Scottish Mortgage and a senior partner at Baillie Gifford in Edinburgh, noted that while some of Elon Musk’s actions, particularly against British diver Vernon Unsworth, were “ethically unacceptable,” the CEO is not really one of the biggest problems of the company. Rather, it is the prevalent - and at times aggressive - attacks it consistently receives from critics and short-sellers.

    Anderson was recently featured in a segment of Citywire Money, where he discussed Tesla’s expenses as it ramped the Model 3, the peculiar amount of publicity given to TSLA short-sellers, and Elon Musk’s actions online. The Baillie Gifford senior partner noted that it wasn’t particularly surprising to his firm that Telsa is spending a lot as it grows, considering that the electric car maker is “building a car company in a completely different way with a completely new technology.”

    That being said, the financial industry veteran opted to call out the media coverage of Tesla’s short-sellers and critics, who have been given a surprisingly generous amount of publicity. Anderson noted that the media needs to ask itself a lot of questions, particularly regarding the rhetoric of TSLA short-sellers, as well as their “vicious” hypothesis against the electric car maker.

    “I feel the media in general needs to ask itself a lot of questions – which is the extraordinary level of publicity given to the claims and rhetoric of the absolutely vicious short investment hypothesis and individuals behind them. I think that they are not to be viewed as a beneficial force for allowing a convenient avenue to attack over enthusiasm,” Anderson said.

    The Scottish Mortgage co-manager further noted that while some of Elon Musk’s actions on Twitter were ethically unacceptable, it should be noted that the actions of some of the company’s short-sellers and critics against Tesla and Elon Musk are just as unethical.

    “I think these people try and make their claims come true in ways that to me seem. I said Mr. Musk behaved unethically - I believe many of these people do as well, and I do wish that many of our most prominent media personalities and institutions would examine the claims and records of many of these people. And in some cases there is a lot of evidence through court cases of just how malignant they can be,” he said.

    Anderson’s observations about the behavior and prevalence of Tesla’s critics in the media are quite accurate. Rarely does a day go by, after all, when Tesla sees few negative stories about its business, or about Elon Musk himself. Last week, for example, the departure of Tesla’s CAO ended up being augmented by Elon Musk’s single whiff of cannabis during a podcast, causing the company’s stock to drop.

    Even small-time Tesla short-sellers are beginning to gain support from mainstream media. Late last month, Reuters published a report celebrating the sleuthing work being conducted by several TSLA shorts, including an anonymous Twitter user known for posting misogynistic, aggressive, and racist comments against Tesla supporters. Michelle Price, one of the writers of the piece, later clarified in a follow-up Twitter post that they did multiple and varied checks on the anonymous TSLA short that they featured before considering the person as a valid source.

    As of writing, Tesla shares (NASDAQ:TSLA), in which Baillie Gifford holds a 7.8% stake and which accounts for 5% of Scottish Mortgage assets, is trading up 1.67% at $294.27 per share.

    Disclosure: I have no ownership in shares of TSLA and have no plans to initiate any positions within 72 hours.

    Article: Tesla (TSLA) short-sellers' media publicity called out by high-profile finance veteran
  2. J.Taylor

    J.Taylor Active Member

    Feb 13, 2017
    Short-selling by people who do not want Tesla to succeed will continue to be a problem. They will not stop the company from reaching it's goals but will keep the stock volatile.
  3. Spudley

    Spudley Member

    Aug 13, 2018
    Question: If the short sellers are trying to influence the stock price by pushing negative stories about the company, at what point does that kind of behaviour change from manipulating the media (which is shady buy legal) to active manipulation of the stock market (which is illegal)?

    Is anyone actually doing anything illegal here?
  4. Bngt

    Bngt New Member

    Mar 17, 2018
    As the fundamentals become a larger part of the valuation, the volatility will go down. At the moment Tesla is a company which doesn't make any profit and the whole valuation is based on beliefs about the future.
    When there is a solid cash flow there will be a base valuation that the price can rest on.
    The biggest risk to Tesla was denial of funding based on false accusations. As Tesla becomes self sufficient that risk will disappear. Actually lenders will come to Tesla with their offers, as the Chinese government is currently doing. Another risk was false claims about their products, you know quality problems etc. Fortunately enough people have now personal experience from Tesla products and they give praise in all available channels.
  5. wilmeek

    wilmeek New Member

    Sep 3, 2018
    The short (no pun intended) answer is yes, they are engaging in illegal stock manipulation. But it is next to impossible to prove.

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