Less than a week after settling a lawsuit with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla’s fast-fingered CEO, Elon Musk, is taking digs at the government agency. Shortly after releasing Tesla’s quarterly safety report, Musk called out the agency, renaming it the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission.”
So in case you were worried that Musk had changed in any substantial way, don’t worry–he’s still petty.
Just want to say that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work. And the name change is so on point!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 4, 2018
The tweet follows a settlement with the SEC over an August tweet. Musk tweeted about taking Tesla private, naming a share price, and indicating the funding for such a transaction was already in hand. The company’s stock immediately shot skyward, inciting an SEC investigation into potential fraud. On Saturday, Tesla and the SEC agreed that Tesla would pay a $20 million fine and Musk would give up his post as chairman of the board for the next three years. A U.S. federal judge is now in the process of reviewing the settlement.
Musk is known for his irreverent tweets, which are Trump-like in tone. He noticeably does not like criticism. But Musk’s antics have been especially brazen this year. In May, during the second-quarter earnings call, he interrupted analysts, calling their questions boneheaded and dry, and instead took questions from a YouTube blogger. In July, after Musk’s attempts to lend a hand to a team of divers rescuing a boys’ soccer team from a cave in Thailand were rebuffed, he called the leader of the expedition “a pedo.”
And on the Monday, following the settlement, Musk tweeted a link to the track “O.P.P.” with the caption “Naughty by Nature,” which is the name of the song’s artist, and a winky-face emoji. Twitter users speculated over the meaning of the tweet, which references a song about cheating, though some saw it as a shot at the SEC.
During the third-quarter earnings, Musk apologized several times to investors for his behavior on the previous call and it looked like his behavior might take on the cadence of a more traditional CEO. That no longer appears to be the case.
In the wake of this latest tweet, Tesla’s stock is down 4.4% in after-hours trading.