By Alan Murray and David Meyer
August 9, 2018

Good morning.

The SEC is looking into Elon Musk’s tweet about taking Tesla private. The most problematic part is the two words: “Funding secured.” The tweet caused a big move in Tesla’s stock price; if funding isn’t actually secured, he may have a problem on his hands.

A group of Tesla board members released a statement yesterday saying Musk last week “opened a discussion with the board about taking the company private.” But it’s still not clear who is putting up the money.

Separately, two other tech leaders—Palmer Luckey and Trae Stephens, founder and chairman of Anduril Industries—have published a piece in the Washington Post saying their fellow techies should stop trying to block work with the U.S. military. An excerpt:

“(Vladimir) Putin in September 2017 said that AI leadership was a means to become ‘the ruler of the world.’ China has vowed to achieve AI dominance by 2030. Moscow and Beijing are aggressively pursuing full-scale tech collaborations between the public and private sectors. Meanwhile, much of the top AI talent in the United States is working on things such as ad optimization. That might contribute to the U.S. economy, but it does nothing to protect against competitors who are using their best and brightest to bolster their militaries.”

Well put. More news below.

Alan Murray


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