Elon Musk Might Call Your Boss If You Write About Shorting Tesla Stock

July 26, 2018, 12:37 AM UTC

Some Tesla critics believe the automaker could be on a path to failure, but its CEO and founder, Elon Musk, still finds time for the personal touch. In recent months the executive—who is also CEO of SpaceX and heavily involved in the Boring Co.—accused an American in Thailand who assisted in the rescue of a lost soccer team of being a “pedo.” (Musk apologized.) He led followers, inadvertently or otherwise, to harass a female journalist who commented on his tweets. Most recently, Musk reportedly called the employer of a writer who had penned negative pieces about Tesla to threaten suit if the employee continued to write them.

The individual who wrote and tweeted under the name “Montana Skeptic” revealed Wednesday that he had deleted his Twitter account and ceased writing about Tesla for the financial website Seeking Alpha after Musk called the principal at the small private investment firm at which he works and threatened legal action. Montana Skeptic wrote regularly for Seeking Alpha while disclosing short selling and options positions against Tesla. (Both methods allow capturing value if a stock drops, particularly by a large margin.)

“If I continued to write,” Montana Skeptic wrote in his final column, “[Musk] would engage counsel and sue me.” In the interest of avoiding that, the writer said he decided to throw in the towel, adding: “I do not believe he has any valid legal claim.”

A Tesla spokesperson said that the writer’s employer “is a longtime Tesla supporter and was one of the first to purchase a Model S.”

Musk has long maintained that oil companies and those with vested interests in the success of conventional fossil fuels have conspired to drive down Tesla’s stock and spread rumors about production and other problems. If the identification of the writer is accurate, his portfolio is heavily invested in the oil industry, according to Marketwatch.