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The Big Short’s Michael Burry suggests Elon Musk ‘just wants to sell Tesla’

November 15, 2021, 5:00 PM UTC

While Elon Musk spent Sunday taking potshots at Sen. Bernie Sanders on Twitter, the Tesla founder became the target of a different kind of financial heavy hitter on social media.

Michael Burry, the celebrity investor who rose to fame by being one of the first to profit from the subprime mortgage crisis (and whose story was told in the film The Big Short), surfaced on Twitter over the weekend to accuse Musk of seeking attention solely to sell his company’s stock.

In a now-deleted Tweet (a frequent habit of Burry’s), the investor wrote, “Let’s face it. @elonmusk borrowed against 88.3 million shares, sold all his mansions, moved to Texas, and is asking @BernieSanders whether he should sell more stock. He doesn’t need cash. He just wants to sell $TSLA.”

Burry, in a separate (also deleted) Tweet on Monday, showed a chart of Tesla’s share price with an arrow pointing to the date when Musk said that the company’s stock was trading “too high.” (At the time, Twitter shares were trading at $55.22. In early trading Monday, they were at $53.46.)

The salvos against Musk come just a month after Burry deleted his Twitter account after denouncing what he called U.S. class warfare and disputing the argument that the wealthiest 1% don’t pay enough taxes. It was hardly the first time he has left Twitter and since rejoined. Burry’s social media presence is akin to a game of Whac-a-Mole.

Musk, on Sunday, dinged Sanders, replying to the Vermont senator’s tweet demanding that the extremely wealthy pay more in taxes. “I keep forgetting that you’re still alive,” Musk wrote, along with “Bernie is a taker, not a maker.”

Burry, however, has had Musk in his sights before this most recent war of words. On Friday, he scolded the billionaire for his comments about competitor Rivian, in which Musk said the company’s true test would be achieving high production and breaking even on cash flow.

“No, @elonmusk, the true test is achieving that without massive government and electricity subsidies on the backs of taxpayers who don’t own your cars,” Burry replied.

Burry, it’s worth noting, made a huge bet against Tesla earlier this year. Burry’s Scion Asset Management owned bearish puts against 800,100 shares of the electric-car maker as of March 31. The puts give Scion the right to sell Tesla shares on or before an unidentified date.

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