Elon Musk straight-up taunts the SEC on Twitter

Wil James Murdoch be the new Chairman of Tesla?

Elon Musk Twitter swipe at US markets regulator: 'Shortseller Enrichment Commission'

After initially refusing an offer to settle the case, Mr Musk backed down, agreeing that he and his company would each pay a $20m fine, he would step down as Tesla's chairman (but remain chief executive), and that he would allow oversight of his communications about company news.

The tweet came just hours after U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan ordered Musk and the SEC to submit a joint letter justifying the terms of the settlement by October 11.

Musk, 47, has rarely seemed hesitant to make provocative statements to his more than 22 million followers on Twitter. "And the name change has is so on point!" Investors will also be watching Tesla's Q3 earnings report closely after Musk repeatedly promised Tesla would be profitable and cash-flow positive for the first time in Q3.

The SEC declined to comment Thursday.

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The settlement between Tesla and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission stipulates that CEO Elon Musk will no longer have free reign to tweet. The SEC also alleged that Musk rounded up the buyout price for Tesla to US$420 a share to amuse his girlfriend at the time with a marijuana-culture reference. The terms of Musk's SEC settlement has not yet been finalized, but he's facing a $20 million Dollars fine and the possibility of losing Tesla's chairmanship for the next three years. "The vast majority of settlements like this are approved by courts". Within 45 days, an independent chairman will replace Musk, who will be ineligible for reelection for the next three years. The agreement also requires Tesla to hire or designate a securities law attorney to ensure that posts made by Musk and other executives to Twitter follow SEC disclosure rules.

The electric carmaker's shares plunged last week after the SEC accused Musk, 47, of fraud over "false and misleading" tweets on August 7 that promised to take Tesla private and said funding had been secured.

But Musk had not secured the funding, the SEC said.

Short sellers are traders who bet that a stock will go lower.

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Yet on Friday, Musk fired off another damn-the-consequences tweet, calling the SEC the "shortseller enrichment committee".

He compared several of CEO Elon Musk's recent actions to Lehman's threats toward short sellers and refusals to raise capital.

The SEC's deal with Musk is sensible and correct, said Matt Levine at Bloomberg. Shares have been holding in that range as investors are most likely waiting to see who will helm the board of directors in Musk's absence - a key part in his $20 million settlement with the SEC.

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