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Elon Musk taunts the SEC again amid surge in Tesla stock price

Dana Hull
Bloomberg

Elon Musk provoked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the course of taking a victory lap on Twitter over Tesla Inc.’s surging share price.

The chief executive officer first taunted short sellers in a string of tweets, joking that the electric-car maker would “make fabulous short shorts in radiant red satin with gold trim.” That’s an apparent reference to a post two years ago that he would send “a box of short shorts” to hedge fund manager David Einhorn, one of Tesla’s most prominent critics.

Then Musk, 49, wrote Thursday that he would send shorts to the SEC, referring to the agency again as the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission.” He first used the phrase in October 2018 after the regulator accused him of securities fraud.

The SEC sued Musk in September 2018 over his tweets a month earlier claiming that he had funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share. The carmaker’s stock climbed to a record intraday high of $1,228 earlier Thursday.

In December 2018, Musk told “60 Minutes” that he did not respect the SEC. As part of his settlement agreement, he was required to pay a $20 million fine and step down as Tesla’s chairman for three years.

A spokesperson for the SEC declined to comment.