TL;DR: In a series of leaked texts, Elon Musk apparently rejected philanthropic talks with fellow billionaire Bill Gates over his short position of half a billion dollars in Tesla. Musk confirmed the authenticity of these texts, but claimed he had not leaked them himself.
On Friday, Elon Musk confirmed that he confronted Bill Gates about shorting Tesla stock. The leaked screenshots of texts between the two billionaires were shared on Twitter, asking if they were real.
In these screenshots, the Tesla CEO openly asked Gates if he still had a $500 million short position against Tesla. Gates admitted he hadn’t closed it, adding that he would like to discuss philanthropic opportunities.
Bill said he didn’t close it, so Elon told him to get lost. No idea if this is true lol pic.twitter.com/iuHkDG3bAd
— Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) Apr 22, 2022
Musk was quick to decline this request, claiming he cannot take Gates’ view of climate change seriously while taking a short position against Tesla. According to him, the company did the most to solve climate change.
Going short usually means that an investor or trader sells shares they have borrowed, with the intention of buying them back at a lower price later. By doing this, they are essentially betting that the asset’s value will fall.
Musk claimed the screenshots were real, though he denied leaking them himself. It is unknown when this exchange took place, although it is worth noting that Musk first spoke about Bill Gates shorting Tesla stock on the Joe Rogan podcast more than a year ago.
Yes, but I didn’t leak it to NYT. They must have gotten it through friends of friends.
I heard from several people at TED that Gates was still half a billion short against Tesla, so I asked him, so it’s not exactly top secret.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) Apr 23, 2022
Elon Musk later tweeted a meme meant to mock Gates.
The two billionaires have openly argued in the past and disagreed on topics such as Covid-19, colonizing Mars and cryptocurrencies. Musk too tweeted in 2020 that his talks with Gates have been disappointing, so it’s clear the two aren’t on the best footing.
This post Elon Musk confirms he has addressed Bill Gates about shorting Tesla shares
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