Elon Musk confronts Bill Gates about shorting Tesla stock

Elon Musk Bill Gates Telsa

The Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to his Twitter page to personally confirm a rumor around that he had turned down to work with Bill Gates. It all started earlier that evening, when an account called Whole Mars Catalog posted several screenshots showing a text exchange between Musk and Gates.

In the conversation, Musk asks Gates if he has a $500 million short stock position against Tesla. In investor-speak, that means Gates would financially benefit if Tesla’s value falls, rather than the traditional investing method of putting money into a stock and hoping it succeeds. Gates confirms he does, brings up the possibility of the two doing philanthropic work together, and is shut down by Musk.

Elon Musk and Bill Gates conversation about Telsa

This was shown via screen grabs of apparent text messages between the two tech billionaires. Musk asked Gates: “Do you still have half a billion dollar short position against Tesla?”

“Sorry to say I haven’t closed it out,” Gates replied. “I would like to discuss philanthropy possibilities.”

“Sorry, I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change,” Musk said.

Musk said that he had heard from “multiple people” at a recent TED event that Gates had a “half billion short against Tesla,” noting that yes, he’d asked Gates about it.

Elon Musk compares Bill Gates with Pregnant man emoji

Elon Musk compared Bill Gates to the new “pregnant man” emoji, saying “in case you need to lose a boner fast.” This after Musk confronted Gates about short-selling Tesla stock. In essence, this is a bet by Gates against electric car-maker Tesla.

After he posted the comparison of Gates to the “pregnant man” emoji, Musk suggested that the “shadow ban council” was reviewing the tweet.

Gates had previously criticized Tesla, telling The New York Times that while he thinks Tesla “is one of the greatest contributions to climate change anyone’s ever made,” Tesla was doing “easy stuff, like passenger cars.”

“We’re basically not doing enough on the hard stuff: steel, cement, meat,” Gates told the Times, “And sadly, the things people think about — the electricity, passenger cars — are a third of the problem. So we have to work on the two-thirds.”

“If all you pay attention to is those short-term metrics, not the green premiums across the board, then you miss out on what is the longest lead time, which is the hard stuff,” Gates said.

It was likely Gates’ focus on health that made Musk make the comparison to the “pregnant man,” as Gates could be seen to be exhibiting hypocrisy both with his concerns over health versus his personal actions, just as with his concerns over climate change versus his actions against Tesla.

When Gates was asked by CNBC about his short on Tesla, he said: “I don’t talk about my investments, but I think [Musk] should be very proud of what he’s done.”

Musk and Gates, two of the world’s richest people, have openly feuded in the past, disagreeing over topics like electric vehicles, COVID-19, and colonizing Mars.

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