Tesla is outgrowing Elon Musk

Tesla is outgrowing Elon Musk
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Enlarge / Elon Musk in 2004, the year he became chairman of the board at a tiny electric car startup called Tesla. (credit: Paul Harris / Getty)

Tesla’s battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission could be the company’s biggest crisis in almost a decade. And it all started with a tweet.

“Am considering taking Tesla private at $420,” Musk wrote on August 7. “Funding secured.”

Tesla shares soared. But it quickly became apparent that Musk didn’t actually have a commitment from anyone to fund a buyout—at least not in writing. That caught the SEC’s attention. The SEC quickly began investigating Musk’s tweets for possible violation of securities laws, which prohibit manipulating markets by publishing inaccurate information.

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