What does Elon Musk think of the SEC (the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)? We compiled a list of tweets and quotes of Elon on the SEC to find out what he thinks and concluded the following:
In short, Elon Musk does not respect the SEC. During the CBS 60 Minutes interview in 2018 he said “I want to be clear: I do not respect the SEC. I do not respect them”. This view seems to have primarily developed based on the personal bad experience that he had with the SEC in his role as Tesla Chairman and CEO when the SEC sued Musk in September 2018 over his infamous “funding secured” tweet. Musk is convinced of not having done anything wrong and considered the SEC’s actions “unjustified” and “disappointing”. His negative view on the SEC seems to have further strengthened when in February 2019, the SEC wrongly accused Musk of having violated the earlier settlement by tweeting Tesla’s 2019 production targets, even though these targets were already previously disclosed during an earnings call. Musk considers this mistake “embarrassing” for the SEC and concludes that “something is broken with SEC oversight”. Musk has also jokingly referred to the SEC as the “Shortsellers Enrichment Commission”. Based on his numerous conflicts with the SEC it seems that he thinks the SEC is failing in their mission to protect investors and that their actions are in fact hurting investors and benefiting shortsellers. Musk seems to feel that the SEC is violating his freedom of speech and he has not shied away from defending himself from wrong SEC accusations.
Below is a compilation of Elon Musk quotes on the topic of the SEC sorted by date:
September 27, 2018 – Musk statement responding to the decision by the SEC to sue him
This unjustified action by the SEC leaves me deeply saddened and disappointed. I have always taken action in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors. Integrity is the most important value in my life and the facts will show I never compromised this in any way.
October 4, 2018 – Twitter
October 26, 2018 – Twitter
October 27, 2018 – Twitter
December 9, 2018 – Tesla CEO Elon Musk: The 60 Minutes Interview on CBS
Interviewer: Have you had any of your tweets censored, since the [SEC] settlement?
Interviewer: None? Does someone have to read them before they go out?
Interviewer: So your tweets are not supervised?
Musk: The only tweets that would have to be say “reviewed” if a tweet had a probability to cause a movement in the stock.
Interviewer: And that’s it?
Musk: Yeah, I mean otherwise it’s “Hello? First Amendment?” Freedom of speech is fundamental.
Interviewer: But how do they know if its going to move the market if they are not reading all of them before you send them
Musk: I guess so we might make some mistakes. Who knows?
Interviewer: Are you serious? (laughing)
Musk: Nobody is perfect (laughing)
Interviewer: Look at you.
Musk: I want to be clear: I do not respect the SEC. I do not respect them.
Interviewer: But you are abiding by the settlement, aren’t you?
Musk: Because I respect the justice system.
February 26, 2019 – Twitter
Other good articles on the subject of Elon Musk’s feud with the SEC: