Elon Musk: 'I do not respect the SEC'

Elon Musk ...

Posted: Dec 10, 2018 3:13 PM
Updated: Dec 10, 2018 3:13 PM

Elon Musk settled securities fraud charges brought against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year, but he is not done deriding the agency.

"I want to be clear: I do not respect the SEC," he told Lesley Stahl during an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes," which aired Sunday.

Business figures

Companies

Elon Musk

Government organizations - US

Tesla Inc

Twitter

US federal departments and agencies

US government independent agencies

US Securities and Exchange Commission

Internet and WWW

Social media

Technology

Censorship

Society

Musk said he is abiding by the terms of his settlement deal "because I respect the justice system." But he reiterated that there is no love lost between him and the SEC.

Musk and Tesla, the electric car company he runs, reached separate $20 million deals with the agency in September to settle securities fraud charges lodged against Musk that stemmed from statements he made on Twitter. As part of the agreement, Tesla said it would firm up its oversight of Musk's social media use by pre-approving posts that may contain information that is "material" to Tesla's shareholders.

But Musk, who has long been known for his liberal and informal use of Twitter, told Stahl that no one is proofreading all his posts.

"The only tweets that would have to be ... reviewed would be if a tweet had a probability of causing a movement in the stock," he said. "Otherwise, it's — hello, First Amendment."

Stahl then asked: "But how do they know if it's going to move the market if they're not reading all of them before you send them?"

"Well, I guess we might make some mistakes," Musk replied. "Who knows?"

A Tesla spokesperson said in a statement that it "can confirm the settlement is being complied with."

"This includes having a policy (which technically needs to be in place by December 28) that requires pre-approval of any communications that reasonably could contain material information," the spokesperson said.

The SEC declined to comment.

In September, regulators filed a lawsuit against Musk. The agency alleged he misled investors when he tweeted that he had "secured" funding to take Tesla private at $420 per share, a significant markup over the company's trading price. But Musk had not, in fact, locked down financing for such a deal.

Musk initially signaled he would fight the agency, though he reversed course a few days later. In addition to a fine, Musk agreed to resign from his role as Tesla's chairman.

The company said last month that Robyn Denholm, a Tesla board member and veteran of several tech firms, would take over the role.

Musk, who remains CEO, said in his "60 Minutes" interview that he handpicked her. But he brushed off a suggestion that Denholm would serve as his "babysitter."

"It's not realistic in the sense that I am the largest shareholder in the company," he said. "I can just call for a shareholder vote and get anything done that I want."

He added that he has no interest in one day reclaiming the chairman title.

"I actually just prefer to have no titles at all," he said.

Musk's squabble with the SEC is just one in a string of controversies brought on this year by his erratic behavior that has included disparaging a Thai cave rescue workers, and brushing off analysts' questions during an earnings call as "boring."

Musk said he was "under insane stress and crazy, crazy hours" earlier this year as Tesla struggled with production delays.

"But the system would have failed if I was truly erratic," Musk said. "There's been relentless criticism, relentless and outrageous and unfair ... What actually happened here was an incredible American success story."

Tesla corrected its manufacturing woes and posted a net profit of $312 million in October, by far its largest ever and its first quarterly profit since 2016.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 32437

Reported Deaths: 2030
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9371546
Lake3347170
Cass15867
Allen135366
St. Joseph121834
Hendricks113567
Hamilton112391
Johnson1092104
Elkhart107028
Madison58259
Porter49521
Bartholomew48634
Clark47141
LaPorte41523
Tippecanoe3803
Howard37620
Jackson3681
Delaware35936
Hancock32327
Shelby32121
Floyd31539
Boone29335
Morgan27024
Vanderburgh2532
Montgomery23317
White2288
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Grant19521
Noble19221
Harrison18821
Dubois1852
Henry1709
Greene16824
Warrick16528
Dearborn16421
Monroe16211
Vigo1507
Lawrence14623
Miami1391
Putnam1347
Jennings1284
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1136
Franklin1068
Kosciusko971
Carroll932
Daviess8416
Marshall801
Steuben802
Wayne755
Newton7410
Wabash732
Fayette714
Jasper621
LaGrange622
Washington521
Fulton471
Jay460
Randolph453
Rush452
Jefferson421
Whitley412
Clay411
Pulaski400
Owen341
Sullivan331
DeKalb331
Brown331
Starke313
Perry260
Wells260
Huntington262
Knox250
Benton250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford202
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Parke180
Spencer171
Posey160
Gibson142
Ohio130
Warren121
Adams121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0159

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 114306

Reported Deaths: 5083
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook745213455
Lake7845270
DuPage7350347
Kane5947162
Will5279264
Winnebago200152
McHenry147569
St. Clair103573
Kankakee80843
Kendall73619
Rock Island63823
Champaign5807
Madison54457
Boone41016
Sangamon33727
DeKalb3343
Randolph2644
Jackson24210
McLean21513
Out of IL2051
Stephenson1942
Ogle1932
Macon18919
Peoria1888
Clinton17817
Union1437
LaSalle14013
Whiteside13410
Iroquois1314
Coles11912
Warren1130
Unassigned1100
Jefferson10116
Knox940
Monroe9311
Grundy882
McDonough837
Lee761
Tazewell693
Cass680
Henry670
Williamson572
Marion500
Jasper457
Adams441
Macoupin431
Perry410
Pulaski410
Montgomery391
Vermilion371
Morgan341
Christian334
Jo Daviess310
Livingston312
Douglas260
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Washington180
Woodford182
Mason170
Menard170
Mercer160
Shelby161
Bureau151
Hancock150
Carroll142
Franklin120
Piatt120
Schuyler120
Crawford110
Fulton110
Bond101
Brown100
Clark100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Moultrie100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Effingham61
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Edgar00
Terre Haute
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 69°
Robinson
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 67°
Indianapolis
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
Rockville
Overcast
65° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 65°
Casey
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 68°
Brazil
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 69°
Marshall
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 69°
More Rain Thursday
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events