Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, in a tweet, acknowledged asking Bill Gates if he was shorting the electric carmaker’s stock.
Shorting a stock means betting that the price will drop.
Nevertheless, the world’s most valuable carmaker stock is still trading above $1000 with a market valuation of $1.039 trillion.
“The reason I asked him is that I heard Gates still owed Tesla half a billion dollars, so it’s not exactly top secret,” Musk tweeted.
The tweet was intended to answer a Twitter user’s question about whether a screenshot of what appears to be a text conversation between the two billionaires was real.
The Tesla CEO responded with: “Yeah, but I did not leak it to the NYT.” They must have gotten it from friends.
The unverifiable chat showed Musk asking Gates: “Are you still short Tesla by half a billion dollars?”
In reply, Gates said, “Sorry, I haven’t closed it out yet. I am interested in discussing philanthropic possibilities.”
Taking issue with Musk’s philanthropy on climate change, Musk replied: “I can’t take your philanthropy seriously when you are short Tesla, the company taking the most action on climate change.”
- In an interview with NYT opinion writer Kara Swisher last year, Gates said: “It’s important to remember what Elon did with Tesla contributed significantly to climate change. It’s not wise to underestimate Elon.”
- Nevertheless, Gates said what Tesla was doing was “easy stuff” like passenger cars. He emphasized the need to tackle other industries in order to make a greater impact on climate change.
- The hard stuff, such as steel, cement, and meat, is not handled well enough, he said then.
- A third of the problem is the things people think about like electricity and passenger vehicles. The remaining two-thirds must be addressed.
- “If you only consider those short-term metrics, rather than the long-term green premium, then you miss out on what is the hardest,” Bill Gates added.