Did the world’s most expensive tweet cost Elon Musk and Tesla $40m, or was it $7bn? It depends how you look at it. Musk and Tesla were fined $20m each for his ill-considered tweet on August 7 that he planned to take the electric car company private and had "funding secured". But the cost to the company when the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it would charge him for securities fraud and pushed for an aggressive ban against him serving as a director was a $7bn drop in share value. By comparison the $40m is not only a bargain but a lesser penalty, requiring Musk to step down as chair but stay on as CEO. Musk’s choice of $420 as the share price in that fateful tweet seems to have been an elaborate joke about marijuana for his girlfriend, the musician known as Grimes. In the US, 4.20pm is thought of as a good time to smoke a joint, hence the 420 meme. He had calculated the day’s closing share price with a 20% premium, which came to $419. "Musk stated that he rounded ...

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