Elon Musk’s tweet first, think later approach may suit his daring personality. But casually tweeting that he had "funding secured" to take a $50bn public company like Tesla private unleashed a storm of problems for regulators, investors — and his board. After the US Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating the legality of his announcement, Musk attempted some damage control in an interview with The New York Times. It essentially amounted to a plea for clemency and mercy from the SEC after an "excruciating" year of work. We can all applaud Musk’s incredible work ethic, innovative talent and perseverance. These qualities created a company that has revolutionised the electric car sector (and all while Musk works to create a private space industry). Yet it is important to appreciate the quandary these considerations put the SEC in as a regulator. The commission is in the position of potentially shutting down one of the US’s leading innovators over a blatant public disclosu...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now