Yesterday was the long awaited deadline for Elon Musk to explain to the SEC why his recent (grossly erroneous) Tweet regarding annual production - a Tweet that had to be amended by his lawyers 4 hours after it went out - didn't violate Musk's already existing settlement with the SEC over another far more grossly fraudulent Tweet, when he lied that he had a buyout offer lined up for his $60 billion company.
The SEC had sought to hold Musk in contempt of court as a result of his recent Tweet and after figuring out that Musk had not had his Tweet pre-approved by company lawyers, as is required by his "funding secured" settlement with the SEC. Recall, on February 19, Musk Tweeted that Tesla would make "around 500K cars" in 2019.
Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 20, 2019
This production target immediately caused a stir on Twitter, with many of the company's critics pointing out that Tesla's run rate for the rest of the year would have to be breakneck and record-setting in order to substantiate such production. Some chose to forego pleasantries and simply call Musk out immediately after the Tweet. Short seller Mark Spiegel, for instance, called the guidance "100% fraudulent" minutes after Musk Tweeted it out.
Musk's response as to why he should not be held in contempt for this Tweet was laughable, if not sad at this point.
For example, it opens with a little light comedy, stating that production numbers - the lifeblood of the company's relationship to Wall Street - were immaterial, also claiming that the Tweet "dutifully complied with the [settlement] Order".
He then went on to argue semantics with the SEC settlement, claiming that he could act as his own "Authorized Executive" to pre-approve his own Tweets. The response astonishingly claims that Musk, not the company's lawyers, are permitted by the settlement to determine whether or not his Tweets are of a material nature first.