Money & The Economy

Elon Musk Dumps $5 Billion In Tesla Stock

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk sold about $5 billion worth of shares in the electric car company this week, days after polling Twitter users on whether he should liquidate some of his assets.

Musk sold roughly 4.5 million shares from Monday to Wednesday and exercised around 2.5 million stock options, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The shares sold constitute roughly three percent of the billionaire’s holdings, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The move follows a viral Twitter poll Musk posted to his account asking his audience whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla shares. The poll received over 3 million responses, with about 58% of respondents telling Musk, who promised to abide by the results of the poll, to sell his stock.

Musk posted the poll in response to a proposed tax on unrealized gains by Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, later replying to the senator with a crude sex joke to dismiss the tax idea.

Roughly $1.1 billion of the profits from selling his shares will go towards Musk’s tax obligations for exercising his stock options, according to the Associated Press. According to the billionaire’s SEC filings, Musk established a trading plan in September, two months before he posted his Twitter poll, through which he would sell shares to offset the cost of his stock options.

Musk’s Twitter activity has gotten the billionaire in trouble with the SEC before; the agency fined him in 2018 over a tweet allegedly intended to manipulate the price of Tesla’s stock.

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