Elon Musk has a gift for capturing people’s imaginations with grandiose futuristic promises. Unfortunately, he happens to be a total fraud.
Increasingly, more and more people are recognizing Musk as a scam artist and a guy who’s been sanctioned for securities fraud several times.
A low-follower Twitter account got the first tweet in a thread up to over 170,000 likes in a few days by calling out some of his fraud.
Just checking in on this https://t.co/OEvX0qQPEI
— grimm (@ExileGrimm) November 18, 2021
Tesla is just Enron 2.0, a massive investment scheme masquerading as a car company, which is why Musk CONSTANTLY talks about stock. The value is bunk and based on the dreams and wishes of a man who promises the world and is out of his depth compared to these institutions.
— grimm (@ExileGrimm) November 18, 2021
The hashtag $TSLAQ on Twitter is dedicated to Musk’s and Tesla’s fraud.
Some accounts dedicated to the subject have tens of thousands of followers (like @TeslaCharts).
Why do people trust Elon Musk?
It largely depends where people seek out their information and having a propensity to believe what he has to sell.
Enron Corp was voted “America’s Most Innovative Company” by Fortune six years in a row.
In reality, it was just a financial scheme passed off as innovation. In terms of the actual company itself, there just wasn’t legitimately a lot of meat on the bone.
There’s a reason why Tim Cook, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and others have nothing to do with Musk. Tim Cook won’t speak to him. Bill Gates thinks Musk is a total charlatan.
Musk does recycle a lot of his ill-gotten gains back into PR to paint him as something he’s not, so it’s easy to see how lots of people could be swept up into the emotion of everything.
With PR, of course, the material isn’t written by objective journalists. They write whatever the client tells them to write.
Lots of false claims and false promises
To name a few
- Founder of Tesla = lie
- Founder of PayPal = lie
- Has a physics degree = lie
- Is an engineer = lie, he does none of it
- Dropped out of Stanford = was never enrolled
- FSD = non-existent
- Hyperloop = non-existent
- Semi truck = non-existent
- Cybertruck = non-existent
- Robot = non-existent
- Roadster 2 = non-existent
Lots of promises and little output is the hallmark of a financial promotion scheme.
Musk epitomizes the term “rent-seeking” – behavior where someone manipulates markets and public policy to increase their financial wealth without creating new wealth.
Real wealth means product and service output in excess of the resources consumed making them.
On that scale, Musk is a capital destroyer, not a creator, due to massive cumulative net losses.
Musk is obsessed with the stock price because that’s what Tesla is actually all about.
Other self-gain promotions include opportunistically manipulating crypto markets. The (now late) John McAfee got criminally indicted for the same thing. Musk manipulates crypto with juvenile tweets where he’s doing something like setting the name of the coin to song lyrics.
Musk knows that if the federal government charges him with fraud again, he can just sic his lawyers after it and pretend like he was doing something else.
If any fraud charges transpire, he can settle them for a small fine relative to the ill-gotten gains like he’s done before.
In December 2021, Musk lied that he was finished selling stock, knowing the lie would boost the price of the stock. Of course, Musk sold more stock the next day and got off with an extra $50 million extra on that day alone based on where his lie put the stock.
When he was charged again for securities fraud for lying about production in 2019, he had to make a court appearance in Manhattan, but there was no fine associated with it.
The judge agreed that the two parties – Musk/Tesla and the SEC – should revise his securities fraud agreement and off he went again.
Tesla, the company
Tesla, in reality, is a small carmaker with 1%-2% auto market share.
Electric cars will become more mainstream when the economics improve (and they are).
But Tesla is not likely to be a big share of the market. VW outproduces Tesla significantly in Europe, where the latter’s share hasn’t grown in a year. Competitors are ramping production much more significantly.
And with the financials and liabilities of the company, it’s uncertain whether the company will continue in its current form indefinitely, though the brand can maybe survive.
Elon Musk’s fraud in the historical record
There are comparisons to Musk’s fraud historically.
Many have compared Musk as essentially the John Law of the 21st century.
Law also became “the world’s richest man” with lots of lies, hype, and deception, but little actual output.
Musk operates a lot by:
- manipulating the media
- taking credit for other people’s accomplishments
- repackaging old technology and passing it off as a new accomplishment (like reusable rockets, which came about in the late-1960s)
- promising new products that never come
- making things seem to be what they aren’t
Musk also loves to insert himself as the CEO of “emerging tech” projects.
He’s “good” for startups because he’s a carnival barker who can easily drum up interest in something.
And Musk can pretend like he’s doing all the work and feed his public image – the futurist / fake-genius angle.
He’s an “influencer,” a public face, and a salesman.
Turning public sentiment?
There are lots of YouTube channels, like thunderf00t, who expose Musk’s deception and fraud.
Many of these types of videos get millions of views.
Many YouTubers post how they came to their realization that Musk is a fraud and con artist.
Elon Musk is a Dangerous Fraud | I’m Embarrassed That I Ever Believed Him
Matt Farah explains why Elon Musk is a fraud
The Fake Futurism of Elon Musk
A really good two-part series: Debunking Elon Musk
A comment from the above video:
“Back when I was a Muskatear someone made a comment about Musk being akin to some early 20th century con-man who pretended to be an industrialist, and for the life of me I wish I could remember the person that they compared Musk to, but of course I was too hurt by someone speaking ill of my hero to take note or do any research. I think reading Ashley Vance’s book was when I started to open my eyes about what a terrible person Musk is on an interpersonal level and then Thunderf00t’s early videos about hyperloop made me realize that Musk wasn’t the engineering genius he purported to be.”
“I’ve never seen him build anything. I’ve never seen him around tools or explaining any particular difficult engineering problem. I am a physicist and have never (not once) heard him engage in discourse that lets me know he actually has any advanced mathematical/engineering/scientific knowledge. All I’ve seen is him engaging in bland, vague dialogue (the safe kind) with media people who wouldn’t tell a wrench from a hammer.”
“The amount of universal praise this con man gets despite all the evidence is really staggering and saddening. Thank you so much for being one of the few who dares to burst his cult and propaganda bubble.”
Another guy, who had his realization about Musk for the same reason many do – he comes into your sphere of expertise and has no idea what he’s talking about.
“Great stuff. I had no idea about Musk’s past. I’ve never been a “fan” of Musk, but I guess I had some kind of admiration towards his ideas, esp. Hyperloop. My awakening came several years ago when the poor baby was stuck in traffic and decided that the solution is a network of tunnels. Since public transportation is one of my areas of expertise I immediately thought “wait, WTF, that’s not how you solve traffic”. And then I went the typical “if he’s an idiot about this, perhaps he’s an idiot about everything else” and started reading about his other ideas, most of which were as grounded in reality as this “3D point-to-point tunnels”. Learning about his past (and what he did to Tesla founders, what a douchebag) is a true icing on the cake.”
On the tunneling front, this is the real reason:
1 Quick thread on why @elonmusk chose tunnel-boring as his latest vapourware product. Many have wondered why he'd pick something so old-fashioned and unexciting. But it was an astute choice on his part.
— Bachman (@ElonBachman) January 16, 2019
Musk peddled the narrative that he started it because he was stuck in traffic.
“The Boring Company” once posted on its website all the projects they promised to do.
They were all fake and designed to snatch taxpayer subsidies.
All those projects have since been removed from the site.
The final stages?
Of course, the longer this goes on, the more people come onto his act.
That’s why Musk gets so angry at negative press, whistleblowers, critics, and even random bloggers. Not just his boundless narcissism, but because they literally threaten the entire thing. It’s all a confidence game.
His companies burn billions of dollars per year, which requires continued confidence from private investors and sucking up to politicians to continue to fund them
Musk recently told his people to come out with a product called the Tesla whistle, as a play on Tesla’s whistleblower problems.
It’s designed to distract people from Tesla’s legal issues and to compete for search engine real estate.
It’s analogous when Musk went on Joe Rogan’s show late at night to smoke weed to bury the story of his chief accounting officer resigning after a few weeks on the job.
When the accounting chief spends the first 23 years of his career with one company, moves to another and quits after a few weeks, that’s a pretty good indication he was asked to do things he wasn’t comfortable with.
One of the last things Musk wants is attention on Tesla’s financial statements.
So he smoked weed and manipulated the media into writing about that instead of the accounting chief’s bizarre departure.
Musk is the master of deception…
And it’s easy to deceive people via faux-innovation schemes as most people don’t have the means to separate fact from fiction.
As one of the Tesla sceptics so accurately observes, there are two stages in recognising that Musk is a technical fraud.
First you realise that he has no competence in your area of speciality, then you realise he has no competence in his.
— Mark H (@DrMarkHancock) January 18, 2022