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Elon Musk. Photo by Bloomberg
The Briefing

What is Elon Musk Hiding?

By  |  April 4, 2022 5:00 PM PDT
Photo: Elon Musk. Photo by Bloomberg

You could call it Elon Musk’s Twitter Mystery. The world’s most talkative CEO has suddenly turned coy. Yes, he revealed today that he had bought a 9.2% stake in Twitter. But he said not a word on Twitter about it. And he made the disclosure in a way that allowed him to hide how he paid for the stake. As it likely cost him at least $2.4 billion, that information is kind of important. Did he borrow against his Tesla stake to fund the purchase—a money-raising move he has used in the past? Or did he use some of the money raised from his recent sale of Tesla shares to buy Twitter stock? 

Either way, the answer matters, including to Tesla shareholders. What adds to the mystery is that to keep that information secret, Musk had to pledge that he was a passive investor only, with no plans to try and take control or influence the management of the company. For Musk, that would seem to defeat the entire point of the purchase! He can’t call up Twitter’s new CEO, Parag Agrawal, and tell him to make Twitter more of a free-speech paradise. Nor can he tweet such a proposal, which is something he has done recently. It’s no wonder Musk’s Twitter feed was silent on the purchase today. 

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