Elon Musk and Tesla Create Such Enormous Cognitive Dissonance

Whitney Tilson’s email to investors discussing Elon Musk and Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) create such enormous cognitive dissonance; VW Bets Future on Electric People’s Car; Model S&X weakness; Walmart; more on Solar City.

Enormous Cognitive Dissonance Elon Musk and tesla

Catching up on a lot of Tesla stuff…

Get Our Activist Investing Case Study!

Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below!

Q2 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc

1) Elon Musk and Tesla create such enormous cognitive dissonance. Below is a WSJ article about how heavily VW is investing in electric cars:

Volkswagen lifted the curtain on the first of a new generation of vehicles it is betting will take the electric car out of its tiny market niche and make it the new car for the masses.

I seriously doubt that VW and the other large automakers would be making such investments had Tesla not come along, which is why I say humanity owes Elon Musk a debt of gratitude.

He’s an incredible visionary, entrepreneur, and engineer, as he’s proven with the products his companies have created, not just at Tesla but perhaps even more impressively, SpaceX.

That said, he’s also a pathological liar, extreme narcissist, spoiled brat, and vengeful bully. And, after reading Bethany McLean’s article, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s committed massive go-to-jail type fraud related to Solar City – and, I suspect, in other areas as well.

To truly understand Elon Musk and Tesla, you need to be able to hold these polar opposite views in your mind simultaneously. Few people seem to be able to…

2) Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi explores “What it behind Model S and X’s weakness?” I can’t share the entire report, but raises questions about Tesla.

3) A friend’s comments:

I may be missing something here, but it seem like Walmart has done the equivalent of "freezing" this litigation, at least in principle if not formally (yet), presumably in exchange for Tesla offering to "do whatever it takes to make Walmart whole (and more)", per the last two paragraphs of the article?

If so, isn't that somewhat of a win -- even if it needs to be followed by substance and execution -- for Tesla?

On Thursday night, Walmart and Tesla released a joint statement regarding the lawsuit: "Walmart and Tesla look forward to addressing all issues and re-energizing Tesla solar installations at Walmart stores, once all parties are certain that all concerns have been addressed."

"Together, we look forward to perusing our mutual goal of a sustainable energy future," the statement continues. "Above all else, both companies want each and every system to operate reliably, efficiently, and safely."

Walmart not only one having trouble with Elon Musk and TResla

4) It isn’t just Walmart that’s had fires from Tesla’s solar roof panels. A friend send me this:

I thought you might find this article about a Tesla solar panel fire interesting.  It was published back in May of 2019.  It is written by the Editor of JLC (the Journal of Light Construction)  I have always found this to be a professional and well respected publication in the building trades: https://www.jlconline.com/how-to/electrical/solar-panel-fire-update_o

5) A friend emailed me this follow-up to McLean’s article:

By far the most important part of this outstanding and important article is the attention it finally brings to an article series published by the pseudonym “Montana Skeptic” in the Summer of 2017:

June 12, 2017:

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4080844-tesla-solarcitys-buffalo-deal-lots-crooked-bends-river

June 19, 2017:

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4082339-dark-corners-solarcitys-buffalo-deal-tesla-topics

June 26, 2017:

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4083957-tesla-stiffed-new-york-state-riverbend-factory

It’s about how Elon Musk and Tesla, and its predecessor companies, entered into mysteriously favorable agreements with the State of New York, in which Tesla among other things stiffed NY State to the tune of $750 million.  Furthermore, Tesla subsequently had its agreements with the State of New York amended so as to significantly reduce or even eliminate what Tesla had to do in order to pay NY State back.

Who negotiated this one-sided agreement -- and more importantly, its amendments -- on behalf of NY State?  Who signed off on it? Why?

Let’s say NY State was a bank, and Tesla was a company seeking to take out a loan.  The bank gives $750 million on the most favorable terms imaginable. Payback is vague and won’t happen until some time far down the road.

Then, someone on the bank’s inside amends the loan agreement to excuse the borrower from ever having to pay back the money.  What did the bank get in exchange? No answers provided. Who inside the bank did this? No answers provided. Anyone investigating it?  No answers provided.

In this case, the shareholders of the bank are the taxpayers.  They know nothing, and have no say. Faceless bureaucrats and stonewalling politicians simply say nothing.  Why?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that something stinks to high heaven here.  Did someone get paid off? Bribed? Threatened? All of the above?

If there ever were a time to call Inspector Mueller back from retirement, hard-core prosecutorial powers should be used to get to the bottom of this: No-knock, pre-dawn raids, Grand Juries, the whole nine yards.

New York taxpayers deserve the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about Elon Musk and Tesla.

No stone must be left unturned to find out who and why some(one) at the State of New York dribbled away $750 million into the hands of Elon Musk’s multiple Bel Air mansions and record-large private jet.

Someone is on the take here, or has an agenda.  Not sure which is worse.




About the Author

Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Prior to ValueWalk, Jacob was VP of Business Development at SumZero. Prior to SumZero, Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and three kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own 2.5 grams of Gold