SpaceX founder Elon Musk reacts at a post-launch news conference following the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifted off on an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station in the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, March 2, 2019.
Mike Blake | Reuters
Tesla founder Elon Musk has fired back at one of his main hedge fund adversaries, ridiculing Greenlight Capital creator David Einhorn in a letter shared on Twitter because of his position against the electric automobile maker.
Musk addresses Einhorn as “Mr. Unicorn” and himself as “Treelon,” pointing out the losses which Greenlight has suffered because of the short position against Tesla.
While the organization’s stocks are barely positive for the year, they have been on a tear recently since crushing third-quarter earnings estimates over two weeks ago. The stock is up 7.1% this week and 39.8percent within the last month, causing Musk to take a victory lap. He accused Einhorn of earning “numerous false allegations against Tesla.”
“It is understandable that you wish to save face with your investors, given the losses you suffered from Tesla’s successful third quarter, especially since you’ve had several down years in performance and a sharp drop in assets under management from $15 billion to $5 billion,” Musk wrote. “You have our sympathies.”
CNBC has reached out to Greenlight for comment.
In his quarterly letter to customers, Einhorn acknowledged his Tesla position dented Greenlight’s returns for the quarter, which was positive for the company. Greenlight Capital funds returned 5.6% in Q3 and are up 24% year to date, according to the letter. But in 2018 the company had its worst season because Einhorn based Greenlight in 1996, losing 34%.
Einhorn charged that Tesla “continued to spin positive PR ahead of the safety and fair treatment of its customers.” He alleged that Musk “knowingly orchestrated a significant fraud by arranging the $2.6 billion acquisition at a time when SolarCity was insolvent. Musk and his family had a huge conflict of interest, but rather than properly recusing himself, Musk initiated the transaction and drove the process.”
For his part, Musk didn’t address some of the specific accusations, but encouraged Einhorn to go to the Tesla manufacturing facility to discover for himself how well the organization is operating.
Musk said he admits “your desire to feel somehow relevant” but included that “the world is increasingly recognizing Tesla’s contributions to science, safety and a sustainable environment.”
“To the extent that you have any desire to learn about the amazing progress the people of Tesla are making, I would like to extend an open invitation to meet with me to discuss Tesla and tour our facilities,” Musk said. “For their sake, I’m certain your investors would appreciate you getting smart on Tesla.”
He closes the letter by saying he’ll send a gift of “short shorts” into Einhorn, which he did in August 2018.