Monday, January 24

Musk asks Twitter: should I sell 10% of my Tesla stock?

Elon Musk proposed to sell 10% of his Tesla stock on Twitter on Saturday and conducted a poll of people on the social network to see if they supported him.

Musk said he would “abide by the results of this poll, in whatever way.”

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The number of shares at stake is valued at about $ 21 billion, based on his holdings of 170.5 million Tesla shares. The stock, which rose 74% this year to a record Thursday, closed 0.6% lower at $ 1,222.09 on Friday.

The number of shares Musk could download according to the Twitter poll is equivalent to 80% of Tesla’s average daily trading volume in the last three months.

At 10:50 p.m. in New York, more than 55% of the 2 million users who had voted supported Musk in selling his shares. Voting will end around 3pm on Sunday.

Musk, the richest person in the world known for his tongue-in-cheek tweets, cited a recent discussion of the wealthy who accumulate unrealized earnings to avoid paying taxes.

The number of Tesla shares Musk could sell would be even higher if his options are included.

At the Code Conference in September, Musk said he pays a 53% effective tax rate on the stock options he exercises. He added that he expects the tax rate to increase next year, and that “a large amount will be paid in the next three months due to expiring options.”

“We are witnessing the masses of Twitter decide the outcome of flipping a $ 25 billion coin,” said venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya in response to Musk’s tweet.

We are witnessing the masses of Twitter decide the outcome of a $ 25 billion coin toss.

Sent via Twitter for iPhone.

Saturday’s tweet marks the second time in a week that Musk has discussed the sale of Tesla shares.

On Sunday, he challenged a United Nations official who said only a small percentage of the billionaire’s wealth could help solve world hunger. He wrote that he would sell Tesla stock if the World Food Program could describe the accounting in his Twitter thread.

“Looking forward to the day when the richest person in the world who pays a tax is not dependent on a Twitter poll,” Gabriel Zucman, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, said in a tweet.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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