Bad Boy

I get it. Elon Musk wants to talk Tesla investors into letting him buy SolarCity, and Wall Street goes crazy. The same Wall Street that packaged up toxic financial assets and sold them around the world without batting an eye. Buying SolarCity seems risky given Tesla’s cash burn. Anyone who knows anything knows that.1

Bad, bad Elon Musk.

Since I’m just a guy who likes electric cars and alternative energy (such as solar panels) – I really don’t care what Anyone Who Knows Anything believes, because Wall Street seems more than happy to front run Tesla every six months or so and make a killing. Perhaps this is what their reaction is really about: Elon might break their toy. Not Tesla or SolarCity. Break their money machine.

This is probably wild, uninformed speculation on my part. Again, I’m just an average guy who knows nothing about nothing except that Elon is everybody’s favorite whipping boy. Wall Street lives and breathes on emotion, whim and speculative greed. Disparaging Musk helps Tesla stock go down, while Anyone Who Knows Anything is shorting it. Then the same Anyones can buy it back up again before Tesla rises. Which it always does. Wild, uninformed speculation.2

I think a lot of Anyones have been making a ton of money on Tesla, cash burn or not. And now Elon might upset their favorite financial pastime by extending (himself) with the SolarCity purchase.

They will have to ignore all of the reasons why he wants to do it.

In “‘Tesla Solar’ Wants to Be the Apple Store For Electricity” author Tom Randall provides those reasons in an insightful article for Bloomberg Technology. Unlike my wild, uninformed speculation, this is a clear examination of what Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity might provide.

Anyone Who Knows Anything should read it.

While it does feel incestuous to have Tesla shareholders foot the bill for Musk to buy SolarCity,3 I think the “Apple Store” approach might help consumers embrace alternative energy in all its many forms. After all, if it wasn’t for Tesla Motors and Elon Musk making electric vehicles aspirational – and now with the Model 3, accessible – we would probably be talking about the latest version of the Toyota Prius (yawn).

So far, the bad boy is winning.

1. [Or so they say.]↩
2. [Just take a look at Tesla’s stock swings since March of 2013. Simple market fluctuations. Right?]↩
3. [Musk’s cousins, Lyndon and Peter Rive, are co-founders of SolarCity. Musk is Solar City’s chairman.]↩

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