OPINION BY MATHEW CARR
I’m almost an Elon Musk fanboy (though my journalistic neutrality prevents it).
I like his swagger. He’s impulsive. He shows disregard to rules.
Yet I suspect letting him buy Twitter would give him too much influence over traded markets around the world.
Most countries already have too big a gap between rich and poor.
Allowing Jeff Bezos, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg, Jack Ma, and now Musk, to have too much global market power erodes the chance markets will work properly for everyone.
What if Musk’s self-driving EVs start going haywire and kill people? What if he corners the markets for key energy-transition commodities? What if one of his under-city bore holes collapses? What if one of his rockets falls from the sky onto a major urban area?
Here he is mocking fellow billionaire Bill Gates for his “beer belly” — a tweet that apparently generated 1.3 million likes.
Do we really want politicians to be scared to stand up to him?
Competition, media concentration and market regulators need to scrutinize his Twitter deal. Very closely.
Musk is apparently unhappy with the Securities Exchange Commission, which forced him into a settlement about disclosures about Tesla.
See this from February in the Guardian newspaper:
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly opened an investigation into whether recent stock sales by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his brother Kimbal Musk violated insider trading rules.
The SEC inquiry – first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday – was sparked in part by the Tesla CEO’s own tweets.
It centers on an incident last year when Kimbal – who sits on Tesla’s board of directors – sold $108m of shares in the electric carmaker. The exchange took place just a day before before Musk polled Twitter users asking whether he should offload 10% of his stake in Tesla, sending shares falling.
The SEC issued a subpoena to Tesla 10 days later on 16 November seeking additional financial information….
(Adds notes, corrects “retweets” to “likes” in relation to Musk’s Tweet. Earlier adds Musk tweet)