Elon Musk Sells $5 Billion of His Tesla Stock After Twitter Poll

Was it premeditated or not?
Ameya Paleja
Elon Musk continues to keep people guessing.JD Lasica/Wikimedia Commons

After days of suspense about whether Elon Musk would abide by the results of the Twitter poll that he conducted over the weekend or not, Tesla CEO has finally let go of his massive stocks at his company, the Securities and Exchange Commission filings show

The rise in the personal worth of billionaires in the U.S. has been a hot topic of discussion, especially in a year that saw millions of Americans lose their jobs. Elon Musk, whose electric car company Tesla has beaten the odds in an economically slow year, has benefitted the most, adding more than $130 billion to his personal wealth, in form of Tesla shares. U.S. lawmakers want to bring in a new law that would tax such growth in personal worth. But in a preemptive move, Musk asked his 62.5 million Twitter followers if he should sell his Tesla stock to pay taxes, in line with current U.S. laws.

Since a majority of the responders voted yes, Wall Street was expecting a bulk sale of Tesla stock and responded with falling stock prices for Tesla. After seeing his fortune soar for many days, Musk lost $50 billion in a matter of just two days, Time reported.

Putting an end to the suspense, Musk finally sold over 3.5 million shares worth over $5 billion over Tuesday and Wednesday, CNBC reported. Current and former board members of Tesla's board, including Elon's brother, Kimbal Musk, were among others who sold Tesla shares worth millions of dollars, peculiarly before Elon's public tweet, when the stock prices were at their all-time-highs. 

From the SEC filings that have been made public so far, CNBC also noted that Musk had slated a sale of shares to satisfy his tax obligations as far as September this year. The block consisted of 930,000 shares worth $1.1 billion. However, the recently concluded sale of more than $3.5 million shares was not part of the scheduled sale. Yet, put together, Musk is not yet close to the 10 percent stock he had promised to sell over the Twitter post, The Verge reported. 

Unlike other instances when Musk declares what he is up to on Twitter, this time around, Musk hasn't added to the poll thread yet. As per U.S. laws, Musk will now have to pay tax at the rate of slightly above 50 percent on the gains from this sale. Interestingly, it will change Musk's status from cash-poor to cash-rich. This time around the money will actually sit in an account and not just on Wall Street. 

Is that what Musk wants? Only time will tell...

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