Enlarge /. Elon Musk in 2015.
Tesla's stock fell sharply on Friday. One likely reason for this: CEO Elon Musk tweeted that "the Tesla share price is too high imo".
Musk posted this tweet at 11:11 Eastern Time. At that point, Tesla's stock was worth around $ 760 – a drop of less than 3 percent from Thursday's closing price of $ 781.
At 11:30 a.m., the stock fell to $ 722, down 5 percent in 19 minutes. Since then, it has dropped further to around $ 710 – around 9 percent less than the closing price on Thursday. The broader stock market has fallen less than 3 percent today.
Musk has long been known for its colorful and sometimes controversial Twitter presence. A tweet from 2018 put Musk in trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission, while another targeted Musk with an unsuccessful libel lawsuit. But this week Musk was unusually provocative on Twitter – even by his own standards.
Possessions only burden you
In a series of Wednesday tweets, Musk praised states that lifted some public health restrictions and urged officials to "give people back their freedom!"
"FREE AMERICA NOW," he wrote in another tweet.
He returned on these issues during Tesla's call for profit on Wednesday afternoon.
"If someone wants to stay in their house, that's great. They should be allowed to stay in their house and not be forced to leave," Musk said. "But to say that you can't leave your house and get arrested if you do, it's fascist, that's not democratic, that's not freedom. Give your goddamn freedom back to people."
Musk continued tweeting about locks on Thursday and Friday. But on Friday Musk's Twitter presence got weird.
Shortly before the tweet about Tesla was overpriced, Musk tweeted: "I sell almost all physical possessions. I will not own a house."
Musk, who owns actor Gene Wilder's former home, added that he would specify that the home "cannot be demolished or lose its soul". He added that "he was devoted to Mars and Earth. Possession [sic] only burdens you."
He wrote that his girlfriend, the musician Grimes, was "mad at me". Grimes is pregnant and Musk added that she "gave birth" on Monday.
He also tweeted several lines from the Star Spangled banner.
Musk is under great pressure
Musk's other company, SpaceX, has launched an ambitious program to manufacture its new spacecraft missiles on an unprecedented scale – part of its long-term plan to advance human settlement on Mars. Building rockets of this size requires a lot of capital that SpaceX does not have.
SpaceX raised $ 500 million in March, and it is unlikely that SpaceX will need to raise capital for the last time. However, most investors are not in the mood to fund risky new businesses given the uncertainty associated with the corona virus.
It also doesn't help that Tesla is hindered by coronavirus-related shutdowns. Tesla's main car manufacturing facility in Fremont, California was closed at the order of the district authorities. Musk owns billions of dollars in Tesla stock and is expected to earn billions more as Tesla's market capitalization increases – funds he could use to fund his Mars ambitions.
Musk sincerely wants a large-scale Mars settlement to begin in his life and believes he has no time to lose. He desperately wants his Fremont factory to reopen so Tesla can start growing again.
But while Musk has a lot of talents, dealing constructively with stress and frustration is not one of them. He tends to let off steam online in a way that can ultimately be counterproductive.