Elon Musk said that he rejected Bill Gates‘s suggestion to work together on climate change. The reason according to Musk is that Gates was shorting Tesla.
The two billionaires were connecting through text messages and were close to setting a meeting somewhere. But Musk surprised Gates by asking if he still has a “half-billion-dollar short position against Tesla.”
Gates was honest and said, “Sorry to say I haven’t closed it yet.” He added, “I would like to discuss philanthropy possibilities.”
So, Musk replied that he can’t take Gates’ offer “seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change.”
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A screenshot of the text exchange was posted by @WholeMarsBlog who wrote “No idea if this is true lol”. When the host asked Musk about the screenshot, he said, “Yeah, but I didn’t leak it to NYT. They must have got it through friends of friends. I heard from multiple people at TED that Gates still had half-billion short against Tesla, which is why I asked him, so it’s not exactly top secret.”
SpaceX founder didn’t say when exactly the exchange happened.
Shorting is when an investor borrows stock with the supposition that it will go down, profiting them.
However, Tesla’s CEO didn’t stop there. On Friday, he trolled Gates with a tweet comparing a photo of the Microsoft co-founder to a pregnant man emoji.
Gates hasn’t commented on the texts yet.
Anyway, the two billionaires weren’t good friends from the beginning.