Elon Musk Sells $7 Billion in Tesla Shares Following Twitter Poll

Elon Musk Sells $7 Billion in Tesla Shares Following Twitter Poll
File photo of Elon Musk walking from the the justice centre in Wilmington, Del., on July 12, 2021. (Photo: Matt Rourke, AP)

Elon Musk sold roughly $US5 billion ($7 billion) worth of Tesla shares, according to a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Musk launched a Twitter poll over the past weekend, asking if he should sell 10 per cent of his Tesla stock to pay taxes.

“Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” Musk tweeted on Saturday.

“I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes,” Musk continued.

The unscientific poll attracted about 3.5 million responses and while the results showed that 57.9 per cent of respondents believed Musk should sell, he didn’t actually unload 10 per cent of his shares, instead selling roughly 3 per cent.

As the BBC notes, roughly one-fifth of the total shares Musk sold were already scheduled to be sold before the billionaire’s Twitter poll. The rest, while not necessarily a direct result of the poll, seemed to have been sold after Musk signalled his interest in unloading a lot of shares.

From the CNBC:

His trust sold more than 3.5 million shares worth over $US3.88  billion (around $5.32 billion) in a flurry of trades carried out Tuesday and Wednesday. Those transactions were not marked as 10b5, meaning they were not scheduled sales.

Earlier Wednesday evening, filings showed Musk is selling a separate block of Tesla shares via a plan that he set in motion on Sept. 14 this year. Those sales amount to more than 930,000 shares worth over $US1.1 billion (around $1.51 billion).

Musk, the wealthiest person on the planet, has received criticism recently for not doing more to help his fellow humans who don’t have enough to eat. The head of the United Nations World Food Program explained last month that a one-time donation of $US6 billion (around $8 billion) from the world’s richest people would help save 42 million people from salvation.

In response, Musk said he’d make the $US6 billion (around $8 billion) donation if he was promised that his donation would solve hunger forever. His ridiculous conditions couldn’t be met, obviously, yet fans of the Tesla CEO insisted that it showed he was serious about charity.

Musk paid $US0 in federal income taxes in 2018.