However, many other actions of Musk over the years have broken actual rules, not just fragile norms, but none of it has slowed him down or changed his behavior.
The financial penalties that regulators or business partners can put in place mean little to someone as wealthy as Musk. He goes on to tweet evidence that ordinary rules do not apply to the ultra-rich if they choose to ignore them.
An investor who buys 5% or more of a company’s shares has 10 days to announce the purchases, so that other investors can be aware of what is affecting the share prices.
Had Musk made the necessary timely submission, it would probably have cost him much more to collect the 15 million shares he bought after the 10-day deadline had come and gone.
The delayed revelation saved Musk $ 143 million by keeping the stock price lower than it could have been when he continued to buy shares, estimates Daniel Taylor, an accounting professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
“I think it could be laziness or the belief that rules do not apply,” Taylor said. “But if you look at when the SEC enforces late filing, it’s relatively rare. From a cost-benefit basis, it makes sense not to file. Even if the cost of reporting late is a $ 100,000 fine or a fine. of several million dollars., why would he not [delay filing]? “
Musk is still brooding over the settlement he signed with the SEC, claiming that he only did so because the banks could otherwise have cut Tesla’s funding and forced the carmaker to go bankrupt. But Taylor said the action from the SEC was little more than a blow to the wrist.
“They had the ability to send a strong signal and chose not to,” Taylor said.
Other rules Musk ignores
The rules on disclosure of ownership interests are only the latest in a long series of rules that Musk has failed – with little or no consequence.
Traditional car manufacturers issue recalls when they discover a defect in the design or construction of a car. That’s why the National Highway Safety Administration, the federal regulator, has named the Office that looks at consumer complaints and accident data to the Office of Defects Investigation.
Even before the test flight took off, the FAA had rejected a safety waiver requested by SpaceX. But the company went on anyway.
An FAA investigation followed, but SpaceX eventually walked away with little more than an order for “corrective action.”
– CNN Business’ Jackie Wattles contributed to this report