Bill Gates will be ‘obliterated’ for shorting Tesla stock, Elon Musk warns
WASHINGTON: (Web Desk) Tesla Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Elon Musk predicted that fellow billionaire tech mogul Bill Gates will be “obliterated” for shorting Tesla stock.

 This statement rekindles a feud that has been marked by public disagreements over climate change, the coronavirus and electric vehicles.

On Tuesday, Musk took to X, to respond to a user who invited the mogul to comment on what he would say to so-called “Tesla bears” — a group of Wall Street investors who have long believed that the EV maker’s stock has been overvalued.

“Once Tesla fully solves [self-driving] autonomy and has Optimus in volume production, anyone still holding a short position will be obliterated. Even Gates,” the Tesla CEO wrote. Optimus refers bots that perform autonomous tasks at Tesla’s Giga Texas plant.

Tesla’s stock surged more than 17% in the last two trading days after the company reported a smaller-than-expected 5% drop in vehicle deliveries for the second quarter of this fiscal year on Tuesday.

The resurgence in Tesla shares has cost short sellers an estimated $3.5 billion on a mark-to-market basis, according to data from S3 Partners, first reported by CNBC.

Short interest in Tesla currently stands at 3.5% of float, or 97 million shares shorted, with a $22.4 billion notional value, the report added.

It is not clear if Gates currently holds any short bets on Tesla.

In the last month, Tesla stock has rallied by more than 40% after a prolonged slump that was brought on by declining sales and increased competition from Chinese EV brands, including the Warren Buffett-backed BYD.

Musk, whose net worth is valued by Bloomberg Billionaires Index at $252 billion, is the world’s richest person. Gates is eighth on the list with a fortune valued at around $158 billion.

In 2022, Gates confirmed to Musk biographer Walter Isaacson that he shorted Tesla stock — or bet that the stock price would dip.

Musk posted screenshots of text messages that he exchanged with Gates who sought to gauge the Tesla mogul’s interest in further efforts to combat climate change.

“Sorry, but I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change,” Musk wrote to Gates.

Gates told Isaacson in 2022: “Once he heard I’d shorted the stock, he was super mean to me, but he’s super mean to so many people, so you can’t take it too personally.”

The Musk-Gates feud began in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, during which Gates pledged hundreds of millions of dollars toward helping to develop a vaccine while the Tesla boss was promising to provide ventilators to overwhelmed hospitals.