Chamath Admits He Sold His Tesla Position Just Months After Saying “Don’t Sell A Share” On CNBC

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Chamath Admits He Sold His Tesla Position Just Months After Saying “Don’t Sell A Share” On CNBC

The once popular “SPAC king”, Chamath Palihapitiya, revealed yesterday on CNBC that he dumped all of his shares of Tesla “in the last year or so”, just about seven months after he took to CNBC and told people “don’t sell a share”.

Speaking to Scott Wapner at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha conference, Palihapitiya claimed Tesla’s “high prices” allowed him to sell and generate cash to fund other ideas.

“I don’t have an infinite pool of capital. So when I have these ideas, the money has to come from somewhere,” he said.

Here’s Chamath making the admission, sounding somewhat like a child getting caught with his hand in a cookie jar:

His claim to have sold his position to “fund other ideas” is a far cry from what Palihapitiya was saying just months ago. In January, he called Tesla a “distributed energy business” and said the stock could double or triple from the $800 level where it was trading at the time. 

In February, Chamath was touting Tesla on the very same network; something Scott Wapner failed to call him out on during yesterday’s discussion. Chamath implored people earlier this year to “get behind the people who aren’t going to bank the short term profits.”.

“Get behind them, don’t sell a share,” he said. 

Chamath also blamed his totally not pump-and-dump trading style on “completely underestimating” how large the EV market could be. “When you see it now, the market has flipped. …Tesla will be very busy just being a best-in-class EV company,” he told CNBC. 

After talking about Tesla, the discussion moved on to some of his other projects. When asked about Hindenburg Research’s report on his Clover Health offering, Chamath took swipes at short sellers, saying their work is: “…about creating sentiment shift and volatility, then profiting from that.”

“I would love for folks to figure out whether that should be allowed or not,” he said.

Well known short seller Jim Chanos responded on Twitter: “It’s a good thing SPAC promoters aren’t trying to create ‘sentiment shifts’ in valuation perceptions by making overly aggressive five-year projections, while occasionally omitting material negative information.”

Meanwhile, shares of Clover are more than 50% off their “meme craze” induced highs that they reached this summer. 

Hindenburg Research called the company into question in February 2021 for omitting disclosures about an ongoing Department of Justice investigation, among other things, but admitted it didn’t have a short position in the name at the time. 

“We have no position (short or long) in Clover Health because we think in this moment for public markets, it is more important for people to understand the role short sellers play in exposing fraud and corporate malfeasance,” the report said at the time. 

The reaction from social media was firm, but fair. 

We guess there’s now only one thing left to tell retail investors in both Tesla and Clover…


Tyler Durden
Thu, 09/30/2021 – 07:38

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