Day: March 1, 2019

Some Things Bear Repeating: What If Musk’s Behavior Is A Total Ruse?

I posed the above back in September of 2018, the reasoning is simple: if one applies “Occam’s Razor” to Elon Musk’s seemingly irrational behavior when it comes to being a CEO of a multi-billion dollar concern on the leading edge of the electric car market. What comes into view may not be what any investor may want to see, let alone, acknowledge the possibility there of.

For those that forget the “Occam’s Razor” principle: Occam’s Razor is the problem-solving principle that essentially states that “simpler solutions are more likely to be correct than complex ones”. When presented with competing hypotheses to solve a problem, one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions (source: Wikipedia™)

To say that the continuing behavior of Mr. Musk has been anything less than “complex” would be an understatement, which is why I brought this into the discussion in the first place and for those looking for any possible insight.

As I type this there has been more C-Suite defections (CFO, etc.) since that original article and the so-called “arrangement” made with the SEC and others as to oversee Elon’s social media proclivity has been nothing short of leaving one to conclude “what oversight?” Not to mention the intentional, direct shaming of said body, again, publicly, on the same media he is supposedly been warned to tread carefully on.

So much for respecting, never mind heeding any warnings, no?

Now we have what everyone is deeming a disastrous public relation roll out for a lower price model, along with more, for lack of a better word, ill-advised social media proclamations over the past days and weeks. All while the SEC has supposedly been looking into whether or not to bring Elon back into the fray with another, maybe more punitive sit down along the lines of “what we have here is a failure to communicate” type meeting of the regulatory minds.

It kind of makes no sense, that is, until you apply Occam’s Razor which lends to me to conclude just maybe all this craziness makes complete sense. That is, if one dares to contemplate: what if he wants to be removed as CEO, forcefully, by a regulatory body? And if so, why? What would be the upside? And if so, would it outweigh the downside?

My conclusion (as I made back then) is: Yes.

All conjecture of course. However, as I said back then, when you view it through the example I used, is it all so crazy? Here’s that example or rationale from my aforementioned article. To wit:

After all, what CEO in their right mind would take to a platform that has the potential for upcoming SEC scrutiny for being used in violation for stock manipulation and openly state he was thinking about going private – and – state the “funding secured” when he knows right well what such a statement would mean to his credibility, not to mention liability if it wasn’t for the fact that he was having some sort of breakdown?

Again, if we play this out in theory, is it so far-fetched to hear in some court should the need arise make the following argument:

“Dear members of the jury just look at my clients actions only days following the SEC launching an investigation. He goes on a popular podcast, knowingly being recorded on audio and video discussing his company among other topics and then – openly smokes weed. Does that sound like a person that is in control of his faculties or, is this someone who is past the point of stress and has moved into the area where medial council should have been sought?”

Are you beginning to see my point?

Now I’m quite aware that Elon has made some bizarre statements and more prior. But (and it’s a very big but) could the latest “weed controversy” be more of a doubling down to make relevant past transgressions for possible future defense narratives should the circumstances warrant?

Here’s what I know: If I were in Elon’s shoes at this moment looking at the possibility of criminal charges and more coming down the pike possibly sooner rather, than later. And, I’ve also been well aware, as well as followed the plight of Elizabeth Holmes and how things are stacking up against her and her once heralded company during this still evolving fall out, all while making or taking mental notes on how she conducted herself during all of it. I might conclude that my best defense may not be one of stoic type strength, but rather: out of control good intentions run amok caused by enormous stress trying to keep all prior promises.

The result? A different form of the “insanity defense.” i.e., Sure take most of my money, just don’t take my freedom.

“Sounds a bit crazy” you say. It’s a fair point but let’s just contrast and compare for a moment playing out my conjecture.

Elizabeth Holmes loses everything in the end. e.g., Her money, her business, her reputation, along with, possibly, her freedom. She’s now a pariah when it comes to the business world.

Musk?

He loses (again, only for example purposes) most of his money, possibly, still leaving him wealthy beyond most. He loses his company, but it is purchased by a rival such as GM™ or other and his vision lives on. His reputation either stays intact (amongst certain circles) if not grows further, because he is seen in many an eye as, not some devious entrepreneur, but one that tried “too much, and took on too much” and was overwhelmed and paid the ultimate price of losing his business. i.e., becomes the face as a business executives martyr.

And last but certainly not least, doesn’t face jail time, because – It wasn’t intentional – he was “insane!” type or legal posturing and defense.

If you had the resources to pay for the legal advice Mr. Musk is assuredly has been afforded: Would you not expect someone on your legal team to offer some, if not all of the above? Doesn’t mean you’d take it, but I do know this…

If I’m thinking it, I’d be damn upset if my legal team hadn’t suggested similar before I did. Therefore, if I’m thinking it just by casual observation and construction?

I have to by fault, consider that it is entirely possible. Especially when it seems to settle so many unexplainable results.

With the new exposé documentaries in books and more (Theranos, Ms. Holmes and more). Is the above that much of a stretch when you look at Musk’s continuing of what most have deemed “bizarre” behavior?

Or asked differently: Is there a method to all this madness? Maybe it’s all not as crazy or irrational as it seems at first blush. But it is something worth the attention for discussion, is it not?

Again, all my conjecture and remember, I’m also a great fan of Musk, but that doesn’t mean the answers to many questions may be in the same world of bizarre as the actions of a CEO of a multi-billion dollar concern displays.

All I do know is this: It’s getting harder to tell what’s crazier. The questions? Or, the answers?

© 2019 Mark St.Cyr