While Jim Chanos is pretty certain that Tesla "ticks all the boxes" of a dream short trade, Tesla CEO is equally sure that guys like Jim Chanos are real assholes.
In fact, according to a fascinating new profile in Rolling Stone, Elon Musk is making a hatred of Tesla-doubters into a family affair.
"I'm looking at the short losses," Musk says, transfixed by CNBC on his iPhone. He speaks to his kids without looking up. "Guys, check this out: Tesla has the highest short position in the entire stock market. A $9 billion short position."
His children lean over the phone, looking at a table full of numbers that I don't understand. So his 13-year-old, Griffin, explains it to me: "They're betting that the stock goes down, and they're getting money off that. But it went up high, so they lost an insane amount of money."
"They're jerks who want us to die," Musk elaborates.
And not just jerks, jerks who make daddy sad...
"They're constantly trying to make up false rumors and amplify any negative rumors. It's a really big incentive to lie and attack my integrity. It's really awful. It's..."
He trails off, as he often does when preoccupied by a thought. I try to help: "Unethical?"
"It's..." He shakes his head and struggles for the right word, then says softly, "Hurtful."
Considering that Musk has five sons and that Jim is pushing 60, he might want to watch his back if he plans on continuing to hurt Elon's feelings. That said, it also seems like Elon's feelings are pretty easy to hurt these days.
Just look what happens when the Rolling Stone reporter asks Elon about the Model 3 rollout...
Musk thinks for a while, begins to answer, then pauses. "Uh, actually, let me go to the restroom. Then I'll ask you to repeat that question." A longer pause. "I also have to unload other things from my mind."
Five minutes later, Musk still hasn't returned. Sam Teller, his chief of staff, says, "I'll be right back."
Several minutes after that, they both reappear and huddle nearby, whispering to each other. Then Musk returns to his desk.
"We can reschedule for another day if this is a bad time," I offer.
Musk clasps his hands on the surface of the desk, composes himself, and declines.
"It might take me a little while to get into the rhythm of things."
Then he heaves a sigh and ends his effort at composure. "I just broke up with my girlfriend," he says hesitantly. "I was really in love, and it hurt bad."
He pauses and corrects himself: "Well, she broke up with me more than I broke up with her, I think."
Anyone else wondering if Amber Heard was sitting on a pile of TSLA shorts?
Elon Musk: The Architect of Tomorrow [Rolling Stone]