Elon Musk “Jokes” That Tesla Has Filed For Bankruptcy

In what we assume is a morbid April Fool’s joke, late on Sunday Elon Musk decided to have some “fun” with his 20 million Twitter followers and unknown number of investors, and after previewing earlier in the day that he will have “Important news in a few hours …”, the Tesla CEO tweeted that “Tesla Goes Bankrupt Palo Alto, California, April 1, 2018 — Despite intense efforts to raise money, including a last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs, we are sad to report that Tesla has gone completely and totally bankrupt. So bankrupt, you can’t believe it.”

There was more “humor” – in a subsequent tweet, Musk tweeted that “There are many chapters of bankruptcy and, as critics so rightly pointed out, Tesla has them *all*, including Chapter 14 and a half (the worst one).”

Musk concluded joking that after the bankruptcy, he “was found passed out against a Tesla Model 3, surrounded by “Teslaquilla” bottles, the tracks of dried tears still visible on his cheeks. This is not a forward-looking statement, because, obviously, what’s the point? Happy New Month!”…

… a clear explanation that this is all in the April 1 realm of fiction… for now.

And while to Musk it may all be a joke, to Tesla bondholders (and recently shareholders) it is anything but, because as we showed last week, the price on Tesla’s 2025 bonds tumbled…


… sending their yield – and thus risk – above that of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the real joke is that Tesla continues to burn record amount of cash and has now gone through over $8 billion in just the last 4 years.

… which even Goldman recently warned may deteriorate substantially as Tesla deliveries  are set to decline and miss guidance.

Finally, what would assure an instant end to Musk’s sense of humor, is if Tesla’s clients who had – not very prudently – given the company over $850 million to hold on their behalf as deposits for some future pipe dream, decided to have a “run on the bank”, and pull their deposits, unleashing an overnight liquidity crisis.

For the sake of Elon Musk, “Teslaquilla”, and all those who still believe in the Tesla dream not to mention Martian colonization, we can only hope it does not get to there.

Meanwhile, assuring that today’s joke is tomorrow’s reality, on Sunday, the NTSB said it was “unhappy” that Tesla made public information about the crash of its Model X vehicle on Autopilot that killed the driver last month.

Specifically, it looks like the NTSB is not happy with Tesla’s claim that its autopilot is not at fault for the recent deadly Model X crash:

The NTSB is looking into all aspects of this crash including the driver’s previous concerns about the autopilot,” said O’Neil. “We will work to determine the probable cause of the crash and our next update of information about our investigation will likely be when we publish a preliminary report, which generally occurs within a few weeks of completion of field work.”

Last week, the company said that a search of its service records did not “find anything suggesting that the customer ever complained to Tesla about the performance of Autopilot. There was a concern raised once about navigation not working correctly, but Autopilot’s performance is unrelated to navigation.”

The good news is that if the Tesla fairy tale does indeed end in a fiery Chapter 7, or “14 and a half”, as increasingly more predict it will, at least Elon will have provided the schaudenfreuders with enough ammunition to last them several lifetimes.

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