Did Elon Musk’s idiocy allow speculators to “short” Eli Lilly stock?

It’s an understatement to say this: between massive and brutal layoffs and loud and alarming resignations from the teams responsible for the platform’s security, the first weeks of Elon Musk’s reign at a Twitter that he swallowed and ravaged from top to bottom fills for The 44 billion dollars is not a calm river.

One of the most emblematic decisions of the boss of Tesla and SpaceX was to destroy the process of certification of accounts on the platform.

Until now, the small blue badge attached to the account name to guarantee its official character required identity verification, and was reserved only for certain subscribers – companies, politicians, journalists, celebrities , etc.

Of course, this is the simplest and most obvious way that the former management teams of the platform have put in place to stop the wave of fake accounts and imitations that can scare brands, advertisers and personalities.

But Musk, who needed to quickly pay off the huge debt (and interest payments) he created when he bought a new toy that has always struggled to make a profit, had to create cash flow. And if he wants to avoid the bankruptcy he’s publicly considering, he needs it fast.

So very quickly and seemingly without a second thought, he allowed anyone who wanted, for an $8 per month subscription to Twitter Blue, to see their accounts endowed with this desirable little blue button. “Power to the people”he exclaimed, comparing the old certification system to the feudal world of “lords and peasants”.

All without any verification, except that the account in question actually has 8 dollars attached to any payment method. You shouldn’t be rocket scientist to predict what chaos and what confusion the new policy might cause.

Advertisers, who began to stop their advertising campaigns on the platform en masse, understood this very well – even pushing Musk to go through SpaceX, which strangely invested in advertising on Twitter, to reach a little of his own mistake.

The decision to drop these verifications had other consequences and, immediately, his abyssal stupidity was exposed: an army of jokers and pranksters created fake “certified” official accounts, which do some real, massive damage.

A real fake George W. Bush with an official badge explains that “He missed killing Iraqis”which was answered by a fake Tony Blair “me too”. Elon has been imitated by dozens of imitation Musks, to the point of having to bring in the real buyer of the platform.

The 12 billion joke

Brands and large companies were not spared; and things, on a legal level, tend to get more difficult. With all the detectives of the official certification, a completely fake account of the Chiquita brand, considered the “mother of the banana republics”, thus announcing the start of a coup in Brazil, forcing the real account to a funny rejection.

Lockheed Martin, the American arms giant, has announced that it will stop selling its arms to Saudi Arabia, Israel and even the United States, for reasons related to respect for human rights; this is also, of course, a “joke”.

But that too is an expensive joke. The most powerful and shocking example of this chaos came when a fake account from pharmaceutical juggernaut Eli Lilly announced that insulin would now be free in the United States, where market forces meant that it can cost a sick person more than $1,000 per month.

Highly political and very sensitive in the United States, the question of the price of insulin, a basic and accessible product in most countries of the world, is back on the table, putting Eli Lilly in a delicate position and forcing this denial, via his truly official account this time, seems like very positive news.

But in financial markets, sensitive to the slightest rumour, the damage has been done. Just as Lockheed Martin’s fake tweet appeared to seriously depress the company’s share price, the lab (and its shareholders) lost big within minutes of its fabricated announcement, with a streak that reduced its market capitalization of 12 billion dollars.

But what was seen as a mixture of expensive humor and political activism also raises broad questions about possible market manipulation.

By “shorting” Eli Lilly’s stock before the rumor was launched and the stock plummeted, thus speculating on the decline that they themselves may have cost a few dollars, malicious “investors” could have pocket a juicy sum.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), American policeman of financial markets, has long had a problem with Elon Musk, whose uncontrolled tweets around Tesla could, as early as 2018, be considered pure and simple market manipulation.

Then the man saw that the regulator took a close look at his case and, in particular, forced him to have his publications checked before they were published on the platform.

It is likely that the same SEC is therefore very attentive to what is happening at the moment on Twitter, and decided to seriously bang its fist on the table. Meanwhile, in an admission of failure and very small mindedness, Twitter Blue has been put on hiatus.

It’s also likely that the companies affected by these multi-billion dollar shenanigans will have some very unkind words to say to the little blue bird’s new sheet metal worker. After all, Musk is solely responsible for this collapse: who knows if he is not personally liable for these losses, potentially dragging Tesla down with him.

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