COMMENT:

There's a fine line between genius and crazy.

I'm not sure exactly when Elon Musk crossed that line, but he's well and truly into crazy territory now.

And it's bitten him in the bum.

He's been fined $US20 million and been forced to quit as Tesla chairman after he was accused of posting misleading information to Twitter about taking his company private.
He claimed he'd secured funding and only needed a shareholder vote to proceed.

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Turns out none of that was true.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Musk's tweets had no factual basis and caused stockmarket chaos, hurting investors.

Tesla stock jumped more than 6 per cent after his false announcement, then crashed by 13 per cent after the SEC announced it was suing him.

In a settlement on these fraud charges Musk must pay a $20m fine - which he's solely responsible for - and Tesla will have to pay a second $US20m fine as well as replace him.

He can continue as CEO, but can't be chairman again for three years.

Musk's history of crazy stunts and outlandish workaholic behaviour is well documented: his lack of sleep, his ear-boxing of analysts on an earnings call, bankruptcy jokes, attacking journalists, baiting short sellers, and in possibly the most bizarre move of all.. labelling a rescue diver in the Thai cave crisis as a paedophile.

The madness of Musk is now costing him more than just his reputation.

His ego and his defiance have finally started to hit his bottom line.

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The personality and eccentricity of Elon, which the company surely traded on in the early days given it drew them a lot of attention, has now pinged back in his face.

But should more than just Elon shoulder the blame?

How has the Tesla board never managed to rein him in?

At what point were they going to get in his ear and say enough is enough?

So now it's costing not just Musk, but also the company.

It reminds me of another well-known man in America with trigger happy Twitter fingers - and no I don't mean Kanye.

When you have people in positions of power, who can't be boxed in, who're a law unto themselves, who won't take advice, should those around them just take Twitter off them?

I can't help wondering if Tesla, and Trump's America for that matter, wouldn't be better off, if we had less of the crazy on display - and we just took Twitter away from them.