Live from New York, it’s … a market-moving corporate liability.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, is hosting “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, which is broadcast live, as the name implies. That means NBC is depending on Musk to filter his views in real-time, considering Musk’s history of saying pretty much whatever he wants, even though he’s being investigated by federal regulators.
Wall Street is already speculating that Musk would use the opportunity to engage in some speculative trading.
In anticipation of Musk’s arrival on SNL, the cryptocurrency dogecoin, which is one of Musk’s favourite business toys, has been trading higher. Tesla stock was up 1.5 per cent on Friday after falling into bear territory after reaching record highs in January.
On Friday, Dogecoin was hovering around 65 cents, just short of its all-time peak of 69 cents. Since January, the Shiba Inu-themed digital currency, which started as a joke, has risen more than 12,000 per cent, fuelled in part by Musk’s tweets. A few words from Musk on Twitter, where he has more than 53 million followers, sparked a 100 per cent increase in the cryptocurrency.
“Musk will undoubtedly have a sketch on cryptocurrencies that will probably go viral for days and further motivate his army of followers to try to send Dogecoin to the moon,” wrote Ed Moya, a senior market analyst with an online trading firm Oanda.
Musk nicknamed himself the “dog father” in a brief tweet advertising his Saturday Night Live appearance last week. The value of the coin increased by more than 30%.
So far, Musk has gotten away with tweeting and saying pretty much whatever he wants, including his doubts about Covid-19 and threats to staff who consider unionizing. He paid a fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2018 to settle securities fraud charges, and he is currently appealing a March decision by the National Labor Relations Board ordering Tesla to remove a three-year-old tweet discouraging unionization.
In 2018, he smoked pot and played with a samurai sword on Joe Rogan’s podcast, which enraged shareholders and led to the resignation of two high-ranking executives. According to numerous news sources, NASA, which had contracted Musk’s SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station, has ordered a safety analysis of the business due to concerns about Musk’s actions.
Tesla’s market performance in 2020 was so strong — shares soared more than 700 per cent — that few, if any, investors seem concerned about his erratic conduct.
Nonetheless, some SNL cast members have publicly voiced their reservations about giving Musk a larger platform as the show’s host.
Musk, Tesla’s self-proclaimed “Technoking,” is often portrayed as an eccentric visionary or a reckless businessman with Peter Pan syndrome and a penchant for trolling his competitors. He is inherently unpredictable in any case.
In a promotional video released by SNL on Thursday, he said it best himself. “I’m a wild card, so there’s no telling what I may do.”