'ESG Ratings Make No Sense': Elon Musk Responds to Ark Invest Analyst Who Defends Bill Gates

'ESG Ratings Make No Sense': Elon Musk Responds to Ark Invest Analyst Who Defends Bill Gates
Elon Musk, founder and chief engineer of SpaceX, speaks at the 2020 Satellite Conference and Exhibition in Wash., on March 9, 2020. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk on Saturday responded to an assertion by Ark Investment Management analyst Brett Winton, who said it was "okay" for Bill Gates to short the EV Maker's stock.

What Happened

Winton explained in a tweet that Tesla only has an "average" ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) rating, so as long as Gates invested in a company like Shell PLC., which is more highly rated, the Microsoft Corp. founder was not being a hypocrite. Musk quickly responded.
The exchange came after the leak of texts between Musk and Gates in which the Tesla CEO confronted Gates over having a $500 million short position in Tesla stock.

Why It Matters

It should be noted that Tesla is by far Ark's biggest holding, the stock currently makes up 10 percent of the firm's flagship fund ARK Innovation ETF, with the stake currently valued at over $968 billion.

Ironically, Winton is a Tesla bull and this week challenged an analyst who said Tesla had likely reached a peak in 2021 for its market share and compared the company to Netflix Inc..

Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. CEO Warren Buffett, in a recent interview, praised Musk for building Tesla and effectively challenging the legacy automakers. The Oracle of Omaha also indicated that climate change is an issue that needs to be addressed, even if there's only a one percent chance of successfully doing so.

By Michael Cohen
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