Tesla’s stock is in the toilet and the meme stock investors of Reddit aren’t happy. The electric car company's stock has struggled this year, but investors are selling what they have amid Musk’s so far tumultuous Twitter takeover which has brought the stock down to a 17-month low. Over on the Wallstreetbets subreddit, some people have been left holding the bag and are doing one of the only things they can: posting about it.
Wallstreetbets is a chaotic subreddit where retail investors gather to pump meme stocks and post memes. The subreddit has helped move markets. It was involved in the pumping of Gamestop, AMC, and Bed Bath & Beyond and the rise and fall of the Robin Hood app. Through all of this, Elon Musk and Tesla have been favored memes on the site. Despite his many ventures, Tesla is the only publicly-traded stock in Musk’s portfolio, and has long served as a general proxy for people’s enthusiasm for him even as analysts warned it was overvalued.
Tesla’s decline is down entirely to Musk. He over-paid for Twitter to the tune of $44 billion dollars to take it private and took on a huge loan that will cost him $1 billion a year in interest. As Musk himself has said, the value of Tesla is closely tied to his personal value. If one goes bankrupt, so will the other. As Musk meanders through the halls of Twitter—firing people then offering them their job back, losing large amounts of advertisers and revenue, and generally turning himself into the main character for two weeks running—Tesla stocks continue to plunge.
A top comment on one popular thread asking why Tesla’s stock has fallen reads, “because you can't short twitter, that's why!” Another user replied, “Literally though. A massive part of TSLA valuation is the brand. Always has been. And a large % of the brand is musk.”
As Tesla’s stock has fallen, Wallstreetbets has rolled out the anti-Musk memes. “What’s with all the hate Elon Musk is getting?” Reddit user Greebo427 asked. “Everyone here used to love this guy, now he’s a pariah even though I can’t remember him having done or said anything differently from 1 year ago? We surrounded by Musk-hating bots trying to sway the masses?”
Another user’s reply summed up all the problems that investors on the subreddit have with the billionaire.
“Objectively speaking, the dude has done some not so good stuff,” BeardlessPete replied. “He wasn't completely honest with respect to self-driving technology at Tesla. He's implementing a subscription model at Twitter that will directly impact the visibility of communication on the website, which runs counter to his narrative of having a free and open Twitter. He fired 1/2 of the company very abruptly and without warning. Yes, some got severance packages but many companies do this. That's like stopping at a red light and telling people you stopped at a red light lol... Bro. He blocked marketing executives on Twitter--the very people who are responsible for agreeing to finance marketing campaigns on Twitter…And in general, he over promises and under delivers. The biggest example is his underground Tesla tunnels which, despite being a 100% closed system that he himself could have overseen, still has traffic problems lol.”
That doesn’t mean people on Wallstreetbets aren’t making money off of Tesla even as it tumbles. People who placed puts—stock options that bet a stock’s price will fall—are winning big. And they’re posting to let everyone know about it.