So-called investors throw cash at companies that burn through it and haven’t a clue as to when they might turn a profit. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:
It was just a month and a half ago that Tesla approved an eye-popping long-term pay package, worth as much as $50 BILLION to founder and CEO Elon Musk.
And on Wednesday afternoon, Tesla held its first corporate earnings call since then.
You’d think that Elon would have been gracious and professional, anxious to demonstrate that the shareholders’ trust in him has been well-placed.
Instead the call was filled with contempt and disrespect, with Elon outright refusing to answer questions that he deemed ‘boring’.
Bear in mind, Tesla’s financial results were gruesome; the company burned through yet another $1.1 billion in cash last quarter. That’s 70% worse than in the same period last year.
Even more problematic, Tesla is losing money at such an unexpectedly fast rate that they’ll likely run out within the next several months.
According to the Wall Street Journal’s analysis, Tesla doesn’t have enough cash to cover its basic debt payments and capital leases due within the next six months.
Needless to say, investors are worried.
The shareholders and analysts on the call kept pressing Elon to explain how the company was going to survive, and how he would turn around Tesla’s notorious production challenges.
But Elon completely dismissed any such questions as “boring”, “bonehead”, and “not cool”.
I mean, this guy was given a potentially $50 billion compensation package just six weeks ago.
So the LEAST he could do was answer his investors’ completely reasonable questions.
But he didn’t. It’s almost as if he deliberately wanted to show as much disrespect as possible to the trust and confidence that shareholders have placed in him.
This is a pretty despicable attitude for any executive to have.
Yet this whole situation is emblematic of what I call ‘the new rules of capitalism.’
And New Rule #1 is: Businesses no longer need to make money.
Tesla is just one of a multitude of high-flying, hot-shot companies whose entire business models are based on burning through cash, managed by executives who don’t care.
WeWork, as we’ve often discussed, is an even more absurd example.
WeWork provides short-term office space to companies around the world, with a whole bunch of interesting perks (including free tequila).
For customers, it’s great. But WeWork loses tons of money providing all those great perks to its customers… which means that investors are ultimately footing the bill.
To continue reading: Capitalism has new rules. And they’re seriously messed up.