Elon Musk’s brand is suffering after the Twitter mess, says venture capitalist Danny Musa

Former hedge fund manager Danny Moses of The Big Short fame said this week that Elon Musk’s chaotic management of the social media platform Twitter is hurting his brand, and investors should steer clear of stock in electric car maker Tesla.

Musa’s comments late Thursday in an interview with CNBC came on the same day that Twitter appeared to have at least temporarily suspended a number of high-profile journalists who wrote about Musk and the platform operations he acquired in October for $44 billion.

Musk sought to justify the actions late in the day by saying that Twitter had prevented sharing of details of his real-time location, and accused journalists who allegedly shared his whereabouts of publishing “assassination coordinates.” But the suspension of the accounts sparked outrage on both sides of the Atlantic, with critics asserting that Musk was curtailing press freedoms despite presenting himself as a defender of free speech.

Moses said Thursday that he bet on the performance of Tesla stock, saying its price is rooted in Musk’s personal brand, which has been “slightly damaged.”

“It’s still a $500 billion company, and I don’t think fundamentals justify that valuation,” said investment fund founder Moses Ventures. “He’s running three very large companies at this point, so obviously he has to deal with it.

“We get frustrated here, because his attention span is being compromised.”

Moses warned that Tesla could be around 2023, when some expect a national recession, among other economic pressures. Tesla stock is down 60% from where it was in January after weak earnings and populist disapproval of Musk, who fired thousands of Twitter employees after taking the platform, then told those who kept their jobs to be prepared to work “long hours at high intensity.”

Musk – who also runs SpaceX – has also spooked investors with his recent sale of $3.6 billion worth of Tesla stock. The divestment came as the world’s richest man lost to Louis Vuitton and French Dom Perignon tycoon Bernard Arnault, pushing Musk’s sales at his electric car maker to more than $20 billion.

This all prompted Tesla’s third-largest shareholder, Indonesian billionaire KoGuan Leo, to call for Musk to step down as CEO of the automaker, according to Observer.com.

The public disdain for Musk became apparent last week, when a San Francisco crowd booed him passionately after he was performed on stage in a show by comedian Dave Chappelle.

Moses is perhaps best known as the former lead trader at FrontPoint Partners, which was managed by Steve Eisman, who was portrayed by actor Steve Carell in The Big Short. Both the movie and Michael Lewis’ book of the same name chronicle how some investors like Moses predicted and capitalized on the collapse of the housing bubble in the mid-2000s.

In addition to establishing his own investment fund, Moses was an advisor to the New York-based cannabis investment group Merida Capital Partners.

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