Elon Musk with a net worth of nearly $270 billion, and Bill Gates with a net worth of $130 billion, are the two of the top four richest people in the world. However, the rivalry doesn’t stop at which billionaire has the deepest pockets. Musk was purportedly perturbed by Gates having little faith in the future of Tesla, so the SpaceX CEO left the Microsoft founder high and dry.
Alleged leaked text messages show a back-and-forth between the two billionaires that ends on a sour note. What began as a philanthropic opportunity ended with Musk telling Gates to get lost.
Screenshots of an alleged text message conversation between Gates and Musk was shared on Twitter by an account named “Whole Mars Catalog.”
The purported text messages begin with Gates arranging a meeting with Musk to discuss philanthropy on climate change. Gates appears to confirm a day and time to speak with Musk about an opportunity – to which Musk responded, “Great.” Gates told the Tesla CEO that he “just landed,” and Musk replied, “Cool.”
Musk then reportedly texted Gates, “Do you still have a half billion dollar short position against Tesla?”
Gates answered, “Sorry to say I haven’t closed it out.”
“I would like to discuss philanthropy possibilities,” Gates told Musk, according to screenshots of the conversation.
Musk then purportedly put a kibosh on the entire meet-up because Gates was betting against Tesla.
“Sorry, but I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change,” Musk allegedly declared.
— Whole Mars Catalog (@Whole Mars Catalog)
Musk was asked if the text messages to Gates were authentic, and he said they are legitimate, but said he did not leak the messages.
“Yeah, but I didn’t leak it to NYT,” Musk wrote on Twitter. “They must have got it through friends of friends. I heard from multiple people at TED that Gates still had half billion short against Tesla, which is why I asked him, so it’s not exactly top secret.”
Musk did not reveal when the text messages were sent.
— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk)
A short position is defined by Investopedia as: “When a trader sells a security first with the intention of repurchasing it or covering it later at a lower price. A trader may decide to short a security when she believes that the price of that security is likely to decrease in the near future.”
Musk previously talked about Gates shorting Tesla stock during a February 2021 appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
Musk explained, “People I know, who know the situation pretty well, I asked them, ‘Are you sure?’ And they said, ‘Yes, he has a huge short position on Tesla.’ That didn’t work out too well.”
The Tesla CEO also trolled Gates with a tweet that compared a photo of the Microsoft founder with a pregnant man emoji.
— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk)
In February, Rogan also poked fun Gates’ physique during a harangue against fake meat.
Rogan slammed Gates, “And by the way, you look like s**t. If you’re eating those plant-based burgers or whatever the f*** you’re doing, you’re obese.”
“A guy like that telling people about — he’s got these breasts, and this gut, and I’m like, this is crazy,” Rogan continued roasting Gates. “You’re one of the richest guys on earth. You have access to the best nutrients … you could have an amazing trainer. You could be in phenomenal shape, and you’re giving out public health advice … and you’re sick.”
Rogan ranted, “How are you giving any health advice when you look like that. Your health is piss poor.”