Thursday, April 12, 2018

Blind Item #3 - Mr. Hedge - The Sleeping Bag CEO

This A-list CEO talks about sleeping on the factory floor.  He believes it represents a form of boasting about his work ethic, and devotion to his company. 
The reality is that a megalomaniac has built himself a massive empire, full of lies - and he can feel the foundation buckling underneath him now.

Dig beneath the financial people I referred to a couple weeks ago, you will see that almost every other key executive has fled his company in recent months. His head of sales.  Many key leaders in technology and manufacturing. 

The sleeping bag story is a desperate act, by a desperate man.  The play is in its final stages. 

Our CEO can feel the walls closing in on him.  See that network interview he did very recently.   He clearly appears very uncomfortable, and for very good reasons. 

74 comments:

Tricia13 said...

Elon Musk again?

BonnyPommy said...

+1 I don't see who else it could be

MontanaMarriott said...

Yep
https://www.foxbusiness.com/features/tesla-ceo-elon-musk-sleeping-on-factory-floor-during-model-3-rollout

T. W. said...

Elon Muskrat

totaji said...

Dude’s got Musk on his mind.

Unknown said...

His entire empire is/was propped up by tax subsides.

Brayson87 said...

+1 Tricia and Montana

jessorella said...

How has it all gone so wrong? It worries me that this will really damage the progress made so far in trying to make the motoring industry more environmentally friendly.

Brayson87 said...

I see Teslas every day, there's no lack of demand.

OB said...

Agree with Brayson87--the last time I was in Greenwich CT they were all over the place--rich guys are driving these so there IS demand and fron the desired demo. What a dummy he is!

Bobious said...

Mr. Hedge really, really doesn't like Elon.

laura ramona said...

Some ppl want to take over his industries.

Heather said...

@jesso it's not just environmental, I mean the guy that crashed last week in Cali, they put out a press release saying "user error" and he died while it was on auto pilot. @unknown is right about the subsidies, like so many other "environmentally friendly" companies, they're burning through any credits & aren't profitable. He should just up the price a bit to try to offset but the Model 3 isn't on plan. Expect a BK filing soon. Plus after seeing the article in DM, he has some daddy issues about approval too & wanting everyone to like him instead of being a real boss like Steve Jobs.

T. W. said...

Demand is not the problem. The problem is financial shell games.

Muskrat bragged Tesla could produce 5,000 cars a week, yet his company has lost millions of dollars per day.

People pre-ordered the Tesla Model 3 in 2016 but the car has yet to come out. One article I read says the cars might come out later this year but Tesla's site says 2019.

Not only that, Tesla blames user error when people crash their self-driving cars.

Looks to me like Muskrat is a flim-flam artist.

just sayin' said...

He probably shouldn't have launched one into outer space, considering.

D Brown said...

Saw an analyst interview on CNBC. Point was that there are currently only two all electric cars (Tesla and Bolt). There are four more coming next year and one hundred and one announced for 2022 or earlier by other car makers. Tesla probably had a multiyear head start but effectively has frittered it away and now faces an onslaught of competition.

BarelyAwake said...

Tesla . . . SpaceX . . . I get the financial issues. I also get that they've accomplished some technical marvels. You CANNOT fake rocket science.

If the companies collapse through financial mismanagement someone will pick up the pieces. And maybe that's what Mr. Hedge is trying to make happen . . .

Glue said...

The Florida Space Coast LOVES Musk since he is bringing $$ to the Tourism Economy (Orlando and the Space Coast are very different, btw, for those who don't know FL very well). Orlando is all about DISNEY/UNIVERSAL, you can't get away from it. Disney owns Orlando, but the Space Coast looks to KSC and launches for tourism dollars. Every launch brings the area "much coin."

Chase said...

You literally cannot swing a dead cat by the tail here and not hit a Tesla. I live in the most retarded place on earth(for the time being until the kids are off to college anyway). I will truly enjoy watching the smug Tesla owners/neighbors heads explode as their $100K+ car is devalued to virtually worthless.
They just recalled 1/2 the cars they ever made, but really have no dealer network to perform the repairs and most likely do not have the money. A good friend who works for a hugely successful car company told me this was coming a year ago.

Heather said...

Also CNBC says it's the largest short in the market right now. Everyone can see it. Still don't get why the SEC hasn't cracked down on him for disclosures though.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/11/tesla-is-the-biggest-short-in-the-us-stock-market.html

Sal Salington said...

Hey look everybody, the guy who has massive shorts at risk against Elon Musk's company is slamming Elon Musk again!

Jimbonius said...

@ jessorella

As some others upthread have pointed out, it really hasn't all gone wrong. It's been wrong from the get-go... between the subsidies and credits, these vehicles have never been cheaper to produce or operate than their fossil fuel counterparts. The marketing around it has made it seem like it's the bees knees, but from a cost/benefit standpoint to the consumer there is an extremely limited marketplace for Tesla (or any other electric car).

Not to mention that the production of the electric vehicles is anything but eco-friendly. But that is a whole other ball of wax.

Normal. Yes indeed. said...

You realize that the electricity for the battery still has to be generated somewhere...

Cail Corishev said...

Working in IT, I run into a lot of people who see Musk as a visionary. He's always had the smell of snake oil to me. That's not to say he's not doing anything useful or that all his ideas are bad. But I get a sense that he's often doing a "watch what I have in this hand" thing. There's a lot of that in Silicon Valley, with people who see businesses, especially startups, only as a means to fill their own pockets with investment money, with no thought of the future beyond that. Sometimes I see comments from him on topics like AI that strike me as either ignorant, or intended to appeal to the ignorant.

(There was a rumor a few months ago that paychecks at one of his companies (Tesla, maybe?) were bouncing temporarily. Of course, the rumor was on the chans, so it couldn't possibly be true, and his business must be healthier than ever.)

You don't want to be ruled by SV technocrats. Let them make tools and toys, not policy. They're smart, but not as smart as they think, and not everything in life can be solved by the smartest guy in the room with technology. Their solution to robot cars killing people will always be to make the robots smarter and use them more, and if that means humans can't drive on the roads anymore, hey, that's progress.

Jack said...

If you are trying to influence the stock price, you need to disclose your involvement. Otherwise you come off as the real dude who is going to lose it all if the stock resumes climbing.

Mad Hominem said...

This news doesn't jive with the enormous pay package that shareholders recently opted to give Musk. If he fulfills certain promises in terms of production and sales, he could net $50 billion over the next decade.

Tesla has such a staggering cash loss every quarter that it's burning hundreds of millions of dollars every three months. In any normal economy, that company would have been toast. But the Obama administration, like governments before it, didn't want a major company to go bankrupt, so they kept it afloat with financing.

Mad Hominem said...

I suppose a link wouldn't hurt:

http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/tesla-shareholders-vote-on-elon-musks-ambitious-pay-package

fustian said...

Tesla has actually started making cars that a person might want to own as a primary around-town car. They are still problematic for road trips, but the battery life will get you around a city for pretty much whatever you feel like doing, and you plug them in every night in your garage instead of topping off at a gas station.

The problem is that they are still VERY expensive. Even subsidized they cost too much to get that much market penetration. The truth is that battery powered cars just don't make economic sense yet.

Also remember that batteries are not an energy source, they are an energy storage device. Which means that battery powered cars are largely coal powered vehicles since that is where your electricity mostly comes from. Essentially, we are replacing our gasoline fired cars with less efficient coal-fired ones. Which sounds pretty bad, except that we have the option of moving our powerplants far outside our cities, which is really a huge advantage. I'm not seeing any of the environmentally green energy sources making much of an impact here. Solar and wind just don't scale very well. Atomic energy plants using new technology look like the greenest thing we have available. But that seems to be DOA for now even new significantly safer designs.

And if you are expecting self-driving cars in a few years...stop. It won't be happening. They're really only getting partway there. They ARE successfully "teaching" cars to recognize a lot of patterns associated with driving. What a road looks like, what a car looks like. That sort of stuff. Then they hardcode a lot of the roles of driving. Things like no driving through a red light. But they don't know how to translate pattern recognition which they can do into actual knowledge about the world which they can't.

An example: lets say you are training your self-driving AI in a virtual simulator and you program a green car to behave erratically. The pattern the AI is likely learning is: "watch out for green cars". None of our AI software knows how to recognize what the pattern they have seen is and compare it to knowledge about the real world. The AI does not know that in this case, there is nothing special about green cars, a simple thing that people realize easily.

Most human accidents are caused by inattention or driving under the influence of something. This means that even if they were able to create self-driving cars that have accident rates lower than humans (which I actually doubt), the self-driving cars will not crash for the same reasons people do. They won't be drunk and they WILL be paying attention. Instead it will be seemingly odd things they crash from that any human would see immediately, but the AI just didn't know about. One self-driving car, for example, pulled underneath a semi because it was painted a single color and the AI thought it was sky. Killed the driver.

And what all the companies working on this will find out shortly is that people have a VERY low tolerance for being killed by machines. What that means is that we will be stopping road tests of self-driving cars very soon.

Instead, I think what might work is special access roads only available for self-driving cars. Special commuter lanes fenced off so that no animals or pedestrians or anything else weird gets access. There will be electronic and visual aids to make sure the cars have no trouble recognizing where the road goes. This is technologically still impressive but much more feasible. You'll pull into a special lane out in the suburbs, read a book or watch a movie going into town. The car will warn you when you've arrived downtown and it's time to start driving again. The economics might be tough, but it should be much less expensive than commuter trains and the number of people carried by a lane should me much higher.

plot said...

"Still don't get why the SEC hasn't cracked down on him for disclosures though. "

Two thoughts. One, this is the same SEC that signed off on Bernie Madoff and ignored every whistle blower and employee who outed him. Two, there are no disclosures that the SEC can crack down on.

Can't decide myself but Mr. Hedge sure is twisted a gut to bring down Musk. I wonder how high the insurance premiums are to short Tesla and keep those accounts open?

OTOH, I thought shooting a Tesla into space was the dumbest PR move in a long time, but the kids seemed to love it. Oh well.

Someone Else said...

+100 Fustian!

not available said...

Tesla loses around $23,000 on every car they sell. That's not counting the federal tax credit that goes to the purchaser. That's not a sustainable business model.

Alana Smithee said...

@Jack I though the same thing. When I see people bashing Netflix or Amazon or Tesla, I'm just thinking about how it will affect the stock market and if its just a way to manipulate it.

Maybe I should go back to my thin foil hat...

Someone Else said...

@Alana, Big fan of your Dad's work!

mercyprosperity said...

"Some people think I'm an alien. Not true, not true. (Laughter) But of course, I would say that, wouldn't I?"
~E Musk, World Government Summit, 2/2017

HoneyRyder said...

The real tech innovation is in batteries that power these vehicles; Korea and China driving that. Better batteries and charging infrastructure in the U.S. needed before there’s a tipping point for most consumers to buy in.

Maude Labowski said...

I hope this isn't true...I know some people in Ohio who would lose their jobs bc of this...

Someone Else said...

+1 @ HoneyRyder, but I have to ask because it's Thursday. Are you going commanche today?

mercyprosperity said...



@Maude ~No worries. Too many powers in our world, dependent on oil for wealth, are not gonna let this happen.
Electric cars will remain unattainable for most.

mercyprosperity said...

@fustian
Is the taxpayer gonna pay for those 'special roads for self driving cars'?
Good luck passing that tax.

HoneyRyder said...

You down with N.P.T.? (Yeah, you know me!)😘

fustian said...

@mercyprosperity

Of course.

Taxpayers pay for all roads. They pay for commuter rail too.

Taxpayers also pay through the nose for all that gasoline they burn sitting in traffic as well as paying with a significant part of their lives.

This might be one of the limited things government could do for the taxpayers that might be worth it for them.

One solution to commuter traffic that taxpayers seem to like is commuter rail. They might not like it going near their house, nor do they care to pay for it, but in principle they like it. But, as near as I can tell, commuter rail gets a whole lot less people downtown than just another simple freeway lane. It's a little counterintuitive, but trains need a lot of spacing between them, that cars on the freeway don't. And the average speed of a commuter train is surprisingly low.

I actually think the real solution to city traffic is more remote working over the internet. Sure, if you're a restaurant or a factory, this makes no sense. But it doesn't require getting that many people off the road to significantly improve traffic. When I was commuting I was astonished at how much traffic generally improved in the summer because every week of the summer, some small fraction of people went on vacation. Get just 10% of workers telecommuting every day and you'd be stunned at the traffic improvement.

One more interesting thing. New suburbs are areal things. Their increase is defined by a square relationship. But freeway lanes grow linearly. It's actually more complicated than this, but the idea that freeway lanes only grow linearly is why they simply cannot keep up with urban sprawl.

hunter said...

"people have a VERY low tolerance for being killed by machines"

HA HA - so true

Also @fustian - great post truly but I can't help but think those contained roadways you mentioned are very similar to actual trains (aside from the arriving in town/driving option). You're right though.

sandybrook said...

Bloodsucker how many more blinds do we get while you attempt to manipulate the market on Musk so you short his ass out? In the meantime I'm praying you drown in red ink when you fail.

Poppymann said...

I never viewed Tslsa as a car company, they are a battery company. Whomever can bend the laws of physics to create the best battery will rule the world.

fustian said...

@hunter

It's true that my contained roadways share a lot with commuter trains. At least in theory.

The difference is that trains generally space themselves out far enough to allow each train to make stops without the following train being affected. This would not be the case with contained roadways that would have merge on and off lanes. This would allow the lane space to be much more filled than a commuter train allows.

Also cars go much faster than commuter trains.

Finally, one of the reason that mass transit doesn't work that well for American cities is that they were constructed for cars and not trains and pedestrian traffic. Thus your destination may be quite far from where a commuter train would drop you off. Or pick you up in the morning for that matter.

This is not a problem for contained lanes.

Lonely Bastard said...

Is all this stuff about Musk true or is it wishful thinking?

Don't get me wrong, I hold no candle for Musk or any other of these pious, self righteous billionaire hypocrites and their political lackeys and I'm admittedly cynical and malicious enough to be at the front of the queue crowing and cackling if the whole Tesla thing goes tits up, but these BIs smack of desperate wish fulfillment.

Glue said...

@Cail - your comment immediately made me think of that old MadTV skit w/ Stuart: "Look what I can do!" LOL!

Unknown said...

I have seen a whole bunch of very long and detailed comments on this blind. Normally I don't recognize the names of these posters. I wonder if the paranoid target of this blind has people supporting him in these comments.

fustian said...

@unknown

I suppose you're talking about me.

I can assure you that I have absolutely no idea who Mr. Hedge is or enty or even you. And I have posted intermittently here since I discovered CDAN somewhere after the Pervnado started. I was first interested in the underbelly of Hollywood when I read A list actress after A list actress claim that they had all seen Weinstein misbehavior in person, and that yes he was vindictive when he didn't get his way, but they all escaped his clutches and went on to have successful A list careers.

And I thought this didn't make sense. They can't all have gotten away.

Shortly after that I found CDAN and what I think I've learned is that the casting couch is not just a phenomenon at the edges of Hollywood (which I had thought before). Instead, my current model is that almost no important roles come for free. This seems to be true both for both actors AND actresses.

Anyway, my posts are often long-winded because I am long-winded.

And the self-driving car thing is a personal peeve. I worked on some AI type projects with MIT a few years ago and I think I'm on reasonably firm ground as to what is currently possible and not possible. But if you're aware of something new going on in the field I'd be quite interested.

As for Tesla, I sat in one at a dealership in a mall for about an hour and talked to a surprisingly knowledgable sales creature. I haven't driven one, but I thought the car itself was pretty cool. I especially liked the full screen linux-based display console. That was cool.

What I learned is that they have finally built a reasonably desirable car that can actually be relied on for certain kinds of usage. Specifically commuting to work and back. Maybe doing some shopping on the way home.

There is no denying, however that these are expensive cars that, so far, only apply to fairly wealthy people. I have at least a couple of friends that own them and they love them.

I don't follow Tesla very closely except to be suspicious of the usual green hype. But my understanding is that Tesla believes they need a more affordable car that can compete in a broader market and that this is something they have so far failed to do.

I assure you that I own no Tesla stock (except possibly in an index fund) nor have I shorted the company.

But, as a self-aware crank myself, I do approve of your paranoia!

mercyprosperity said...

@fustian
"Sales creature"...hmmm. Maybe closer to the truth than you think.
Do you believe that there's alien input involved with Tesla, and possibly Musk himself?
Personally, I believe the literal explosion of technologies since early 1950s can only be explained by something more advanced than humans.

fustian said...

@mercyprosperity

Well, there IS this article:

https://babylonbee.com/news/zuckerberg-loses-contact-lens-during-senate-hearing-revealing-horrifying-lizard-eye/

mercyprosperity said...

@fustian not sure what a mock-Christian site has to do with technology or the alien presence

emeraldcity said...

@Cail Corishev......Musk pays his staff by cheque? How quaint.

Starry-eyed said...

I used to think he was a cool visionary. Now he seems mad (flame thrower idiocy) and just bastardizing the great Tesla (Nikola) name.

Unknown said...

Everybody always knew.

one_eyed_bob said...

Tesla would never have been without being propped up by government funding. Good riddance.

Southern Man said...

Direct quote (more or less): "It looks so fake, that's how you know it's real..."

T. W. said...

@mercyprosperity

Satire is based on truth. Yes, The Babylon Bee is satire but at least satire is somewhat or mostly fictional commentary designed to make us think.

Kerri said...

Solar powered chargers, solar paneled houses?

Caoimhe said...

Brilliant.

Elizabeth S. said...

I enjoyed your comments about Tesla today, and self driving cars, and their inherent limitations. I learned some stuff, so thanks.

Mango said...

Millennials, Silicon Valley and Redditt all love Musk. I know people who have worked for Space X in the past and some that currently work for the company. I've been told that he is secretive and has incredibly unsafe practices (like a huge rocket weighing tons of pounds insecurely hanging over worker's heads); that's the main reason he doesn't want anyone seeing or inspecting his Florida and California Space X sites.

A former middle manager told me that Musk liked to hire young
college grads who are so dazzled by him and his vision that they blindly work 80 hour weeks for ungenerous salaries. The former manager told me that one of the reasons he left is because with unsafe sites and staff working so many overtime hours, he is sure that it's just a matter of time before there's a catastrophic work accident. That, the fact that he had no quality of life due to his grueling work hours, and lack of overtime pay made him jump to another aerospace company.


He also told me that it wasn't uncommon for Musk to have a meltdown and shriek in the faces of his managers, insulting them, spittle flying from his mouth. Later a lackey would stop by the staff members' workspace and assure them, sotto voce, that Musk didn't really mean it; and his employees had to understand that he was so brilliant and was under so.much.pressure.

AIP said...

Mango: Jobs Mk2
I am in awe of the man, or more specificly his ability, but am very glad to be nowhere near him.

Unknown said...

Of course his company is underwater. Yes there are more teslas, but the amount of money they spend is mindblowing. He is sending rockets into space and trying to design a subway (tube) system under LA. Plus the whole building cars and selling thing. There is no way the profits from the cars cover both the cost of the cars and all the extra stuff. It looks like it would be covered because the stock is all hyped up on enthusiasm of the fancy innovations he wants to create, but profit? Dollars? Actual value? None of it has been monetized. He is trying to create NASA on the back of cars, and 5000 cars isn't going to do it.

Remie Ross said...

people need to realize that those batteries take a lot of energy and resources to be produced. their production is NOT environmentally friendly. the amount of resources that go into making them actually make them NOT a better (i.e. More environmentally friendly) option.

If people really cared about efficiency and better fuel economy they would look more into Diesel engines. Diesels are tremendously efficient, but for some reason in recent years Diesel engines have been demonized. Ask yourself why that is and who would profit from this???

Remie Ross said...

I don't. I saw a few being driven by middle age douche bags when I went to L.A. But that's it

mercyprosperity said...

TW I am aware that it's satire!
My point was, how does the Babylon Bee's content apply to the current conversation about Tesla and Musk?

Cocobean said...

Sounds like Trump - hahaha!

Han Niam said...

Annnnd @Hedge’s credibility goes back into the junk drawer.

plot said...

@mercy

It was a joke.

AIP said...

@Remie: AND Diesel engines can be modified to run on biofuel. (I know people who do add in vegetable oil into their diesel already).;Diesel is not the cleanest fuel, but Diesel engines - despite their higher need for maintenance - are more robust and adaptable. Fuck it, even hybrid Diesel engines are possible and have been made.

The main study/ studies that came out 10:years ago to demonize them were based on a single very important metric: they were on the premise that the land used be virgin forest in South America. But if you incentivize the old set-aside system the EU had for its farmers, use the likes of rapeseed oil, OR properly look at reclaiming slurry from beef and dairy farming which is currently just being over-dumped on the ground as fertilizer ((and interfering with water systems while they’re at it), you start to get a far more workable solution, especially for the likes of haulage.

@Mercy: each advancement is built on the back of previous advancements, opening up new opportunities for development, which can happen in spurts.Nothing supernatural or extra-terrestrial about it. Many of our major advances, such as computing have had a longer genesis than people assume.

mercyprosperity said...

@AIP we can agree to disagree


While some advances can be explained with the exponential theory, others cannot.
All I can say is... keep an open mind and heart. I had experience w/ my partner some 22 years ago which changed my skeptic's mind and heart forever. I definitely do not believe we are 'alone' in the Universe.

AIP said...

@Mercy: fair enough.
I do agree that we are not alone in an ever-expanding universe. The odds alone strongly suggest that there is at least one other “Goldilocks” planet out there.

AIP said...

***clarification
Biofuels were discredited, not Diesel engines.

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