Of all possible outcomes, this is the best one Elon Musk and Tesla could have hoped for.
Just a few days ago, we were wondering what the future held for Tesla. The Securities and Exchange Commission had sued Musk for fraud, and threatened it might seek to bar him from being an officer at any public company.
Every paragraph of the SEC's complaint brought with it another jaw-dropping allegation.
And now, just like that, it's all over. It surely cost Musk, and Tesla: a $20 fine to start, but also Musk's relinquishment of the position of chairman of the board for at least three years, and the addition of two new, independent seats on Tesla's board. And Musk had to sign a statement saying he was neither admitting nor denying wrongdoing.
But in the long run, this might just be the best thing that ever happened to Musk, and to Tesla. Because the most important term of the settlement Musk worked out is the SEC's insistence on a series of corporate safeguards to keep Musk from doing things like what got him into trouble in the first place: namely, posting the August 7 tweet that said he was thinking of taking the company private, and that he had "funding secured."
Imagine what Tesla would be like if Musk actually had to think before he tweeted? And as promised, there's a mechanism within the company to hold him back from his most havoc-wreaking social-media posts. Tesla might even make its Model 3 production goals.
Here's what else is worth reading on this extremely busy Monday morning:
NAFTA came down to the wire, eh?
Late last night, Canada, the United States, and Mexico agreed to a deal to preserve some form of NAFTA. Ratification promises to be a bear, though, especially if Democrats take control of Congress in November. --Jacob M. Schlesinger, Kim Mackrael and Vivian Salama, The Wall Street Journal
Facebook's big hope: We're all just numb
Facebook's facing a tough week after it revealed on Friday that 50 million user accounts were hacked last month. Luckily for Facebook, its users seem surprisingly numb to the idea of hacks at this point--unless their data winds up being used in some nefarious way. --Josh Constine, TechCrunch
The feds really don't want Net Neutrality
Last night, hours after California's tough new Net Neutrality law went into effect, the U.S. Department of Justice sued the state. Its argument is that the Federal Communications Commission has exclusive jurisdiction over the issue, and that California is opening the door to 50 different state laws. --Tony Romm and Brian Fung, The Washington Post
Slack: An IPO and an inspiration
Slack is eyeing an initial public offering in the first quarter of 2019--at a $7 billion valuation. Not too shabby for a five-year-old company that originated as an internal communications tool. --Maureen Farrell, The Wall Street Journal
The bar is low
Realizing you've impressed someone is a good feeling. It's particularly funny when whatever you did really wasn't such a big deal. With that in mind, I give you: Meghan Markle creating a minor frenzy in Great Britain by closing her own car door. (Apparently, royals normally have other people to do that for them.) --Charlotte Davis, The Express