Elon Musk, the CEO of electric vehicle and clean energy company Tesla, threatened JP Morgan Chase with a “one star review on Yelp” on Monday after the biggest bank in the US sued Musk for $162 million.
The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York on November 15; in it, Morgan alleges that Tesla failed to follow through on a trade that JP Morgan planned in 2014.
“We have provided Tesla multiple opportunities to fulfill its contractual obligations, so it is unfortunate that they have forced this issue into litigation,” JP Morgan officials said in a statement.
Tesla vs JP Morgan
When the Wall Street Journal asked Musk to comment on the lawsuit, the CEO, who is known for his comical responses, stated jokingly, “If JPM doesn’t withdraw their lawsuit, I will give them a one-star review on Yelp… This is my final warning!”
According to the Wall Street Journal, the lawsuit does not come as a shock, as Musk has been privately feuding with Jamie Dimon, a Greek-American who is the CEO of JP Morgan, for many years.
This tension has likely caused JP Morgan to miss out on gains from Tesla’s meteoric rise in recent years. The company once had strong bonds with JP Morgan, which helped work on its IPO in 2010 and brokered many important deals in Tesla’s early years.
Over the years, however, Tesla has moved on to collaborate with other banks. The electric car company hasn’t worked with JP Morgan since 2016.
The bank has made around $15 million working with Tesla, but rival bank Goldman Sachs has made over $90 million with the company.
The shift has impacted Musk’s own preferences in terms of personal finances as well. T world’s current richest man uses Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America to manage his immense wealth.
Elon Musk is known for his comedic public statements
The Tesla CEO is known for his comedic responses to serious statements.
Tesla’s stock crashed by 5% last week after Elon Musk made a heated response to a tweet from Senator Bernie Sanders calling for stricter taxes on the wealth of billionaires.
Sanders tweeted that “We must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share. Period.”
Musk shot back the next day by replying to the Vermont senator’s tweet with “I keep forgetting that you’re still alive.”
Musk then followed up his barbed tweet by threatening to sell more of his Tesla stock, something he did last week following a public Twitter poll.
“Want me to sell more stock Bernie? Just say the word,” Musk tweeted to Sanders.
Musk sold 4.5 million shares of his company, Tesla, worth $5 billion, in early November immediately after the majority of Twitter users who participated in his poll voted for him to sell. He has now sold up to 7 million shares.
Over 3 million Twitter users participated in the Tesla CEO’s poll. Musk is the largest shareholder in his company.
Musk’s move is said to be directly connected to Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden’s latest plan to introduce more stringent taxes for the United States’ billionaires, targeting their investments, which are typically only taxed after being sold, and thus financially “realized.”
“Much has made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10 percent of my Tesla stock,” Musk wrote. Then he asked his followers, “Do you support this?”
Although Musk promised to “abide by the results” no matter what the outcome was, many experts believe that his Twitter poll was a stunt meant to spin the fact that he was queuing up to sell stock anyway, with one CNBC report stating that the CEO would be racked with $15 billion in taxes on his investments alone.