Tesla Board Member Mizuno Blasts Calls for Short-Squeeze Curbs

Tesla Inc. board member Hiromichi Mizuno took advantage of the short-squeeze controversy Friday to resume his war of words on short-sellers, restarting a debate he kindled during his term as the chief investment officer of the world’s largest pension fund.

“Funny to observe those who blindly believe in the benefit of market liquidity and argue against any restriction on short-selling are now lobbying for restriction on retail buying to squeeze them,” Mizuno wrote on Twitter in comments that put him on the side of politiciansincluding the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ted Cruz who have criticized restrictions on high-flying stocks such as GameStop Corp.

Hey, be consistent. Let the market decide! Thats what you believed. Funny to observe those who blindly believe in the benefit of market liquidity and argue against any restriction on short selling are now lobbying for restriction on retail buying to squeeze them.? ? #ShortSqueeze12:32 AM · Jan 29, 2021

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Mizuno is a long-term critic of short-selling. When CIO of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the fund sparked controversy when it made the decision tostop lending foreign shares. Mizuno subsequently criticized what he termed the “short-termism” of short-sellers in aninterview with the Financial Times.

Some critics had said that the pension fund was failing to collect commission fees it could have gained from stock lending and wasn’t contributing to market liquidity. Mizuno appeared to shoot back at those same critics in another tweet Friday.

Many investment professionals, particularly HFs, and media criticised a pension fund stopping stock lending, saying short selling should not be restricted as it provides liquidity and promote more efficient pricing. Even said its market neutral as it has to be bought back.2:56 AM · Jan 29, 2021

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Mizuno’s stance against short-selling may be one of the things that endeared him to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has in the pasttaunted short-sellers andcalled the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission.” Earlier Friday, Muskagreed with another Twitter user’s call for making shorting illegal.

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