Goldman Sachs Analyst Downgrades Tesla Stock To Sell, No Substantial Reason Cited

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The imaginary world of finance is always a strange place — nothing seems to be correlated to what happens in the real world in any substantial way (despite actual physical resources constituting the base of everything, good luck getting most people to acknowledge this). While political events and company performances are “taken into account,” in a way, it’s clear that these things aren’t the primary driver of anything. Everything just seems to boil down to typical primate behavior: belief, projection, and dramatics.

Case in point: Who can even tell what the driver of so much of the anti-Tesla propaganda out there is? Is it just short sellers setting up bets? Oil money? The major auto manufacturers? Do people have some kind of ideological association of Tesla and “liberals?” Or do they ideologically associate CEO Elon Musk and pseudo-mystic hucksters?

I have to wonder what the actual driver is, because anytime I broach the topic with random strangers, everything seems to quickly get subverted to some existing story they have in their head:

  • “Elon Musk and Tesla are all about government cronyism and liberal pat-yourself-on-the-back-behavior;”
  • “Tesla and Elon Musk are saintly phenomena that will lead people out of the ignorant darkness, how dare you criticize them;”
  • “Musk and Trump are buddies, and Musk is a traitor to all things good;”
  • blah, blah, blah.

With that in mind, Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino has downgraded its rating for Tesla stock [TSLA] to “sell” from “neutral.” What’s the reason given?

“Ultimately we see a delayed launch,” Tamberrino wrote in a recent report (via Bloomberg). He also noted that it seemed likely that the company would seek another capital raise before the end of 2017, and that the solar business was unproven.

Were there any real specifics given here? Any new information supporting the assertion that Model 3 production goals won’t be met?

No. The reason simply seems to be that, since the Model X and Model S were late, the Model 3 will be as well — this despite the fact that the manufacturing situations, the models themselves, the vendor relationships, and the financial resources are all completely different this time. Perhaps the Model 3 will be late, but it won’t simply be “because the Model X was late, and therefore Tesla is always late.” Musk very clearly warned against such faulty reasoning early last year.

To be clear here, I’m not a “fanboy” of Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk — I see the company as just another company, and I do disagree with Musk on quite a lot. Though, interestingly, Tesla is a company that has been dragging an industry that dwarfs it towards the adoption of technologies that it otherwise would have been resistant to adopt. Nonetheless, the incredible laziness of what passes as politics and analysis as of late (“Tesla was late, so Tesla is late, so Tesla will always be late”) irks me.

I suppose that it’s only going to get worse as the 2020s and 2030s come into focus, though, and as resource constraints, agricultural problems, and the effects of anthropogenic climate change begin hitting in earnest — people on both “sides” of the political spectrum will probably be looking desperately for scapegoats by then, and supporting that search with lazy thinking. So, cheers to that.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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