- Nouriel Roubini told CoinDesk he believes Elon Musk should be investigated by the SEC for “market manipulation.”
- The economist, known as Dr. Doom for his pessimistic views, pointed to tweets from Musk prior to Tesla’s bitcoin purchase as evidence for his claims.
- Musk has been a vocal proponent of cryptocurrencies on his Twitter page during bitcoin’s rise.
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Nouriel Roubini, an economist known as “Dr.Doom” for his pessimistic market views, said Elon Musk’s tweet about bitcoin ahead of Tesla’s investment in the cryptocurrency is a form of “market manipulation” and the SEC should investigate.
“First take an individual position in bitcoin, pump the price up, and then say that Tesla has invested,” Roubini said in an interview with CoinDesk on Wednesday. “It’s also irresponsible and it’s market manipulation. The SEC should be looking into people that have a market impact that manipulate the price of assets. That’s also criminal behavior.”
Roubini has been a vocal critic of cryptocurrencies, often referring to the industry as a “speculative asset bubble” and even calling some of the digital assets “s-t coins.”
On Wednesday, the NYU economist released an op-ed in the Financial Times that called bitcoin’s fundamental value negative due to its environmental impact.
Read more: A Ruffer portfolio manager invested a portion of his $4.8 billion fund in Bitcoin. Here’s what swayed him to bet on crypto – and the 2 other ways he’s hedging against worrying speculative bubbles
Roubini’s criticism of Elon Musk comes after Tesla announced it bought $1.5 billion of bitcoin on Monday and said it plans to accept the digital currency as a payment. The move caused bitcoin’s price to soar to all-time highs of over $48,000 per coin.
After the announcement from Tesla, Musk sent out tweets that included memes glorifying the digital currency. The CEO also posted numerous tweets about an alt coin that started as meme-dogecoin-which caused that digital asset to skyrocket.
Before the Tesla news became public, Musk added #Bitcoin to his Twitter bio and tweeted “In retrospect it was inevitable.” Musk also caused a pop in the digital currency back in December after posting an explicit meme suggesting he was tempted to buy Bitcoin.
Now, multiple sources are claiming Musk’s tweets may be in violation of SEC regulations on market manipulation.
Doug Davison, a Partner at Linklaters and former branch chief of the SEC’s division of enforcement, told the UK’s Telegraph that “it would not be surprising-given the focus on the chief executive’s Tweets, Bitcoin pricing and recent dramatic market moves-for the SEC to ask questions about the facts and circumstances here.”
Vitor Constâncio, former vice president of the European Central Bank, echoed similar sentiments in a Twitter thread to his followers on Monday saying the “SEC will look into this.”
Despite the bearish news, Tesla stock rose 1.44% on Thursday as of 11:45 a.m. E.T., while bitcoin surged to another record on news of further institutional support.