How can Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk save the world if it has to reveal its business plans to the SEC and Wall Street analysts? Musk has a solution to that: take Tesla private. 

Musk let the world know via Twitter on Tuesday that he's looking to shift his $60 billion market cap EV pioneer from a public to private company. At market close, Tesla's market cap stood at $63.87 billion.

The mysterious tweet sent out this morning read: "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured." Tesla's stock jumped, triggering a halt for an hour or so before trading resumed at about $380.

A $420 price, a number seemingly plucked from a frat boy stoner fantasy, is 22 percent over Monday’s closing stock price and would be the biggest leveraged buyout in history — with a value of about $82 billion counting debt. Musk would have to come up with $66 billion, according to Bloomberg.

One would imagine the Securities and Exchange Commission will be taking a look at Elon's announcement, its timing and its impact on stock price — since Tesla did not file an 8-K form. The SEC 8-K form is required because firms listed on a U.S. stock exchange "are responsible for notifying the listing exchange about any corporate developments that could affect trading in its stock — and it must do so before announcing the news to the public."

Musk's tweet followed reports in The Financial Times that Saudi Arabian prince Mohammed bin Salman's Public Investment Fund had bought a stake of up to 5 percent (worth about $2 billion) in Tesla with shares purchased on the secondary market.

After sending his tweet to the world, Musk then let his employees know what was going on in a letter titled, "Taking Tesla Private." The letter reads:

Earlier today, I announced that I'm considering taking Tesla private at a price of $420/share. I wanted to let you know my rationale for this, and why I think this is the best path forward.

First, a final decision has not yet been made, but the reason for doing this is all about creating the environment for Tesla to operate best. As a public company, we are subject to wild swings in our stock price that can be a major distraction for everyone working at Tesla, all of whom are shareholders. Being public also subjects us to the quarterly earnings cycle that puts enormous pressure on Tesla to make decisions that may be right for a given quarter, but not necessarily right for the long-term. Finally, as the most shorted stock in the history of the stock market, being public means that there are large numbers of people who have the incentive to attack the company.

I fundamentally believe that we are at our best when everyone is focused on executing, when we can remain focused on our long-term mission, and when there are not perverse incentives for people to try to harm what we're all trying to achieve. This is especially true for a company like Tesla that has a long-term, forward-looking mission.

On Wednesday, as criticism of Musk's actions mounted, members of Tesla's board of directors released the following statement: "Last week, Elon opened a discussion with the board about taking the company private. This included discussion as to how being private could better serve Tesla’s long-term interests, and also addressed the funding for this to occur. The board has met several times over the last week and is taking the appropriate next steps to evaluate this."*

Financial markets react to the notion of a private Tesla

Musk is power-tweeting about the world's biggest leveraged buyout and the financial markets are full of hot takes. 

Dan Primack of Axios tweets: "One of two things is true right now: Elon Musk has quietly pulled a huge coup, and secured enough financing to buy his company at a premium. 2. Elon Musk doesn't have the financing, and the SEC is going to crush him for it."

According to Gene Munster of VC firm Loup Ventures, going private “makes a ton of sense” for the EV builder. “Elon Musk does not want to run public companies."
Munster notes that Musk's other companies, SpaceX and The Boring Company, are private firms. Musk also pointed this out in his letter. "SpaceX is a perfect example: It is far more operationally efficient, and that is largely due to the fact that it is privately held," he wrote. 
Musk added that the goal is not to merge SpaceX and Tesla. "They would continue to have separate ownership and governance structures. However, the structure envisioned for Tesla is similar in many ways to the SpaceX structure: External shareholders and employee shareholders have an opportunity to sell or buy approximately every six months."
Munster figures that there is a one-in-three in chance that Musk "can actually pull this off and bring Tesla private." He added: "The 16 percent premium to current share price may not be high enough to incentivize existing shareholders to support the sale."  
As for the SEC, Munster cites the Reed Hastings Rule and does not see any legal risk for Musk's Twitter habit.
Joel Levington, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, notes, “Funding $50 billion plus for a negative free cash flow business would be difficult, if not extraordinary." He added that the leveraged buyout is “highly unlikely."
Greentech Media Senior Analyst Allison Mond gave her view on Tesla going private, with a careful eye to its solar business. By going private, Tesla's solar market performance will become even harder to track. 
"There’s not any clear path to how they’re going to reboot their solar business," she said. "It’s been in free-fall ever since the [SolarCity] acquisition, and since then all they’ve done is cut sales channels, cut marketing, and lay off hordes of people."
"Unfortunately, if they do go private, we’re never going to see what happened," Mond said. "This could be the beginning of the end for Tesla’s solar business — at least the residential solar business."
Musk does not share Wall Street's focus on profits and quarterly performance and is notoriously thin-skinned when it comes to criticism from analysts and investors. All of these qualities make him better suited as the CEO of a private company with far less compliance and reporting requirements. But Tesla's lossy financials, feverish cash burn, and "production hell" don't fit the template of a company able to raise billions of dollars in debt.  
That said, Musk and Tesla don't fit any historic templates for CEOs or car companies.
Musk finished his letter to his employees with this exhortation: "This proposal to go private would ultimately be finalized through a vote of our shareholders. If the process ends the way I expect it will, a private Tesla would ultimately be an enormous opportunity for all of us. Either way, the future is very bright and we'll keep fighting to achieve our mission."

*This story was updated to include a statement from Tesla's board.