“The hypocritical growling of the bears”

Here’s RBC’s Joseph Spak on Tesla’s 1Q2018 investor call, as quoted by the Wall Street Journal:

An odd conference call that lacked answers to questions on investors’ minds and overshadowed earnings. Investor feedback is that the performance shook confidence, which we’d argue is an important piece of the Tesla story.

Confidence indeed – such, perhaps, as in The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade, the title of Herman Melville’s last novel. In chapter IX, we find this dialog:

“Your statement… tells a very fine story; but pray, was not your stock a little heavy awhile ago? downward tendency? Sort of low spirits among holders on the subject of that stock?”

“Yes, there was a depression. But how came it? who devised it? The ‘bears,’ sir. The depression of our stock was solely owing to the growling, the hypocritical growling, of the bears.”

In Elon Musk’s idiom, it would probably be owing to “sell-side analysts who represent a short seller thesis.”

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