It's a pain being me, says Elon Musk after tough year

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It's not clear why they're bothering Musk now more than before, but it might be because Tesla's hard year (Model 3 production delays and Model X crash that has dropped stock prices since March) made more short-sellers turn to Tesla, or because Musk's own activities (say, a positive quarterly earnings call) have cost the short-sellers huge sums.

"It was excruciating." Among the struggles Musk says he has dealt with due to running his multiple companies are failing health and almost missing his brother's wedding in order to meet Tesla production targets.

Musk, in a revealing interview, said he has been working up to 120 hours a week and needs Ambien to fall asleep at night. Is there someone who can do the job better?

The Times also quoted Musk as saying that Tesla tried to recruit Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg a couple of years ago to serve as the company's No. 2 executive under Musk - a role similar to that filled by Gwynne Shotwell as president of SpaceX, Musk's privately held space venture.

Other recent actions that have concerned investors include Musk calling a diver who helped rescue Thai children trapped in a cave a "pedo" and berating analysts during a conference call.

Tesla's stock soared, before trading was stopped and the SEC started issuing subpoenas.

The Wall Street Journal also reports that the SEC is examining if Tesla misled investors about production problem for its Model 3 sedan.

"It seemed like better karma at $420 than at $419", he said. But he cryptically added, "if you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know". By Musk's own admission, he has been burning it on all sides while Tesla struggles to crank out thousands of its first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3 sedan.

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"Musk also expressed a desire to improve production to the point where Tesla can make two cars at once", said the report. When asked if he regretted his Twitter post, Musk replied: "Why would I?"

In a blog post Monday clarifying his tweet, Musk said he spoke with the board about taking Tesla private and had "no question ... a deal with the Saudi sovereign fund could be closed".

The interview took place on August 15 but a 17-minute video was uploaded by Brownlee on YouTube on Friday - a week after Musk tweeted about taking Tesla private with "funding secured" that created a storm at the Tesla board and amid market watchers.

Reaction to the Times interview came swiftly on social media, including a comment from television personality Jim Cramer, who says Musk requires "medical leave". He may have been referring to short-sellers, investors betting against Tesla whom he has openly wrangled with in the past. "It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien", Musk said.

Since then, Musk has offered follow-up explanations for the way he handled things, including an admission that he had seen his remarks as a good-faith effort to be transparent with his company's stakeholders.

The most recent headache came from Musk's now-infamous declarations about taking Tesla private.

On Twitter, Musk has frequently complained about short sellers and taunted them.

Musk, 47, has a reputation for being an eccentric visionary. Nearly a week later, the chief executive said the basis for that statement was conversations with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which first expressed interest in helping take the company private in early 2017. "They can have the reins right now".