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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Amid all the chatter about whether Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund will bankroll Tesla's take-private plan, a couple items caught my eye that explore whether it should.

Why it matters: Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims that the Saudi Public Investment Fund has signaled readiness to help fund the massive transaction. And it would be a major step in moves by OPEC's dominant producer to diversify its economy.

Yes, but: Two analysts are waving red and yellow flags.

1. Ellen Wald argues in Forbes that the Saudis would be better off investing in battery tech labs in the country, specifically the planned NEOM industrial center, to build an indigenous industry.

  • Wald, author of the recent book "Saudi, Inc.," argues they have the cash to lure talent from academia and top tech companies, like Samsung and GE, while providing opportunities for Saudi engineers and scientists.

2. Brian Johnson, via a Barclays research note yesterday, also argues that sovereign wealth funds from oil-rich states may have better options. He notes that "Tesla is by no means the only way to invest in an electric vehicle (EV) future."

  • "A [sovereign wealth fund] could buy any number of private Chinese EV companies, especially if China is going to be the most rapid adapter of electric vehicles. Or it could invest in battery tech or precursor metals like lithium and cobalt," Johnson writes.
  • "So as glamorous as Tesla seems to be as a holding, we're not sure if it's the best much less the only way to diversify away from oil," Johnson adds.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.

Updated 8 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

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