As the GameStop stock fiasco unrolled last week, Elon Musk entered into the mix by supporting the Reddit day traders who coordinated a wide-scale maneuver against hedge funds that were shorting shares of the video game retailer. However, the situation became so volatile that the popular investment trading app Robinhood blocked users from buying GameStop stocks on Thursday, which led to a severe backlash and threats of congressional hearings. While the ban was only temporary, people want answers, and that includes Musk, who arranged an early Monday morning interview with Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev on the audio streaming platform Clubhouse. After getting Tenev into the chat, Musk immediately started grilling him.
“Spill the beans, man,” Musk said right out of the gate. “What happened last week? The people demand an answer, and they want to know the details and the truth.” While Musk seemed fired up at the start, the Tesla CEO became more sympathetic as Tenev explained that Robinhood was under intense pressure from the National Securities Clearing Corporation, a regulatory agency, which demanded a $3 billion deposit at 3 a.m. Thursday morning due to the volatility around the GameStop stocks. Ultimately, Robinhood was able to bring that number down to $700 million, but as Tenev claimed, not before putting a temporary block on buying the stocks. Via the New York Post:
“I guess people really just want to know — if you had no choice, then you had no choice, it’s a gun-to-the-head situation. And then that’s understandable,” Musk told Tenev. “But then whoever put that gun to your head should be willing to answer to the public.”
When Musk began to suggest that there was some “shadiness” to the NSCC’s request, Tenev shot down that characterization, which prompted Musk to ask if the Robinhood CEO is being held hostage. Tenev assured him he wasn’t.
(Via New York Post)