The Reddit-fueled GameStop stock craze seems to have died down in recent days, which means the next time you really consider the short squeeze market again may be when you see one or several Reddit-inspired movies on various platforms. But the incident, and Robinhood’s involvement with the controversial Wall Street escapades, were the talk of Capitol Hill on Thursday.
In a congressional hearing entitled “Game Stopped?,” Robinhood was put front and center as congress called witnesses in a hearing about exactly what happened in the late-January stock surges of retail stocks like GameStop, AMC and BlackBerry. It really did make for a surreal scene in Washington, though that’s honestly nothing new these days.
also whom do I contact to get U.S. House committees to stop titling their hearings like they're academic conference panel discussions pic.twitter.com/ZX1fVtPFP8
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) February 18, 2021
When the hearing was in session, however, it was even more odd. Starting with testimony from all over the place.
— The Recount (@therecount) February 18, 2021
When Maxine Waters got to Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev, though, things really got tense. The chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee made it clear she wanted answers about a variety of things, namely Robinhood limiting trading of GameStop stock and other volatile stocks, apparently at the behest of its lenders, while also telling the media publicly that the company didn’t have any problems with liquidity.
Tenev, however, tried to not answer the question as directly as Waters wanted: with a simple yes or no.
“I don’t have time,” Waters said at one point. “Just answer yes or no.”
Waters, who has a time limit when interviewing people at these hearings and tried hard to keep questioning moving, addressed the issues Robinhood has had with reports of them misleading customers, which surfaced well before the GameStop stock surge but only added to the issues the company has had in recent months.
“It seems retail investors often get a bad deal at Robinhood,” Waters said at one point. Later, she did the same to Citadel CEO Kennith Griffin, whose company took huge losses when its short sales of GameStop stock were called because of Redditors buying the stock and causing prices to soar.