The battle between the financial establishment and small individual investors is heating up, and the situation is already becoming political — in some cases providing some interesting common ground.
The anger is bipartisan. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), Rep Ro Khanna (D., Calif.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and even Donald Trump Jr., eldest son of the former president, have all called out the situation as unfair for individual investors.
As Robinhood and other brokerages halted buying of Gamestop (GME), AMC (AMC) and other stocks Thursday, only allowing users to sell their positions, a wave of anger — and accusations of hypocrisy toward Robinhood — washed over parts of the trading community.
Hedge funds could buy and sell, but on many platforms, retail investors could only sell.
“This is unacceptable,” AOC tweeted on the news. “Fully agree,” Ted Cruz responded.
In a statement Thursday, Democrat Rep. Ro Khannna of California also supported the small investors’ rights to buy.
“This entire episode has demonstrated the power of technology to democratize access to American financial institutions, ultimately giving far more people a say in our economic structures,” he wrote. “This also showed how the cards are stacked against the little guy in favor of billionaire Wall Street Traders.”
“While retail trading in some cases, like on Robinhood, blocked the purchasing of GameStop, hedge funds were still allowed to trade the stock,” Khanna added.
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) January 28, 2021
In his statement Khanna called for “more regulation and equality in the markets” and said that the country needs access and equity “across every sector of our economy.”
Khanna said he was fed up with “hedge fund billionaires” who “treat the stock market like their personal playground, then taking their ball home as soon as they lose.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has also taken an interest into the week’s action, issuing a statement similar to Khanna’s, but before the issue of retail access came about.
How regulators would address the situation is unclear, but the SEC and the White House have said they were monitoring the situation.