It looks like free trade is dead in the United States. The owner of Robinhood, a popular brokerage firm, tried to explain why his company illegally sold the stocks of investors to alter the market and is also preventing people from buying specific stocks.
Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev said Robinhood’s move to stop trading in certain speculative names was in the best interest of the company and its millions of users. “In order to protect the firm and protect our customers we had to limit buying in these stocks,” Tenev told CNBC Thursday evening.
“Robinhood is a brokerage firm, we have lots of financial requirements. We have SEC net capital requirements and clearing house deposits. So that’s money that we have to deposit at various clearing houses. Some of these requirements fluctuate quite a bit based on volatility in the market and they can be substantial in the current environment where there’s a lot of volatility and a lot of concentrated activity in these names that have been going viral on social media,” said Tenev.
Tenev denied there was any existing liquidity issue at the firm and said Robinhood had tapped credit lines as a proactive measure. “We want to put ourselves in a position to allow our customers to be as unrestricted as possible in accordance with the requirements and the regulations,” said Tenev. “So we pulled those credit lines so that we could maximize within reason the funds we have to deposit at the clearing houses.”
Amid a wild week of speculative retail trading, Robinhood on Thursday restricted trading in thirteen equities, including GameStop and AMC Entertainment. The free stock trading pioneer only allowed clients to sell positions, not open new ones, in certain securities, raised margin requirements, and even said t would close out some positions automatically if the client was at risk of not having the necessary collateral.
“We just haven’t see this level of concentrated interest market wide in a small number of names before,” said Tenev. “We do believe that you should be able to buy and sell the stocks that you want to.”
[They just won’t allow it if they don’t agree.]
Shares of GameStop, AMC and others rebounded aggressively in extended trading on Thursday after Robinhood said it will resume limited trading of previously restricted securities on Friday.
“Starting tomorrow, we plan to allow limited buys of these securities. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and may make adjustments as needed,” Robinhood said in a statement.
GameStop shares skyrocketed 61% to trade at $312 in after hours trading, after closing down 44% to $193.60 during regular hours Thursday. The stock’s high for the week is $483.
Robinhood said its decision to restrict trading — which angered many users — was in order to comply with capital requirements mandated by the SEC for broker dealers.
“These requirements exist to protect investors and the markets and we take our responsibilities to comply with them seriously, including through the measures we have taken today,” the company said.
[In other words, we will not allow you to buy stock if we deem it a risk to the wealthy. You will remain poor, and we will control it.]
Here’s the list, reported by Top Trade Guru:
The full list of stocks Robinhood blocked today is circulating the Internet. Wallstreetbets vows to send these stocks to the moon as the group of redditors declare war–
FRIDAY 9:30 AM–
Robinhood and other brokers will allow users to trade the following stocks on a limited basis. So, you can attempt to buy these stocks tomorrow, but you may not be successful. Post-market data suggests these stocks will have a good day tomorrow as they are already picking up momentum. Just remember, these are volatile stocks, so exercise caution.
American Airlines Group, Inc.
AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.
Castor Maritime Inc.
Naked Brand Group Limited
Nokia Corporation Sponsored
Sundial Growers Inc.
Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc.
Robinhood Will Allow Limited Buys of Restricted Stocks on Friday
Starting tomorrow, we plan to allow limited buys of these securities. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed.
— VLAD (@vladtenev) January 28, 2021
Report: Google Removing Negative Robinhood Reviews
Earlier reports showed Robinhood’s star rating fall to 1-star on Google’s app store. (Note, the following tweet mentions Best Buy as a Robinhood restricted stock, but it should be Bed Bath & Beyond $BBBY).
And look at how well it’s working out for them so far… pic.twitter.com/cFDHl8r5sx
— Bolt the Snowy-Pony #BLM (@SuperPonyBolt) January 28, 2021
Rep. Paul Gosar — R from AZ — on the Events
— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) January 28, 2021
Robinhood’s Most Egregious Act May Be Selling Shares Without Consent of the Account Owner
Several hundred Robinhood account owners reported shares automatically being sold at a price that was near the day’s low. The fact the shares were sold near the days low suggest they didn’t sell for the account owners benefit “to mitigate risk.”
Reaction From the Web
Unity: Rush and AOC
This is unacceptable.
We now need to know more about @RobinhoodApp’s decision to block retail investors from purchasing stock while hedge funds are freely able to trade the stock as they see fit.
As a member of the Financial Services Cmte, I’d support a hearing if necessary. https://t.co/4Qyrolgzyt
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 28, 2021
Who stopped the losses for the millions who lost their jobs and homes during the 2007 GFC or 2020 Covid-19 pandemic? You don’t get to just shut off the market just because you are on the wrong side of a trade. from wallstreetbets
The #RobinHood scandal reminds me of when millions of Americans organized to flee Facebook & Twitter for Parler—and then a bunch of crooks (Google & Apple) shut it down by pretending that the competition was illegal.
Wall Street & Big Tech are criminal, colluding enterprises.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) January 28, 2021