‘In light of current market volatility, we are restricting transactions for certain securities to position closing only, including $AMC and $GME.’ This is the statement on Robinhood’s official Twitter page.
Well, there we have it. When the retail investors finally get the better of the big institutions, they start playing dirty. This is an absolutely disgraceful move by Robinhood, a popular American broker with in excess of 13m users.
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Investors have been left outraged by the potentially illegal and undemocratic decision, which is perhaps the most blatant example of market manipulation we have ever seen. There is no way that Robinhood manages to worm its way out of this situation without facing up to the fury of the retail investment community, who are refusing to go down quietly…
This latest development is a microcosm of a much wider issue: Joe Schmoe will always be playing by a different set of rules to those with immense wealth.
WallStreetBets exposes the reality of the stock market
Since WallStreetBets carried out its gamma squeezing of GameStop (GME) stock, social media had been awash with positivity. For years, institutions with huge short positions have had the rub of the green, and as the market closed yesterday on the 27th of January, we all finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel.
That’s until this morning, when Robinhood decided that rich bankers and fund managers have lost too much money for their liking.
Robinhood screws its users
As the market opened this morning, Robinhood – a platform that states proudly ‘We are all investors… Our time is now’ – decided that our time is in fact up. For stocks that have been the target of gamma and short squeezing, such as GameStop (GME) and AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC), individuals can no longer open buy positions; they can only sell. Wow.
Interestingly, because there is now no possibility of bullish momentum due to new purchases, retail investors are being forced to close their positions at a loss, as the establishment introduces a widespread correction designed to put us all back into our place. It is essentially forcing retail investors to hand over their profits.
For a platform that claims to be ‘Democratizing finance for all,’ this move should be the clearest indication yet that brokers like Robinhood are not to be trusted. The message is loud and clear: the house always wins.
A broken system: market manipulation at its worst
The complete refusal to provide a level playing field to retail investors was exemplified by Adena Friedman, the CEO of the NASDAQ, yesterday. She stated that trading could soon be suspended because of suspicions of ‘market manipulation.’
There have quite clearly been no laws broken by WallStreetBets, but Friedman has decided that suspicions of market manipulation only apply to those without superyachts. It is a kick in the face to those who, perhaps naively, believed that global financial systems weren’t working against us. If this isn’t a testament to the need for decentralisation and the rise of cryptocurrencies, we don’t know what is.
In light of this, you might want to consider learning more about cryptocurrency. There are a variety of courses on our website that can set you on the right path.
A community backlash
The community has been left aghast with the action of Robinhood, which has clearly demonstrated that the broker is totally biased towards hedge funds.
Perhaps most significantly of all, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – a member of the United States House Committee on Financial Services – has supported a potential hearing regarding the matter.
What should you do?
Many on social media see holding onto their positions as being about more than margins. It is viewed by many as a political stance against the establishment. You need to ask yourself whether you can afford to lose any more of the money you have invested and if you believe that the gamma and short squeezing will be successful.
It does seem that this time, retail investors might have had enough.
Revising our review
We reviewed Robinhood in the past, but in the wake of this scandal, we will be revisiting and revising it in due course – try these alternatives instead. Behaviour this outrageous must be reprimanded.