AOC and others call for investigation into Robinhood’s GameStop freeze

Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called on Congress to investigate the Robinhood app after it banned small investors from buying stock in companies like GameStop. Over the last week, Reddit users have rushed to buy the bemoaned video game retailer’s stock, inflating its price in what some are calling the “squeeze of a lifetime.”

In a Thursday tweet, Ocasio-Cortez called Robinhood’s decision to block retail investors from purchasing stock in companies like GameStop and Blackberry “unacceptable,” and that’d she’d “support a hearing if necessary.” Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction to oversee the stock market and “securities and exchanges” more broadly.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) retweeted her message, saying “Fully agree.”

House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) put out a statement later on Thursday calling for a hearing. “Hedge funds have a long history of predatory conduct and that conduct is entirely indefensible,” Waters said. “As a first step in reining in these abusive practices, I will convene a hearing to examine the recent activity around GameStop (GME) stock and other impacted stocks with a focus on short selling, online trading platforms, gamification and their systemic impact on our capital markets and retail investors.”

Chairwoman Incoming Senate Banking Committee Chair Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said in a statement Thursday that the committee will hold a hearing on the “state of the stock market” in the future.

Other progressive Democrats have also made statements on the GameStop shorts, calling for further regulation of the financial industry. “It’s long past time for the SEC and other financial regulators to wake up and do their jobs — and with a new administration and Democrats running Congress, I intend to make sure they do,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said in a statement Wednesday.

Silicon Valley progressive Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) put out a statement Thursday saying, “We’re done letting hedge fund billionaires treat the stock market like their personal playground, then taking their ball home as soon as they lose,” he continued. “We need more regulation and equality in the markets.”

Later on Thursday, Khanna retweeted Ocasio-Cortez, writing, “We need an investigation into RobinhoodApp’s decision and who influenced that. And this shows the need for a financial transaction tax on hedge fund shorting and SEC regulations on short selling practices.”

It’s unclear if Congress will move forward with an investigation into Robinhood . At a press conference Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said “interesting, isn’t it?” when asked about the GameStop shorts, but did not forecast any actions Congress planned to take regarding the situation.

Correction 1/28/21 at 1:35PM ET: This article previously said that Reddit users “shorted” GameStop stock. This was incorrect; instead, users rushed to buy the stock, inflating its price. The Verge regrets the error.

Updated 1/28/21 at 3:14PM ET: Updated to include that Senate Banking will hold a hearing on the “state of the stock market” in the future.

Updated 1/28/21 at 4:36PM ET: Included a statement from House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters calling for a hearing.


AOC’s follow-up to Cruz’s post is pure fire.

Absolutely savage I say

A dumpster fire, maybe. I get why she’s angry, but stunting a bipartisan movement with political division is EXACTLY why Wall Street always gets away with this sh*t. It’s how they keep people divided and arguing amongst themselves. She should recognize that we’ve got bigger fish to fry right now.

Yes when someone creates a situation that has the potential to get you killed, you should get over it and fry bigger fish.

I’d rather side with Wall Street than insurrectionists, and I hate Wall Street.

I’m not "siding" with the insurrectionists, it just seems like every time people should be united on something, some other issue conveniently gets in the way. Ted Cruz is a democratically elected official. If his constituents take issue with his stance then they’ll vote him out of office – if not, then this is still a democracy. That seems like an entirely separate issue.

Why work with a giant piece of shit when smaller pieces also share your view? AOC’s response also gets people thinking about Cruz’s actions once again. It’s a great move.

There’s a presumption here that Cortez and Cruz would ever actually work together on legislation. Don’t get me wrong, in a vacuum, you should want representatives from both sides of the aisle to work together to achieve a shared priority—but that is not the world we live in.

In our current polarized political climate, it’s safe to assume Cortez and Cruz both know exactly what they’re doing, and if they wanted to work together, it wouldn’t be done over Twitter.

They have in the past. Indeed, they’ve both used the "we never agree on anything and kinda don’t like each other" schtick to bolster joint efforts in the past.

Clearly, Cruz crossed a line and AOC isn’t willing to play that game anymore, while leaving open that there are plenty of Republicans who she WILL play the game with.

There is no reconciliation without confession. Thats why you must confess your sins before you can be forgiven. I’m an atheist, but this is a universal truth. There is no healing until Cruz and allies accept responsibility.

she’s worked with Cruz plenty of times before. Plenty of bills they’ve co-authored (don’t know if there was a pairing over the past couple of years that was so prevalent in co-authoring bipartisan bills honestly and interestingly enough, they mostly started on Twitter). But when he stoked the "they have a valid point" part of the flames (not the "get your pitchforks and go" part), that was enough. Also, he constantly says that he sticks around to keep people like AOC from destroying the country (and for fundraising). What was he then? Co-conspirator in the destruction of the US on two fronts?

This take is the urine-stained alley an actual dumpster fire would be housed in.

I get why she’s angry

AOC: "you almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago"

You really don’t care about her life or safety whatsoever, good god…

He did not try to have her murdered. That’s a gross over-statement. Believing that fraud took place, no matter how valid a belief, does not equate to wanting to literally murder someone. We are still allowed to hold whatever beliefs we want in this country, and everyone, including politicians, has a first amendment right to voice those beliefs no matter how disagreeable. What you can’t do is call people to violence, which he at no point did.

Believing that fraud took place, no matter how valid a belief, does not equate to wanting to literally murder someone.

There was just a simple belief that they could overturn a valid election. There was no belief, from Congress, that systematic fraud actually took place.

They didn’t even pretend to have that belief either! They just talked out the side of their mouths about "allegations of fraud" not any actual instances of fraud or actual evidence supporting the fraud narrative!

No, he echoed the lies about the election being stolen and her being an evil communist. And then a mob of angry idiots took his, other Republicans, right wing media and Trump’s word as gospel and decided they should try to assassinate her, Pence, and Pelosi. The mob didn’t just wake up one morning and decide "hey let’s go storm the capitol." They were lied to, fed false information, and acted on it. He was absolutely part of it.

He can believe whatever he wants, those of us in reality know exactly what he did.

This is a direct quote of what he said:

"The answer isn’t to stay home and hand control of the government over to the radical left and the extreme socialists, the answer is to stand up and defend the state of Georgia and defend our rights." said Cruz. "The anger that you feel, let me encourage you to channel it into fighting to save the senate and save America."

He egged them on and has blood on his hands.

Wow that’s actually worse than I thought lol I only heard his election nonsense. She has a point.

lol come on. Cruz actively stoked the insurrectionists fervor by advancing the stupid & baseless election fraud narrative. He is a self-serving cretin and deserves the scorn and ridicule of everyone in congress, even when he picks the correct side for once.

I don’t agree with Ted Cruz regarding election fraud — Biden won fair and square — however, his belief in the existence of election fraud does not mean he supported the insurrection. It’s a false argument, and AOC’s response does nothing but stir up division.

I mean he voted to throw out all the votes of swing states because of "election fraud" with no evidence and has spent his entire career smearing liberals and calling BLM activists terrorists but I guess AOC is being divisive for calling him out.

Interesting. I’m curious, does it matter to you if his belief in voter fraud is sincere? I.e does motive matter? I’m with you, I haven’t seen any evidence of mass election fraud but I know people who sincerely believe they have (and not because of Ted Cruz), and I would definitely not call them killers. Misinformed, maybe. If they were lying for political gain or to stir up unrest, then yeah, that would be very divisive. But if they are sincere — to me that makes all the difference.

Since I can’t read Cruz’s mind, I hesitate to assume. Hence my comment about the tweet

Hint: It’s not sincere.

He didn’t even say he believed there was fraud, just that there were "allegations". There is no way it was sincere, it was a self-serving lie to keep the Trump base on his side and a bit of a hail mary to try and overturn a legitimate election. Though I don’t think he had any faith it would work.

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