Tesla's Elon Musk grills Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev over GameStop trading freeze

WION Web Team
California, United States Published: Feb 02, 2021, 11:09 AM(IST)

Elon Musk and Vladimir Tenev Photograph:( Agencies )

Story highlights

GameStop stock surged some 400 per cent in the past week after retail investors banded together to buy shares in the US video game retailer, sending hedge funds scrambling to cover losing bets

Tesla chief Elon Musk grilled Vladimir Tenev, co-founder of online stock broker app Robinhood, which is under fire for blocking retail investors from purchasing GameStop stock.

Musk asked on private social audio app Clubhouse "Do you want to hear the real story from Vlad [from] Robinhood about what happened on the Street with GameStop?"

Also read: GameStop prompts surge in hyper-rally after Elon Musk's tweet

On the wide-ranging chat, Musk discussed memes, Mars, his companies, and vaccines, among other topics. 

Clubhouse built a following among venture capitalists and startup founders gossiping in its audio-only chatrooms following its launch last March as the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world. It provides an alternative forum to Twitter.

GameStop stock surged some 400 per cent in the past week after retail investors banded together to buy shares in the US video game retailer, sending hedge funds scrambling to cover losing bets.

Musk questioned Tenev saying "What happened last week? Why couldn't people buy the GameStop shares? The people demand answers, and they want to know the truth."

Tenev said the market rumour was untrue that Citadel Securities - the market-making arm of billionaire hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin - had pressured Robinhood into blocking retail investors.

"That's just false," Tenev said, adding that Robinhood temporarily halted trading to meet regulatory capital requirements.

The Menlo Park, California-based company was founded in 2013 by Baiju Bhatt and Tenev, aiming to democratize finance. Its platform allows users to make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, exchange-traded funds, options and cryptocurrencies.

Musk last week tweeted "Gamestonk!!," which many in the market interpreted as an apparent show of support for small investors. "Stonks" is a tongue-in-cheek term for stocks widely used on social media.

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