Digital rights activists call for “justice” after financial services company Robinhood steals from the poor and gives to the rich

Posted January 29, 2021, 2:14 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 29th, 2021

978-852-6457

press@fightforthefuture.org

Robinhood, E*Trade, Charles Schwab, and other stock brokers halted trading on Gamestop shares today, wiping out millions in gains for retail investors while reducing losses for powerful hedge fund investors

Earlier today, many top financial service firms — including Robinhood, E*Trade, Charles Schwab, and TD Ameritrade — and others halted purchases on Gamestop shares in a move that wiped out millions of dollars in gains for retail investors while protecting the position of powerful hedge fund investors. In response, digital rights group Fight for the Future has launched a new campaign, FuckWallStreet.online, which provides frustrated investors with the resources necessary to contact their lawmakers and file formal complaints with the SEC in pursuit of justice.

"This is an outrage, plain and simple," said Dayton Young, Product Director at Fight for the Future, (pronouns he/him). "Managers at hedge funds like Citron and Melvin Capital bet billions of dollars that Gamestop shares would tank, but retail investors proved them wrong. Now brokerages like Robinhood and E*Trade punishing retail investors for being right, restricting access to Gamestop shares and causing the stock price to plummet. They are literally choosing winners and losers in the stock market, taking millions of dollars away from ordinary people and giving it to hedge fund investors."

The situation started when hedge fund managers tried to short video game retailer Gamestop (GME). But these hedge fund managers overinvested in their position, creating a short interest of 150% … meaning the hedge fund managers had borrowed more GME shares than actually existed in order to execute their money-making scheme. Members of Reddit’s Wall Street Bets online community realized that they could capitalize on the situation by purchasing GME shares and holding them, forcing the stock price up as hedge fund managers became more and more desperate to stop their losses. 

As a result, GME skyrocketed to nearly $500 per share, up from a mere $4 price point last fall. That’s when popular brokerage firms stepped in, restricting investors from buying more GME. In a matter of hours, GME’s price sank below $200, wiping out massive gains for retail investors while allowing powerful hedge fund investors to minimize their losses.

"Robinhood and companies like them have made it perfectly clear that they are only interested in serving the interests of Wall Street," said Joe Thornton, Video Producer and Campaigner at Fight for the Future (pronouns he/him). "When it matters, they are more than happy to screw over small investors. Their stated goal of ‘democratizing finance for all’ was nothing more than aesthetics."

Fight for the Future encourages everyone to visit FuckWallStreet.online to learn more about the situation, contact Congress, and file a complaint about this blatantly anti-consumer behavior with the SEC.