White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended newly-confirmed Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for taking speaking fees from Citadel.
Janet Yellen was previously paid more than $800,000 in speaking fees by Citadel.
On Thursday, Robinhood, an online brokerage firm, blocked retail investors trading GameStop and other stocks – a clear manipulation – in order to stop the bleeding and protect Citadel, a multinational hedge fund with a vested interest in Robinhood.
Citadel and Point72 infused nearly $3 billion into Melvin Capital, a hedge fund that took a beating after betting against GameStop as Reddit traders caused GME to soar.
The word on the street is that Citadel actually reloaded their shorts before they told Robinhood to stop trading GME (GameStop).
Just got a tip that Citadel reloaded their shorts before they told Robinhood to stop trading $GME.
If this is true, Ken Griffin and the Robinhood founders should be in jail.
This is class warfare.
— Justin Kan (@justinkan) January 28, 2021
It gets juicier…
A person who purports to be a Robinhood employee (unconfirmed) blew the whistle on a conversation that went down with the brokerage firm’s C-Suite, Sequoia Capital (a venture capital firm that focuses on tech) AND THE WHITE HOUSE.
“Vladimir, yes founder Vladimir, and the C-Suite, received calls from Sequoia Capital and the White House that pressured into closing trading on GME etc. I guarantee you the same took place at E-trade and the others who closed trading,” the anonymous Robinhood employee posted to Reddit.
Update: In a statement, Sequoia Capital says it “did not pressure Robinhood to halt the trading of any stocks. This rumor is completely false.”
The stock manipulation is a scandal in itself but if the White House was involved and pressured the online brokerage firms to halt trading, the scandal will officially be HUGE.
Was Janet Yellen involved in the halting of trading in order to protect Citadel, a hedge fund that previously paid her nearly $1 million in speaking fees?
Despite the clear conflict of interest, the White House did not commit to a recusal by Yellen when asked about it by a Reuters reporter.
Psaki bragged about Yellen being a woman and said she’s “one of the world renowned experts on markets.”
Great question from Nandita Bose of Reuters to Psaki if Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen would recuse herself from discussions about #RobinHood seeing has how she’s given paid speeches to the hedge fund Citadel. Psaki dodges b/c Yellen is “one of the world renowned experts on markets” pic.twitter.com/3paPVMv846
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 28, 2021
A class action lawsuit was filed against Robinhood on Thursday in the Southern District of New York.
BREAKING: Class action complaint against @RobinhoodApp filed in the southern district of NYhttps://t.co/DuGP3LIQDQ pic.twitter.com/mw82RRoA2L
— Lydia Moynihan (@LJMoynihan) January 28, 2021
Editor’s note: This article was updated with a public statement released by Sequoia Capital denying they pressured Robinhood to halt the trading of any stocks.