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Citadel Responds To Allegations Flying On Social Media, Says Griffin Has 'NEVER' Met Or Spoken With Robinhood's Tenev

Market maker Citadel Securities said Monday that it did not ask Robinhood Markets Inc (NASDAQ: HOOD) to restrict or limit trading activity at the peak of the GameStop Corp (NYSE: GME) short squeeze saga.

What Happened: Citadel posted a series of tweets Monday to defend itself and its CEO Ken Griffin.

See Also: How To Buy GameStop (GME) Shares

As per Citadel, it was the “only major market maker during this time that provided continuous liquidity every minute of every trading day.”

The firm claimed that, on Jan. 27, it executed “an extraordinary 7.4 billion shares on behalf of retail investors.”

“Ken Griffin and Vlad Tenev have NEVER met or spoken,” Citadel tweeted, clarifying its stand on the association between its CEO and that of Robinhood.

The market maker claimed that Griffin had dutifully told Congress that Citadel had not requested Robinhood restrict trading.

See Also: SEC To Publish Its Report On GameStop Short Squeeze Soon, Says Chair Gary Gensler

Why It Matters: Citadel’s response on Twitter comes as the hashtags “Citadel,”KenGriffinLied,” “LiedUnderOath” trended on the social media platform.

Citadel’s comments were in relation to the February-held Congressional hearing in which both the firm and Robinhood had denied collusion. 

At the time Tenev had said, “I want to be clear at the outset: any allegation that Robinhood acted to help hedge funds or other special interests to the detriment of our customers is absolutely false and market-distorting rhetoric.”

While Griffin said, “I want to be perfectly clear: we had no role in Robinhood’s decision to limit trading in GameStop or any other of the ‘meme’ stocks.”

Meme stocks are a reference to stocks popular among retail traders such as GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE: AMC).

Melvin Capital, a short seller that got squeezed by retail investors on r/WallStreetBets, was provided with liquidity worth $2 billion by Citadel in January.

However, at the Congressional hearing, Melvin’s founder and Chief Information Officer Gabe Plotkin said, “To be sure, Melvin was managing through a difficult time, but we always had margin excess and we were not seeking a cash infusion.” Plotkin denied that Melvin was bailed out by Citadel. 
Price Action: On Monday, Robinhood shares closed nearly 0.3% higher at $44.76 in the regular session.

Read Next: Michael Burry, Who Once Called On SEC For GameStop Enforcement, Receives SEC Subpoena 8 Months Later

Photo: Courtesy of Mike Mozart on Flickr

© 2021 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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