AOC Takes To Twitch To Discuss GameStop Drama
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is back in action and flying the flag for the people as she wades into the latest GameStop drama. It's been a weird week for the video game retailer after its stocks surged in the midst of a Reddit buying war.
With the world still locked up in its homes due to the global pandemic, GameStop wasn't exactly thriving as the American store has been hit by COVID-19. Even if stats suggest we're gaming more than usual, GameStop relied on the footfall of actual customers in-store. Now, gamers have gone full Wolf of Wall Street and stuck it to the man by upending the stock market.
Typically, you can make money by lowering the value of a stock and then buying it back later to turn a profit. This is called short selling, and while it's not morally great, it makes some serious dollar over on Wall Street. The GameStop debacle started when a subreddit told fans to buy as much GameStop stock as possible, thereby shortchanging the short sellers and costing hedge fund managers a not-so-small fortune.
What has AOC said about GameStop?
Just like New York congressional representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez kept her finger on the pulse by hopping into a round of Among Us in the run-up to the US Election, she's back to prove she's down with the kids. As we've watched GameStop's $GME stock soar, it sounds like AOC has also been keeping her eye on the market - maybe fancying herself as something of a Jordan Belfort. The issue is, consumer stock-trading apps like Robinhood and Webull put a block on GameStop shares, which led to values dropping again and AOC hosting a "fireside chat" to give her opinion.
During her stream, AOC chatted with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and TheStockGuy - a full-time Twitch streamer who broadcasts about trading and finance. The conversation quickly turned to money and the hold Wall Street still has on our finances. AOC also spent half-an-hour chatting with former Wall Street trader Alexis Goldstein, who is the Senior Policy Analyst at the non-profit organisation Americans for Financial Reform. Goldstein went into the finer details of the WallStreetBets drama and went on to link the Robinhood app's owner with a hedge fund called Citadel.
When asked for her views, AOC made her feelings clear and explained, "All of us got screwed in the Recession. We never saw a single person who was responsible for 16 million or so foreclosures… we didn’t see anyone go to jail for that. We didn’t see virtually anybody held accountable in any serious way. It almost felt like this week, one of the reasons for this populist rally is that it felt like the first time that anybody was holding these folks accountable".
Explaining how we should approach this kind of situation in the future, AOC summarised, "There are fundamental questions we have to answer: how do you actually shift power back into the hands of everyday people? Ultimately that's what this is about". Just like her Among Us stream, AOC pulled in the big numbers, with her latest stream peaking at 368,000 viewers and keeping a constant of around 200,000 to 240,000.
AOC and GameStop; What's next?
Weirdly, AOC shares her views with Donald Trump Jr. Although most are likely to think hell would freeze over before these two would see eye-to-eye, Ocasio-Cortez and Trump Jr criticised Robinhood after it decided to lock down trading on GameStop shares. Posting on Twitter, Trump Jr. wrote, "It took less than a day for big tech, big government and the corporate media to spring into action and begin colluding to protect their hedge fund buddies on Wall Street. This is what a rigged system looks like, folks!”
Texas senator Ted Cruz also said he agrees with AOC, however, he got a pretty frosty response from the Democrat. Even though AOC said she'd consider working with the Republicans on the issue, she vowed not to do it with someone who “almost had me murdered three weeks ago". Cruz is in the firing line amidst accusations he helped incite riots at Capitol Hill.
As for where GameStop stocks are up to now, a lawsuit was quickly filed against Robinhood in New York, which forced the company to change course. By late Thursday night, Robinhood backed down and said it would "allow limited buys of these securities".
This isn't the first time AOC has aimed her bow and arrow at Robinhood, having previously called out the app's ability to block purchases when hedge fund managers can do it freely. The question remains on whether the GameStop situation will lead to an uprising from "a bunch of randos on the Internet" or whether it's a fad that will die out. We're guessing there are some very nervous hedge fund managers right now. Either way, AOC is letting everyone know which side she's on.
Images via Twitch | Unsplash @gillyberlin | GameStop