Following the recent controversy surrounding GameStop, stock trading app Robinhood, and Wall Street, Democratic Representative of New York's 14th District Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — known to the public more commonly as AOC — hosted a stream on her Twitch channel to discuss the situation.
The United States Congresswoman hosted three guests as part of her stream, which began on the evening of Thursday, January 28th at 5:30pm PT.
AOC's stream had already crested 300,000 viewers within the first few minutes, but technical difficulties on the Twitch end of her broadcast delayed the true start of the stream for about 45 minutes, which led to a loss of viewers. Upon solving the audio problems plaguing the stream, AOC gave an overview of the situation up until the start of the stream. Afterwards, she was joined by her first guest Alexis Goldstein.
Goldstein possesses seven years of professional experience on Wall Street before turning towards the activism-focused work that she continues to do in multiple mediums, including an article outlining the entirety of the situation surrounding GameStop stocks from her perspective. Goldstein's familiarity and involvement with last decade's Occupy Wall Street movement, which has been compared to the current GameStop stocks situation, provided additional insight.
There have been many online breakdowns of stock trading and how it applies to the current situation, but Goldstein theorizes that despite blame being pointed towards retail traders, particularly those on the recently shut down Wall Street Bets subreddit, there were most likely people hedging their options following the wide-open organization on the subreddit, and the publicity of that influence could have led all the way to Wall Street brokers themselves.
AOC concluded her segment with Goldstein to discuss the additional layer of RobinHood's relationship to Citadel Outlets, which was reported earlier in the day but shot down by the latter. AOC explained that is the potential nature of a connection between Citadel and Robinhood, and the ethics surrounding high-frequency trading, is what has extended the situation and its surrounding concern to the political sector.
Writing on the wall [street]
AOC's remaining two guests appeared simultaneously. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and TheStockGuy, a streamer known for his knowledge and experience as a retail trader, joined the Congresswoman to discuss what led to the current situation surrounding Gamestop stocks, as well as where things may go from here based on previous developments.
Ohanian, who resigned from the Reddit board of directors in June 2020, brought up the crucial point that hedge funds do this type of activity all of the time behind closed doors, and that the only thing causing this 'new' situation is the fact that one of the parties is that the market was manipulated by people instead of hedge funds, as well as the public nature of the trend's cultivation across Reddit and other social media platforms.
TheStockGuy agreed with Ohanian, emphasizing that what led to this situation happened way before the Wall Street Bets subreddit, and that trying to pin in on a nebulous, shared-interest community as if it were an organized faction was both disingenuous and reductive.
TheStockGuy also stated that he believes day traders aren't without blame because the risk of trading stocks is similar to accepting house rules prior to gambling at a casino, but that what Wall Street is doing is essentially moving the goalposts after losing, or as he put it: "Imagine if you had 20 on a Blackjack table and the dealer had 19, and when you say, 'I win' the dealer says 'No, no, wait a second, ' then shuffles through the deck, finds a 2, and says I have a 21."
TheStockGuy also said that this hypocrisy is what is leading the #HoldTheLine trend, where traders are refusing to sell GameStop stocks despite the stocks being intentionally tanked, more or less. "At this point, it's not about the money anymore. It's about a message, " TheStockGuy said to AOC. The streamer also made it clear that he did not expect politicians to look out for the best interest of people like himself and 'The Everyday Joe.'
"Do I think my state's congressman and my senator, who are funded by these companies, are going to write laws to protect me against them?" TheStockGuy asked, already knowing the answer. The conversation then concluded with both Ohanian and TheStockGuy thanking AOC for taking initiative on the situation, appreciating their respective inclusions, and reinforcing that it was up to the politicians, regardless of their perspectives on government regulations, to move next.
AOC then concluded the stream thanking the viewers for being patient through technical difficulties and that hosting the stream was only the first step in what she intends to be an action plan on the situation at hand. AOC agreed that politicians like herself are now responsible for resolution due to to the economic structure of the USA, and that corporations stick together in these types of situations. AOC thanked Goldstein, Ohanian and TheStockGuy for joining her to discuss the issues.
AOC ended the stream on a relatively lighter note by mentioning she had recently begun playing League of Legends once again, a game she frequently played through college.
The Congresswoman said that she was now at a level of comfort in playing that she may be streaming it in the near future alongside her political chats and Among Us sessions.
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