Co-founder and CEO of popular US trading app Robinhood Vladimir Tenev has been absolutely roasted on national television after his company restricted trading of GamStop shares during this week’s wild growth.
To put it simply, Robinhood is a super easy trading app that a whole lot of regular folk (in the US – it’s not available in Aus) use to trade stocks. So naturally, they’ve found themselves at the centre of the GameStop situation because everybody has hopped on board to make a quick trade.
The whole situation is a hot, hot mess, so if you’re not already familiar with what’s going on, I’d suggest reading this handy explainer we wrote yesterday that sums it up so simply that even a five-year-old could comprehend it.
So basically, throughout all of this stock exchange bullshit, those fun little trading apps like Robinhood have been having an absolute field day because a bunch of regular folk like you and I have been trying to cash in on that sweet, sweet money.
That’s totally fine and isn’t the problem here. The problem is that – in the midst of everything that happened yesterday – Robinhood restricted customers ability to purchase GameStop shares, which essentially gave the big guys (hedge funds) the ability to yeet out before the stock price grew even higher.
Obviously, people could still purchase the shares elsewhere, so it didn’t completely halt the situation, but considering Robinhood is a huge leader in retail trading for regular folk, it made a significant difference.
The situation has grown so dire that even the New York State Attorney General is investigating the company.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) January 28, 2021
So after having his ass handed to him on social media for the last 24 hours, Vlad hopped on Bloomberg TV to answer some questions.
Bloomberg’s @emilychangtv asks Robinhood CEO and co-founder Vlad Tenev if he was prepared to deal with the avalanche of complaints. Here’s what he had to say via @BloombergTV https://t.co/Dgz709r3Y8 $GME $AMC $NOK pic.twitter.com/baakr9JphF
— Bloomberg (@business) January 29, 2021
The whole interview basically just involved Tenev dancing around the important questions and asserting that he “only” stopped the purchasing of stocks, not the selling – which is still, uhh… sorta a huge deal.
However, he made it *crystal* clear that Robinhood was number one on the app store amid all of this stock madness, which is… not something I’d be boasting about right now.
3. Robinhood CEO @vladtenev keeps noting that the app is #1 on the app store. "We've never been #1 in the app store," he just added.
This is not what I'd be touting right now!
— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) January 28, 2021
He also made a point of saying that the decision to halt purchasing was that of Robinhood alone, and was not something he was told to do by a hedge fund or bigger company.
At this point – if you’ve been following the situation – you’re probably thinking that it’s pretty ironic how a man who founded a company named Robinhood doesn’t *really* seem to be doing much for the poor.
And you’re not alone in that thought, with Bloomberg host Emily Chang straight-up telling him that he’s more like the Sheriff of Nottingham (aka the bad guy in the story) than he is Robin Hood.
But it’s not just the Sheriff of Nottingham that the founder and CEO has been likened to.
We have… Dracula.
So every #vlad I'm familiar with in history was a bloodsucker, glad to see #vladtenev living up to his historical counterpart. Seriously, has anyone ever seen #vladtenev and #Dracula in the same room at the same time? pic.twitter.com/n474T40hhn
— Satirically Speaking (@ExposoftheSouth) January 29, 2021
Vlad Tenev looks like the first big adversary you face in GTA 4. https://t.co/w598hwF7jc
— “The Anadarko Andy Sidaris” (@uncannykarloff) January 29, 2021
Vlad the self impaler.
Vlad the self impaler
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) January 29, 2021
*checks notes*, *checks notes again* uhh…. Vladimir Putin.
Vlad Tenev… more like Vladimir Putin ????
— taintedlettuce (@pablostrujillo) January 29, 2021
But my personal fave is… wait for it… “a shitty vampire.”
Vlad Tenev looks like a shitty Vampire pic.twitter.com/9Xri35t6et
— Treble the Clefairy (@TCleffy) January 29, 2021
The whole situation is rapidly evolving right now, with allegations that Tenev was working closely with Citadel (a major hedge fund) to make the call to halt stock purchasing.
However, both Tenev and a representative for Citadel have denied these claims, which goes to show just how messy the whole situation is, and will continue to be for the coming days.
These requirements exist to protect investors and the markets and we take our responsibilities to comply with them seriously, including through the measures we have taken today.
— VLAD (@vladtenev) January 28, 2021
The situation is also being reviewed by the New York State Attorney General.
At the time of publishing, Gamestop shares are unable to be purchased via Robinhood.