The investment app Robinhood has taken to restricting the trading of stocks in GameStop and other affected companies. For the time being on investment apps, investors are only able to liquidate their positions in these stocks, but not purchase new ones.
Since the investment apps have limited the ability of smaller traders to manage their assets of GameStop and options on other companies recently targeted by the Reddit investors group, progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) criticizing Robinhood, stating she would support a hearing into their conduct.
Despite media reports deriding the phenomenon of the Reddit-fueled stock buys as a manifestation of "populism," "Trumpism," "white supremacy," and other common buzzwords, investors have received support from figures on both sides of the political spectrum, with Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) being an early voice in support of r/WallStreetBeat short squeezers.
On Wednesday, she wrote "Gotta admit, it's really something to see Wall Streeters with a long history of treating our economy as a casino complain about a message board of posters also treating the market as a casino."
Another Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib took to Twitter on Thursday to specifically criticize Robinhood for their "market manipulation."
"They're blocking the ability to trade to protect Wall St. hedge funds, stealing millions of dollars from their users to protect people who've used the stock market as a casino for decades," Tlaib wrote.
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy also took aim at Robinhood for their decision to restrict trading, calling the company "the biggest fraud of them all."
Portnoy further suggested that the owners of Robinhood are "trying to force a crash," asserting that they should consequentially "all be in jail." His tweet received the endorsement of Donald Trump Jr., the son of former President Donald Trump.
Other political figures and commentators both left and right have expressed their support for the traders.
In the past few days, a number of publicly-traded companies have seen skyrocketing stock prices as independent traders began a short squeeze against hedge funds betting against their success. Affected companies include GameStop, AMC Entertainment, Blackberry, and Nokia.
The traders have faced intense institutional pushback, however. NASDAQ announced that it would be shutting down trading in certain companies when online chatter indicates "unusual activity in stocks." TD Ameritrade temporarily shut down trade in GameStop and AMC Entertainment entirely, while Reddit and Discord both shut down the subreddit which was allegedly responsible for the short squeeze.
Despite the investors receiving a great deal of support from observers, financial professionals at Wall Street, a number of politicians, and finance-oriented media outlets have called upon the SEC to intervene in the situation, which many have described as "dangerous."
While the SEC and the federal government has not yet formally responded to the short squeeze or announced what they plan on doing about it, if anything, both entities have said that they are "monitoring" the situation.