People vs. Wall Street

If you logged into your Twitter account in the past week, you may have come across a wave of hashtags that read #wallstreet #holdtheline #donotsell, starship emoji signs, and numerous memes targeted at the billionaire hedge funds.



Wall Street Sign, in Manhattan, New York (Photo/Unsplash)



The online commotion about video game retailer GameStop ($GME) on Reddit by online traders of Reddit’s Wall Street Bets Group, or WSB became a social, economic and historic movement.


In an unprecedented event, regular people got together, united and welcomed themselves into the ‘invited club only’ –– on Wall Street.


They collectively bought and held GameStop stocks, a nationwide video game store that nearly every gamer has a story about. Some people made an instant fortune buying the company’s stock and encouraging others on Reddit to buy it too. GameStop’s stock has skyrocketed higher than ever, and all because people on social media got together for collective action reaching out to each other encouraging to ‘buy and hold the line.’



GameStop Stock’s Volatile Journey




What followed, were CNBC hosts and co-anchors attempting to tell people what to think and do, and Billionaire Hedge Funds like Leon Cooperman going on CNBC ‘crying that only they were allowed to manipulate the markets.’ It made capitalism look like a tyrannical system structurally arranged to benefit a select few.


Here are a couple of interviews with Billionaire investor and hedge fund Manager Leon Cooperman on GameStop Reddit speculators and what he seems to think of the working class people:




“I’m not damning them. I’m just saying from my experience, this will end in tears,” Leon Cooperman told CNBC on Thursday, January 28, 2021.



The reason why we are seeing the market doing what it is doing is people are seating at home and getting the checks from the Government and this fair share is a bullshit concept. It’s just a way of attacking wealthy people and you know I think it’s inappropriate….”



Billionaire Leon Cooperman who went on television to attack working class people with the same rights to free market trade, had to pay an U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) fine four years ago (a $4.9 Millions in fines without admitting guilt) and agree to monitor because of insider trading. And in 2017 he undoubtedly benefited from Donald Trump’s massive 2017 tax cut for the wealthy.


Regardless of the corporate media and hedge funds efforts, on Thursday, January 28th, GameStop’s stock hit an all-time high of $492.02, before dropping nearly 60% to close at $197.44. Then rose back up on Friday, January 29th to $381.43 and closed at $325.00. A stock that had a historic low of around $3.30 per share in the summer of 2019.


Even Elon Musk tweeted about it pointing his followers to a link to the Wall Street Bets group on Reddit.com.


Meanwhile, Robinhood, an online trading forum app, restricted trades on GameStop, AMC Entertainment and other stocks that have been driven up by Reddit’s Wall Street Bets community, which now has 6 million members, while other companies imposed rules to limit some trades as well.


This resulted in the first class action lawsuits against Robinhood, filed in the Southern District of New York on Thursday, January 28, 2021. The lawsuit claims that Robinhood's actions rigged the market against its customers.


On Thursday, January 29, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent civil investigative demands (basically, Subpoenas) to Robinhood, Discord, and others linked to the GameStop trading frenzy.


"Robinhood's actions were done purposely and knowingly to manipulate the market for the benefit of people and financial institutions who were not Robinhood's customers," the lawsuit states. And “on or about March 23, 2016, Robinhood’s official Twitter account stated: “Let the people trade.” They have since disregarded their mantra and have blocked access for millions of its customers to trade particular securities.”


These caught the attention of politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY 14th District, and Senator Ted Cruz, R-Tx, who spoke out and agreed on Thursday, January 28, about the attempt to block retail investors from purchasing stock, while hedge funds were freely able to stock as they saw fit. And in return Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proceeded to call Senator Ted Cruz out for the attempt to have her murdered three weeks ago and called for his resignation. This however is another topic, to be covered at another time.


Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, who spoke out against Billionaire Leon Cooperman back in 2019, went on CNBC’s Closing Bell and First on CNBC on Thursday, January 28 to speak about the bottom 99% who paid about 7.2% in tax, while the top 1/10th of 1% paid about 3.2%, and the SEC’s inability and unwillingness to deal with market manipulation.


Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., whose district includes Silicon Valley, said Robinhood’s move “showed how the cards are stacked against the little guy in favor of billionaire Wall Street Traders.”


Rep. Paul Gosar, D.D.S., R-AZ, called for a Department of Justice investigation into Robinhood, and their relationship with the Citadel hedge fund, whose founder and manager is Chicago Billionaire Ken Griffin.




Robinhood//Citadel Arrangement.




The current Secretary of Treasure, Janet Yellen who is set to monitor the ‘GameStop market,’ has made over $7 million from speaking at Wall Street firms including Citadel – which has invested billions of dollars in the primary hedge fund now suffering as a result of the ‘GameStop’ stock surge.


During a daily press conference at the White house with Press Secretary and former CNN commentator Jen Psaki, a reporter asked about Janet Yellen –– “Are there any plans to recuse herself from advising the President on the GameStop and Robinhood situation?” Psaki: 'No and she’s an expert and deserves that money.'


When another reporter asked the Press Secretary, if the White House is concerned about the activities we are seeing around GameStop and now with some other stocks as well, the Press Secretary responded that she’s happy to report that the administration has the first female Treasury Secretary.




“If we want to move forward in the right direction, than our Nation must have Ethics, Morals, Integrity and Transparency, in addition to diversity, and it needs to start from the White House –– which means that Ms. Janet Yellen’s gender is not a job qualification, nor reasonable response, as to why Ms. Yanet Yellen should not excuse herself from this conflict of interest per designated Agency of Ethics Official – United States Department of Treasury.




On Thursday, January 28, Former Major League Baseball, Jose Canseco, started a petition calling for Congress to Shutdown Robinhood, reaching over 41,522 signatures by early Sunday morning.


A twitter user wrote: “It's not about market manipulation, it's about how hedge funds got their hands caught in the cookie jar and the public, realizing how much of a farce the market is, can easily put these crooks in financial handcuffs. They knew the risk. Maybe they can learn to code.”


Just before markets opened Friday morning, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a statement –– saying that it continues to closely monitor "the extreme price volatility of certain stocks' trading prices over the past several days."


It’s a shame that regulators, brokerage firms provide cover for people who go to work in private helicopters from the Hamptons. And it’s more shameful for the corporate media to claim to report the news with the highest ethical standards and say that it's the people that take the subway who are to blame for the billionaire hedge funds who are now in turmoil.


During a global pandemic where the rich are getting richer –– obscenely rich –– while regular working-class people are risking their lives going to work for minimum pay at high-risk jobs working up to 90 hours a week, or are unemployed without healthcare insurance or any job prospects, many are under the constant threat of eviction and the specter of being homeless. It is abundantly evident that Wall Street and the wealthy class have way too much power and influence over everyday Americans' finances, and taxing the rich and reducing that influence is a necessity to level the playing field.


What corporate media, the White House, other Government officials, and Billionaires can’t comprehend, or refuse to publicly acknowledge, is the fact that this movement is much bigger than losing hard earned money. There is a meaningful online community standing up and fighting back against oppression of the elites, with systemic rules that have been written to benefit insiders at the expense of the working class, new internet technologies are here to stay and for once they helped distribute power, that was normally is held exclusively by a small group of the wealthy class.




Alie Pierce may be reached at Alie.WeekenderNJ@gmail.com. Follow Alie Pierce on Twitter & IG. Connect withWeekenderNJ on Facebook, Twitter and IG.

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