Dave Portnoy: Wall Street, Robinhood ‘scumbags’ shaft GameStop little guys to save billionaires

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Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy unleashed another “Emergency Press Conference” on Thursday with Wall Street “scumbags” in his rhetorical crosshairs.

The entrepreneur whose COVID-19 era videos have generated millions of views says the GameStop stock controversy has prompted one of most remarkable and “shocking robberies” of all time — “in plain sight.”

“What is going on on Wall Street?” Mr. Portnoy asked. “The way they have absolutely cheated, stolen, robbed everyday people who have been invested with Robinhood and other e-trade accounts and all this stuff by saying, ‘Hey, hedge funds are getting smoked. Billionaires are getting smoked. So we’re no longer going to let you trade on certain stocks: GMC. AMC. NOK. We’re just shutting it off. You can’t buy those stocks anymore. You can only sell ‘em. We are going to crash those stocks so all our hedge fund billionaire friends can get out and not get killed.’ 

“It is one of the most remarkable, illegal, shocking robberies in the history — in plain sight! In plain sight. No closed-door meetings. Nothing behind. Just right in your face putting a gun in your mouth and saying, ‘Give us all your money.’ That is what Robinhood — crooks, jail — the Citadel, Ken Griffin — jail — Steve Cohen, the Mets owner — jail — are doing right in your face.”

At issue is the decision by Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade (owned by the former), Robinhood and other brokerages to rein in retail investors who infused new life into GameStop and other stocks. 

Mr. Portnoy blasted Wall Street power players for restricting transactions on the stocks in question.  

“They couldn’t take that people on Wall Street Bets, Reddit, DDTG, fairly, open trade, saying ‘we’re gonna buy this stock. Fair and square. We know there’s risk. It’s going up. We know we’re risking our own money but we want to do it,’” Mr. Portnoy continued. “To then say, ‘Sorry, you can’t do this anymore. We are going to crash and tank the market because our billionaire hedge funds have shorted these and we don’t want them to lose. Suddenly, volatility. We can’t let you do it. We can’t let you invest and put your money at risk.’  

“They have no problems if the hedge funds do it, when the hedge funds risk their firms and their livelihoods. That’s fine. But oh no, no, no, no. When the everyday Jimmy and Joe wants to do it, it’s a problem. ‘We gotta protect you.’ They are robbing you. They are stealing from you. This is criminal.

“The Robinhood CEOs? They belong in jail. Ken Griffin. I just posted an article. He made $6.7 billion on the volatility off the pandemic. Now the volatility is a problem because they’re losing. Jail. This is criminal. This is criminal, and the scariest thing is it’s in plain sight.”

Mr. Portnoy, who has also made headlines in recent months by using his own money to save mom-and-pop companies hit hard by the pandemic, said what was happening on Wall Street was equivalent to changing the rules in the middle of a football game.

“They don’t want you to win because they wanna save their yachts, their mansions, and everything else they have. … They have to go to prison,” he said. “There has to be class-action lawsuits against all of them. … If you’re a football team and you go for it on fourth down and you don’t get it, and then they call up, ‘Well, we’ll give you two more downs.’

“This is not fair. The billionaires, the hedge funds are saying, ‘Sorry. We are going to stop letting you buy these stocks. You can only sell. We’re gonna crash the market to get our money back, and all you people who got f—ed, well f— you. … The irony. Robinhood who said free trade. And Robinhood, ‘We take from the rich to give to the poor,’ no, you don’t. It’s reversed. You steal from the poor and give it back to the rich. You f—ing scumbags.” 

A TD Ameritrade spokesperson defended its decision to restrict further actions as “prudent and appropriate.”

“It is not uncommon for us to make such decisions, which we consider on an individual basis, in the interest of mitigating risk,” the spokesperson told The Washington Examiner.

Content Warning: Strong Language.

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