Politics Hillicon Valley: Fallout from Reddit-driven stock rallies, GameStop purchase ban continues | Lawmakers grill NSA on years-old breach in the wake of massive Russian hack | Facebook reportedly considering antitrust lawsuit against Apple
Elizabeth Warren weighs in on the GameStop stock surge
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Wednesday took to Twitter to comment on GameStop's recent stock surge spurred by amateur investors, with Warren criticizing hedge funds and wealthy investors "dismayed" by the GameStop trades. GameStop on Wednesday surged again following a series of back-and-forth swings, trading at roughly $337 per share when it was briefly halted shortly after 1 p.m. ET, according to CNBC. This was an increase of about 128 percent from Tuesday's market close, giving the company a market cap of about $23 billion on Wednesday.
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Why Is Everybody Obsessed With GameStop?
How to understand what the hell is going on this weekGot that? Maybe not. So let’s start at the beginning.
SEC TO INVESTIGATE: The impact of the skyrocketing shares of GameStop fueled by online discussions on Reddit continued to snowball on Friday, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) saying it will investigate why certain online trading platforms blocked users from purchasing highly volatile stocks and if illegal market manipulation spurred the recent surge in stocks such as GameStop.
In a statement, the agency said it was "closely monitoring and evaluating the extreme price volatility of certain stocks' trading prices over the past several days" and would "review actions taken by regulated entities that may disadvantage investors or otherwise unduly inhibit their ability to trade certain securities."
Rep. Maxine Waters to Hold GameStop Hearing as 'First Step' to Stop 'Abusive Practices'
Two of Waters' Democratic colleagues have said that the stock market rules only seem to be a concern when smaller investors harm larger investment firms.This week, members of the subreddit r/WallStreetBets undermined hedge fund and investment firm short-sellers who had betted on GameStop's stock falling. Instead, subreddit members invested heavily into its stock, increasing its value by over 700 percent during the past week and causing the firms to lose billions.
REMOVING REVIEWS: In response to Robinhood's decision decision to block users from buying or trading stocks that were popular on a Reddit subforum, users on Reddit pushed for a campaign to leave one-star reviews of the app leading to an influx of negative reviews of the it in the Google Play store.
Google removed at least 100,000 negative reviews of the app from its store, and .
A spokesperson for Google confirmed to The Hill that the company took action on reviews found to be inauthentic or in violation of the company's policy.
LAWYERING UP: Amid mounting scrutiny over the decision to stop trading GameStop and other companies whose stock skyrocketed this week, Robinhood is hiring to bulk up its lobbying portfolio.
Robinhood posted a job listing for an in-house lobbyist on Friday.
SEC to probe Reddit-driven stock rallies, GameStop purchase bans
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Friday that it will investigate why certain online trading platforms blocked users from purchasing highly volatile stocks and if illegal market manipulation spurred the recent surge in stocks such as GameStop.In a statement, the agency said it was "closely monitoring and evaluating the extreme price volatility of certain stocks' trading prices over the past several days" and would "reviewIn a statement, the agency said it was "closely monitoring and evaluating the extreme price volatility of certain stocks' trading prices over the past several days" and would "review actions taken by regulated entities that may disadvantage investors or otherwise unduly in
The day-to-day description for the federal affairs manager role prioritized working on federal government relations with a primary focus on Congress, as well as facilitating participation in industry associations and navigating policy.
IT'S HAPPENED BEFORE: A group of Democratic lawmakers led by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) this week grilled the National Security Agency (NSA) over its investigation into a years-old breach that bears striking similarities to the recent hack of IT group SolarWinds.
The lawmakers, including a group of House Democrats, sent a letter to the NSA asking questions around the Juniper Networks breach, first discovered in 2015, that involved hackers infiltrating an NSA algorithm used by the company to send malicious code to customers in software updates.
The incident is similar to the SolarWinds breach, with federal authorities believing that Russian hackers infiltrated software updates from the company to gain access to up to 18,000 customers for over a year. These customers included the Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and Treasury departments, among other federal agencies.
Buy or sell: GameStop frenzy has Washington teasing action on Reddit vs. Wall Street
Leaders on both the left and right presented a united front against one element of the stunning trade. What they want to do next reflects familiar partisan divides.Members of Congress such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ro Khanna, D-Calif., Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Ken Buck, R-Colo., and Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, were among those who criticized the move, with many calling for hearings that Democratic leaders say will soon take place in both the House and Senate as what began as an internet movement continues to roil Wall Street.
FACEBOOK VS. APPLE: Facebook is reportedly considering a lawsuit against Apple as tensions escalate between the two Silicon Valley Giants.
Facebook has been preparing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple that would allege the company abused its market power by forcing app developers to follow App Store rules that Apple's own apps do not have to follow, first reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources. also reported that Facebook is contemplating the lawsuit.
A spokesperson for Facebook said the company will not comment on "suit speculation," but doubled down on accusations that Apple is behaving anti-competitively amid the impending launch of the app tracking feature.
The CEOs of the two companies ramped up attacks leveled against each other this week, focused largely on Apple's impending launch of an App Tracking Transparency feature that will limit the reach of targeted ads.
FACEBOOK'S NEW AD TOOL: Facebook is developing a feature that will let advertisers select topics to avoid having their ads appear next to on the platform's News Feed.
The new "topic exclusion controls" will be tested with a small group of advertisers in the early stages, Facebook said in a Friday announcement.
Gamestop share crashes
For the second day in a row, the Gamestop share posted a double-digit minus on Tuesday. Nevertheless, the share remains well above the price level at the beginning of the year. © Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock Gamestop. The shares of the computer games retailer Gamestop, on which an dispute between hedge funds and small investors had ignited in the past few days, has meanwhile lost two thirds of its value on Tuesday.
"These controls will help to address concerns advertisers have of their ads appearing in News Feed next to certain topics based on their brand suitability preferences," Facebook said.
EXPANDING GREEN TECH: Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle Thursday said the U.S. is in a strong position to use technology to help protect the environment, and highlighted the domestic and international opportunities for the industry.
"To use the knowledge we have, the tools that we have to advance our humanity in a way in which we protect our planet, we provide opportunities for everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, background or station of life ... to be able to grab hold of an economy that will expand and be sustainable for generations to come," Rep. (D-N.Y.) said at The Hill's "" event.
An op-ed to chew on:
NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB:
Keith Gill drove the mania (The Wall Street Journal / Julia-Ambra Verlaine and Gunjan Banerji)
Trump taught teachers . Now they're teaching them to students. (BuzzFeed News / Julia Reinstein)
The misfits (The New York Times / Taylor Lorenz and Mike Isaac)
Gamestop: The end of the price run seems to have been reached .
The Gamestop share is still in free fall and reached the level of before the price rally with a closing price of 53.50 US dollars on Thursday. That pleases the hedge funds. © Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock Gamestop share has fallen below starting price for price rally. (Photo: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock) Last Tuesday, the Gamestop share tilted and has only moved in one direction since then - down.