January 30th, 2021
Join Date: May 2018
Here's an article that was published a couple of days ago on the jewish news site JTA:
The Jewish angles to the GameStop stock saga, explained
BY GABE FRIEDMAN JANUARY 28, 2021 4:27 PM
Update: Robinhood said on Thursday afternoon that it will allow users to start trading GameStop stock again on Friday.
(JTA) — Even if you never pay attention to stock market news, you have probably gotten the sense that something unusual is happening right now, and it has to do with something called GameStop.
The video game store sits at the center of a dramatic “short squeeze” that has market watchers wondering whether stock trading could forever be changed. Multiple prominent Jewish money managers are involved in the saga, on both the winning and losing sides. Online anti-Semites have noticed, seizing the opportunity to connect it all to age-old stereotypes about Jewish manipulation of the financial world.
On Tuesday, GameStop’s stock price rocketed up over 90% of its previous price, sending shock waves through the entire stock market and the broader world of finance.
But the company, which has been hurt badly during the pandemic, did not suddenly change its business model or win the lottery — online groups, mostly on the social media site Reddit, rallied to the company’s defense, buying GameStop shares in an enormous spree. In their view, they were attempting to save the company from being “shorted” by hedge funds, which were betting big on the retail chain’s eventual demise.
The main squeeze victims in this story are Steve Cohen and Gabe Plotkin, two Jewish investors who are also two of the most successful hedge fund chiefs on Wall Street. Cohen, the new owner of the New York Mets baseball franchise, had a net worth of over $14 billion as of last year. Plotkin, who once worked under Cohen, manages close to $8 billion in assets under his Melvin Capital firm. Plotkin has been honored by the Chabad Hasidic movement and worked with the Young Jewish Professionals networking group.
The effects on their assets have been huge. So far this month, Cohen’s Point72 hedge fund has lost 15% of its value. Melvin Capital has lost as much as 30% — a bill so steep that Plotkin asked Cohen and investment firm Citadel LLC, run by Dan Sundheim, for an emergency influx of cash (which they provided, to the tune of $2.75 billion).
But they aren’t the only Jewish characters involved. Ryan Cohen, CEO of the successful pet products company Chewy, is the largest stakeholder in GameStop, with about 9 million shares, making him the big winner of the week. As of Wednesday, he had made $3 billion from the fallout.
Then there’s Jewish troll extraordinaire Dave Portnoy, founder of the hugely popular blog and social media company Barstool Sports, who has emerged as one of the leading public advocates for the mass of small investors who mostly remain anonymous on sites like Reddit. More on his reaction below.
The Robinhood response
Many of the rebellious traders use Robinhood, an app that allows users to trade stocks without fronting huge minimums of money. Its mantra: “Let the people trade.”
But on Thursday, Robinhood shut down the trading around GameStop, AMC and other companies that the small-money investors had given a bump in an effort to curb market “volatility.” GameStop and other stocks predictably plummeted without the Redditors to keep them afloat.
That move has enraged a wide spectrum of observers, especially since Robinhood is partially funded by Citadel. That fact has sparked claims that the hedge funds involved colluded to unfairly stop the bleeding.