A trading app used by amateurs and the stock of a brick-and-mortar video game retailer have united two political foes.
It’s hard to believe that Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and billionaire mogul Donald Trump Jr would see eye-to-eye on financial policy – but the Reddit rally to take on the Wall Street fat cats has brought them together.
Both have lashed out at stock-trading app Robinhood, popular among amateurs, which announced it was locking down trading on shares of GameStop and other companies.
It comes after a war broke out between Reddit renegades who launched an attack against major hedge funds, who were trying to make major profits from short selling stock but instead lost billions.
Another online trading platform, Interactive Brokers, also said it was restricting trading in GameStop stocks. Ms Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that inquiries into freezes should not be limited to just Robinhood.
“This is a serious matter. Committee investigators should examine any retail services freezing stock purchases in the course of potential investigations – especially those allowing sales, but freezing purchases,” she wrote.
But when Republican Senator Ted Cruz stepped into the storm, tweeting that he “fully agreed” with Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s calls for an inquiry, she did not welcome his support and instead called for him to resign. She tweeted he should “sit this one out” and alleged that he almost had her murdered during the Capitol riot.
But while the hostility on both sides of US politics continued, one trader slapped a class-action lawsuit on Robinhood.
In the Manhattan federal court suit, Massachusetts resident Brendon Nelson filed the suit on behalf of all Robinhood users and asked a federal judge to order the app to immediately reinstate GameStop stock to the trading platform.
The suit accused Robinhood of depriving their customers of the ability to use their service, “abruptly, purposefully, wilfully, and knowingly” meaning, retail investors could no longer buy or even search for GameStop on the app, the New York Post reported.
He claimed the app had prevented blocked users from earning gains from buying and selling stocks.
Another lawsuit was also filed in Chicago by a resident named Richard Gatz, accusing the app of causing him irreparable harm because it pulled stocks for US company’s BlackBerry, Nokia and AMC Theatres, which were also boosted by the Reddit forum.
“The value of these options decreased by almost 200 per cent and the (BlackBerry) stock price fell over $10 from the prior days close,” said the suit, according to the New York Post.
Mr Gatz also called for the stocks to be reinstated and claimed the halting of stocks was done to protect institutional investors.
Celebrities have also weighed into the saga, with rapper Ja Rule tweeting that Robinhood’s decision was a crime.
But while GameStop’s stock soared to extraordinary highs, it has already come crashing down. Its prices sunk to $US112 ($A146) on Thursday, plummeting from a high of $US482 ($A627) that it had previously hit.
The struggling brick-and-mortar video game retailer has seen its shares rocket up 1700 per cent since the start of January when it was trading at $17.25 per share.
On the back of the stock marker disruption former Trump official Anthony Scaramucci tweeted: “We are witnessing the French Revolution of Finance.”