Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to streaming platform Twitch on Thursday evening to discuss last week’s Robinhood and Gamestop scandal. The stream, featuring three guests, has garnered over a million views.
First, Ocasio-Cortez spoke with Alexis Goldstein. Goldstein spent almost a decade as a Wall Street business analyst before getting involved with Occupy the SEC, a group that focuses on financial regulation.
“I think the events of this last week lead us to some pretty deep questions about how do we want to marshal the resources of society and what do we want to pay attention to,” said Goldstein.
Goldstein and Ocasio-Cortez overviewed the situation in which Reddit’s WallStreetBets community came together to use Robinhood and other financial services apps to overwhelmingly bid up GameStop’s heavily shorted stocks. Wall Street hedge funds had bet against those shares, assuming the company would face eventual bankruptcy. Many followed WallStreetBets’ example, some buying stock for the first time to take advantage of this opportunity.
In response, Robinhood and TD Ameritrade restricted trading of GameStop and AMC stock, which also skyrocketed, citing “market volatility.” A lawsuit seeking class-action status against Robinhood was filed in New York on Thursday. Robinhood then stated it would “allow limited buys of these securities” starting Friday.
“People were really feeling like everyday people were finally able to collectively organize and get back at the folks who have historically had all the marbles on Wall Street…” said Ocasio-Cortez. “Who is the concentration of power and money still benefiting and still advantaged towards?”
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted about the restrictions that Robinhood and other services had imposed, claiming it was “unacceptable.”
“It was not because we wanted to stop people from buying these stocks,” Robinhood stated in a blog post published on Friday. Robinhood claims that the restrictions were due to clearinghouse-mandated deposit requirements for equities increasing “ten-fold.”
Next on the stream, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and “The Stock Guy” joined to reflect on the situation.
“They’re never going to retire, they’re never going to own a home, they’re never going to have the way of life that their parents and grandparents had. So they get an opportunity… to get something, to actually get ahead and to taste what all those people in their castles have, and the second they do–,” The Stock Guy clapped his hands, claiming that everyday people face restrictions that the wealthy do not encounter.
“I think there are far too many Americans now who are just far too fed up with how rigged the game has felt and continues to feel,” Ohanian said.
To end the stream, Ocasio-Cortez mentioned universal healthcare, implementing a wealth tax on the richest people in the U.S., curbing climate change, channeling energy into construction rather than destruction and more.
This isn’t the first time Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitch to discuss and spread a message. In October, Ocasio-Cortez hosted one of the most viewed Twitch streams of all time, advising viewers to vote in November’s election.
To watch Ocasio-Cortez’s streams, visit her Twitch page.