Banding Together: Reddit, Robinhood and Regulatory Response to Market Populism

Topics: Financial Crime, Government, Government Regulation, On-Demand Webinars

The Thomson Reuters Institute is pleased to present an ongoing series of contemporary takes on our current social justice environment. Our aim is to foster healthy debate and intellectual inquiry into forces and trends shaping the global public square.

Earlier this year, a band of retail investors shook financial markets by driving up the price of GameStop shares and creating a painful short squeeze for hedge funds and institutional investors alike. For many, what began as a noble if misguided attempt at “democratizing” finance morphed into a significant—and ostensibly indelible—movement pitting younger, socially-connected “David” investors against their “Goliath” peers. Adding fuel to an already incandescent blaze, the decision by popular trading app Robinhood to restrict, at the height of the frenzy, the purchase of GameStop shares in an ironic act widely perceived to placate the proverbial establishment, led media, business, and political leaders to predict a litany of recriminations and legislative reforms aimed at leveling the Main Street vs. Wall Street divide.

This conversation explores the expected regulatory response to such remarkable (indeed transformative) events. Cognizant of what Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif), chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, has described as the “systemic impact” of short selling, online trading platforms and gamification on capital markets and retail investors, our panel considers the short- and long-term ramifications for Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and beyond.

Ian CombsSenior Legal Editor, SecuritiesThomson Reuters

Sean BurstynPrincipal, Burstyn Law Firm PLLC
Paul McCurdyPartner, Katten Muchin Rosenman, LLP
Jennifer J. SchulpDirector of Financial Regulation Studies, Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, Cato Institute
Steve SosnickChief Strategist, Interactive Brokers

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