Article: Robinhood said it expects to pay a $30 million fine as part of anti-money laundering probe of its crypto business

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Robinhood said it expects to pay a $30 million fine as part of anti-money laundering probe of its crypto business

Matthew Fox, 20 July 2021

Robinhood said it expects to pay a $30 million penalty in relation to an anti-money laundering probe of its cryptocurrency business, according to an amended S-1 filed with the SEC on Monday.

The online trading app said that in July of 2020, the New York Department of Financial Services said Robinhood’s crypto unit had a number of “matters requiring attention,” primarily focused on anti-money laundering and cybersecurity-related issues. Continue reading “Article: Robinhood said it expects to pay a $30 million fine as part of anti-money laundering probe of its crypto business”

Article: In-Depth: Citadel Connect and Dark Pools Uncovered

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In-Depth: Citadel Connect and Dark Pools Uncovered

MTim Fries, 20 July 2021

Before dark pools, institutional investors had to trade in blocks of shares outside trading hours to avoid upsetting the market. Now, the utility found within dark pools is so high that some market makers have embedded them within their operations. There are certainly some benefits here in terms of increased liquidity, but there’s another side of the coin as well.

Throughout 2021, retail traders have uncovered significant short positions held by hedge funds in a number of stocks. Naked short selling is suspected by many retail traders to be involved. At this point, hedge funds have collectively lost $12 billion—so far. Continue reading “Article: In-Depth: Citadel Connect and Dark Pools Uncovered”

Article: Robinhood Gets Ready for the Meme Stock World It Created

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Robinhood Gets Ready for the Meme Stock World It Created

Annie Massa, 14 July 2021

Hi all, it’s Annie from Bloomberg’s investing team. Soon, Robinhood Markets Inc. will go public. The debut—which could happen in the coming weeks—will see Robinhood entrust its share price to the same retail investors who have been using its app to roil markets.

The free stock trading app has been around for eight eventful years. During the pandemic, Robinhood traders congregated on Reddit message boards and drove wild swings in the price of companies like GameStop Corp. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. Then, when Robinhood put limits on customer purchases of those stocks, the startup incurred social media wrath, along with some lawsuits. Continue reading “Article: Robinhood Gets Ready for the Meme Stock World It Created”

Article: Anti-Money Laundering Issues, Robinhood Crypto To Pay Fine

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Anti-Money Laundering Issues, Robinhood Crypto To Pay Fine

Syed Ahad, 08 July 2021

Anti-Money Laundering Issues Robinhood Crypto to Pay $15M fine Over Security to resolve a legal dispute with NYDFS (New York State Department of Financial Services) over charges related to crypto unit’s handling of cybersecurity and anti-money laundering.

The $15 million fine by New York State is the newest in a series of consequences to hit Robinhood. It also highlights the governing risk of operating in the crypto circle. Continue reading “Article: Anti-Money Laundering Issues, Robinhood Crypto To Pay Fine”

Article: Robinhood Says U.S. Demanded Access to CEO Tenev’s Phone Records

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Robinhood Says U.S. Demanded Access to CEO Tenev’s Phone Records

Jesse Westbrook, 02 July 2021

Robinhood Markets Inc., dogged by fines and regulatory scrutiny, revealed several new inquires from state and federal watchdogs as it seeks to sell shares in one of the year’s most anticipated public offerings.

Among the fresh disclosures made in its registration statement: U.S. prosecutors demanded access to Chief Executive Officer Vlad Tenev’s mobile phone, New York is poised to penalize the brokerage for alleged money-laundering lapses and brokerage regulators called it out for not reporting trades. Continue reading “Article: Robinhood Says U.S. Demanded Access to CEO Tenev’s Phone Records”

Article: JOBS ON THE RISE, VIRGIN’S BRANSON FLIES & ROBINHOOD’S LYING EYES

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JOBS ON THE RISE, VIRGIN’S BRANSON FLIES & ROBINHOOD’S LYING EYES

Joseph Hargett, 02 July 2021

That’s right: The Labor Department said this morning that the U.S. economy added a better-than-expected 850,000 jobs in June … and economists are both excited and scared. On one hand, economists praised the strong jobs growth as proof that the economy is continuing to rebound strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Things are picking up,” said Indeed Economist Nick Bunker. “While labor supply may not be as responsive as some employers might like, they are adding jobs at an increasing rate.” Continue reading “Article: JOBS ON THE RISE, VIRGIN’S BRANSON FLIES & ROBINHOOD’S LYING EYES”

Article: Money Stuff: Pump and Dump and Pull the Rug

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Money Stuff: Pump and Dump and Pull the Rug

Matt Levine, 01 July 2021

Here’s a thing you can do. You start a company and sell some stock to the public. You say “we are a good company and we plan to do good things, give us money to do them.” You sell, say, 10% of the company to the public at a low price. You keep the other 90% for yourself, as the founder of the company. Then you start putting out press releases saying “we did a bunch of good things!” These press releases are not true. Also you buy a bit of the publicly traded stock for yourself, to create volume and move the price up. Investors read the press releases and see the buying activity, and they think the stock is good. So they buy it. The stock — the 10% that is publicly traded — goes up. The price is now high. Then what you do is, you sell your stock — the 90% that you kept — at the new high price. Then you close up the company and move on to your next scam. Continue reading “Article: Money Stuff: Pump and Dump and Pull the Rug”

Article: Robinhood’s Luster Stained Again With a Record $70 Million Fine

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Robinhood’s Luster Stained Again With a Record $70 Million Fine

Annie Massa and Benjamin Bain, 30 June 2021

Robinhood Markets Inc. unleashed a revolution, marshaling throngs of new traders to financial markets in an upside-down year. But the free trading app’s breakneck growth hurt the same small-time investors it sought to empower.

That’s the accusation leveled by Wall Street’s self-funded watchdog, which extracted almost $70 million from the brokerage in a record settlement Wednesday, including a $57 million fine and about $12.6 million in payments to aggrieved customers. It follows Robinhood’s meteoric rise against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and the frenzy over hot stocks such as GameStop Corp. that warped the realm of retail trading. Continue reading “Article: Robinhood’s Luster Stained Again With a Record $70 Million Fine”

Article: FINRA Orders Record Financial Penalties Against Robinhood Financial LLC

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FINRA Orders Record Financial Penalties Against Robinhood Financial LLC
Firm Ordered to Pay Approximately $70 Million for Systemic Supervisory Failures and Significant Harm Suffered by Millions of Customers
WASHINGTON—FINRA announced today that it has fined Robinhood Financial LLC $57 million and ordered the firm to pay approximately $12.6 million in restitution, plus interest, to thousands of harmed customers. The sanctions represent the largest financial penalty ever ordered by FINRA and reflect the scope and seriousness of the violations. In determining the appropriate sanctions, FINRA considered the widespread and significant harm suffered by customers, including millions of customers who received false or misleading information from the firm, millions of customers affected by the firm’s systems outages in March 2020, and thousands of customers the firm approved to trade options even when it was not appropriate for the customers to do so.

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Article: How the GameStop Hustle Worked

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How the GameStop Hustle Worked

Lucy Komisar, 22 June 2021

I have written previously for the Prospect about the frenzy over GameStop (GME), the video game and electronics company. By now, you know the story. Millions of retail investors made the stock soar by over 1,000 percent in January 2021. This brought disaster upon a handful of hedge funds that had bet on GameStop’s stock to drop. According to Markets Insider, one analyst estimated losses in February of roughly $19 billion. The hedge fund Melvin Capital reportedly closed out its position after taking a drubbing of 51 percent. Another fund, Maplelane, lost 40 percent.

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Article: Former SEC chair on the market risks even meme stock traders can’t afford to ignore

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Former SEC chair on the market risks even meme stock traders can’t afford to ignore

Eric Rosenbaum, 20 June 2021

The Wall Street establishment and the Reddit, Robinhood-fueled meme stock traders don’t see eye to eye, on just about anything. In fact, rolling eyes at the stock market’s traditional ways is inherent in trades like GameStop and AMC Entertainment.

Warnings from the market greats, like Warren Buffett, may as well be a badge of honor among the new traders. But one thing Buffett hasn’t noted in his criticisms of the “casino” atmosphere of this bull market and companies like Robinhood, which he has thoroughly beat on, is that when he was a young investor himself he had a fondness for “cigar butt” stocks — the dregs of the market, companies with a few puffs left in them — before he graduated to a more refined kind of investing that made him a billionaire. And that Buffett footnote raises an important point about the market’s newest investors. Continue reading “Article: Former SEC chair on the market risks even meme stock traders can’t afford to ignore”

Article: Financial Regulation After GameStop: The Game Will Go On!

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Financial Regulation After GameStop: The Game Will Go On!

Ariadna Dumitrescu, 10 June 2021

vThe Covid-19 crisis came at the end of more than two decades that witnessed a significant transformation of financial markets with main catalysts such as financial innovation, technology adoption, and financial regulations. The 2020 stock market’s roller coaster (record price levels and volatility) exposed the financial system’s fragility. This year, the increased volatility in so-called ‘meme’ stocks – i.e., stocks whose trading volume increases not because of the company’s good performance, but because of hype on social media –, has highlighted several problems in financial markets. Although seemingly unimportant, the risk that these events could pose to the entire financial system opens the door for discussions on the implementation of new regulations (or the improvement of older ones). Continue reading “Article: Financial Regulation After GameStop: The Game Will Go On!”

Article: SEC Launches Review Of High-Frequency Traders’ Market Abuses

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SEC Launches Review Of High-Frequency Traders’ Market Abuses

Tyler Durden, 09 June 2021

Nearly 8 years have passed since Michael Lewis published “Flash Boys”, raising awareness of the relatively new practice of high-frequency trading and its transformative impact on markets, allowing the most technologically-advanced traders to effectively see a picture of the market that’s nanoseconds ahead of what their non-NFT peers see, giving them a massive advantage.

Now, the SEC is finally considering changing the rules of how stocks are priced and traded to stop exchanges from incentivizing brokers (nowadays, particularly retail trading brokerages that have seen an explosion of activity in the past couple of years).

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Article: Hossein Azari of cmorq Discusses Meme Stocks, Sees DeFi as an Answer to Retail Desires

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Hossein Azari of cmorq Discusses Meme Stocks, Sees DeFi as an Answer to Retail Desires

JD Alois, 04 June 2021

The rise of the “meme stocks” has been a fascinating adventure with the combination of ubiquitous technology and the ability to drive trading by retail investors in a way that has never been experienced before. While a certain amount of manipulation of markets has always existed, the recent advent of trading forums, like Wallstreetbets on Reddit, and other digital communication methods, has shifted some of the influence away from big money to smaller investors pooling resources.

The phenomenon really gained traction when GameStop (NYSE:GME), a highly shorted equity by certain hedge funds, became a focus for a targeted short squeeze. In brief, smaller investors, many trading on Robinhood, rocketed the price of GME higher causing certain hedge funds to lose money in a classic short squeeze. Continue reading “Article: Hossein Azari of cmorq Discusses Meme Stocks, Sees DeFi as an Answer to Retail Desires”

Article: What Traders Need To Know About GameStop And Naked Short Selling

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What Traders Need To Know About GameStop And Naked Short Selling

Melanie Schaffer, 03 June 2021

This week and last, AMC was targeted again and its shares skyrocketed 496% between May 24 and June 2 before retracing Thursday.

What Happened: The squeeze in GameStop was caused by retail and institutional traders rushing into the stock, and some hedge funds covering their short positions, which drove the price up to astronomical levels. Robinhood and a number of other brokers then restricted trading and caused an illiquidity event that dropped its stock down almost 90% over the following nine days. Continue reading “Article: What Traders Need To Know About GameStop And Naked Short Selling”