Tag Archives: Citadel

Citadel Funds Vaccine, Election Conspiracy Platform

I came across some truly bizarre information today. Hedge fund Citadel LLC is a major funder of Rumble, a video website known for promoting conspiracies on vaccines and elections:

A simple search for the word “vaccine” on Rumble’s homepage returned three times more videos with misinformation than accurate claims, according to research published in Wired Magazine. Rumble’s presentation and distribution of video content amplified misinformation about vaccines and elections more than any other topics, according to the study’s findings.

Citadel is deeply involved:

When Rumble went public on December 1st, 2021, it did so with significant financial backing of Ken Griffin’s Chicago-based hedge fund, Citadel Advisers. The Chicago-based hedge fund pooled together funds in February of 2021 to form a a special-purpose acquisition company or “SPAC” (CF Acquisition Corp. VI VI). The Griffin-backed shell company officially “merged” with Rumble. It holds 826,864 shares in Rumble, which are now worth $8,028,849 and amounts to the fifth largest holding position in Rumble.

Sure enough, when I searched “vaccine” on Rumble just now, unproven conspiracies dominated the results:


If Citadel is anything like most hedge funds, its investors are almost all institutions: university endowments, pension funds, charitable endowments, etc. The last thing they want is controversy.

Citadel is seriously jeopardizing its reputation and investor base by being involved in a company like this. Even as someone who only invests his own capital, I wouldn’t touch Rumble.

This comes in addition to CEO Ken Griffin personally funding lawmakers like Devin Nunes who refused to certify the election.

If you’re one of the richest men in the country, you already have a target on your back. If you use those billions to fund conspiracy theorists and get your investors involved without their consent, you’re asking for trouble.

Expect to see politicians and investors piling on Citadel in ever greater numbers.

What do you think of Citadel investing in Rumble? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

This is the last blog for this week. See you Monday and have a great weekend!

More on markets:

Citadel Can’t Beat the S&P 500, Despite High Fees

How Solana Could Wipe Out Visa and MasterCard

AMC Fails to Deliver Soar Past 400,000

Photo: Citadel LLC CEO Kenneth Griffin

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Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

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My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

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Citadel Can’t Beat the S&P 500, Despite High Fees

Citadel LLC trailed the S&P 500 in 2021, returning 26.3% to the market’s 29%.

Citadel charges as much as 5% or more of the fund’s assets every year, in addition to 20% of all gains. These fees are among the highest of any investment fund.

Why should investors pay such massive fees when the Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund Admiral fund (which I own) charges a mere 0.04% of assets with no performance fee?

The only possible justification would be returns that are consistently far higher than the market’s. While Citadel’s Wellington fund has outperformed the market in some years, such as 2020, its performance is inconsistent.

Few hedge funds have consistently beat the market. Jim Simon’s Medallion fund has returned 39% a year net of fees annually since 1988, but is closed to new investors.

Perhaps this underperformance is why Citadel is trying to make it harder for investors to withdraw their money.

Unless a fund can consistently beat the market by a wide margin, high fees will make it a losing investment. Hedge funds sound mysterious and awesome, but you may do better with boring old Vanguard!

More on markets:

AMC Fails to Deliver Soar Past 400,000

How Solana Could Wipe Out Visa and MasterCard

Citadel Holding Nearly $500 Million in AMC Options

Photo: Citadel LLC CEO Kenneth Griffin

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If you’re approved for this card, you get a $100 Amazon gift card. You also get up to 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants/gas stations/cell phone bills, and 1% everywhere else.

Best of all: No fee!

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. 

Citadel Suppressing Critics with Legal Action

Evidently unsatisfied with his billions, Citadel LLC CEO Ken Griffin has won an arbitration case against a parody website:

Investment firm Citadel has won a cybersquatting dispute it brought against the owner of CitadelAir.com.

The domain owner operates a Twitter account called Citadel Air, where he parodies the investment firm and promotes the short selling of meme stocks such as GameStop (NYSE: GME).

The website shows a fleet of jets with the Citadel logo photoshopped onto them, parodying the fund’s vast wealth.

This ruling flies in the face of free speech protections.

Though Citadel claims there is a “risk of confusion,” Citadel offers no flight services. It’s a hedge fund!

If critics can’t parody a company, a key avenue for criticism is closed. And no massive institution like Citadel should be beyond criticism.

It strikes me how thin skinned Citadel is. Someone makes a website to goof on your multibillion dollar hedge fund and your response is legal action?

We saw similar unhinged behavior from Citadel when it likened its critics to deniers of the moon landing.

This is not the behavior of a well-managed company. Can you picture Procter & Gamble doing this?

No.

If Citadel is so sensitive, perhaps it means they’re hiding something. And secrets having a way of coming out.


Today marks one year for the blog! We’ve gone from 0 to nearly 300,000 views and had a lot of fun along the way!

I look forward to another great year with you guys. And if you have any ideas for content you want to see, leave a comment at the bottom.

Thank you for a great year!

More on markets:

Citadel Sues to Crush Competitors

How Solana Could Wipe Out Visa and MasterCard

AMC and GameStop Short Sellers Down $10 Billion for 2021

Photo: “Ken Griffin” by DanGPhotos1 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Amazon Business American Express Card

You already shop on Amazon. Why not save $100?

If you’re approved for this card, you get a $100 Amazon gift card. You also get up to 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants/gas stations/cell phone bills, and 1% everywhere else.

Best of all: No fee!

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. 

Citadel Sues to Crush Competitors

“You’re the one who’s trying to regulate your way into a market victory”

Judge Justin Walker

Citadel Securities LLC is suing the SEC to stop curbs on high frequency trading:

A federal judge challenged a lawyer for Citadel Securities LLC about its efforts to thwart a new kind of market order from IEX Group Inc., the stock exchange operator made famous by “Flash Boys.”

“It’s you who’s going to a federal agency and saying stop a private entity from doing what they want to do,” U.S. Circuit Judge Justin Walker said at a hearing in Washington on Monday, after attorney Jeffrey Wall argued that the order type interferes with the natural course of the market.

The order type, known as D-Limit, has a roughly 350-microsecond delay to blunt the advantage of high-frequency traders.

Citadel makes massive sums from high frequency trading.

Brad Katsuyama created the IEX to stop high frequency traders from front running mutual funds and other investors. Now, IEX is offering a new technology, the D-Limit order, to help.

So Citadel sues the SEC to make them stop!

Imagine if Blackberry could’ve sued the government to make it stop the iPhone. Well, Blackberry might be doing a whole lot better today.

But the average person wouldn’t.

In Citadel’s defense, they’re having a tough time lately. Average investors in meme stocks like AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. are suing them in Florida.

And the SEC is considering a ban on payment for order flow, one of Citadel’s main sources of revenue.

It’s interesting to see who’s for the D-limit order. One proponent is Vanguard Group, which holds the savings of many individual investors, including me.

Vanguard is evidently convinced that circumventing high frequency traders will help the average investor. But for Citadel, Vanguard is competition in the market.

And Citadel will stop at nothing to win.

The only real question is: will we let Citadel lobby and sue its way to total control of markets?


This is the last blog for this week. There will be no blog next week; I’ll be visiting Barcelona!

See you on Monday, November 29th.

Until then, enjoy a few of my favorite posts. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Starting a Financial Plan from 0

Citadel Builds Huge Position in AMC Call Options

Male Contraception With an Ultrasound Device?

NJ’s Best Apple Cider Donut

The Painting I Love the Most

Photo: “Ken Griffin” by DanGPhotos1 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Amazon Business American Express Card

You already shop on Amazon. Why not save $100?

If you’re approved for this card, you get a $100 Amazon gift card. You also get up to 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants/gas stations/cell phone bills, and 1% everywhere else.

Best of all: No fee!

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. 

Citadel Builds Huge Position in AMC Call Options

Hedge fund Citadel LLC has amassed the largest position in AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. of any hedge fund.

For investors in AMC, Citadel and its CEO, Ken Griffin, have often served as archvillains.

And not without reason. A pending lawsuit in Florida alleges that Citadel Securities LLC may have pressured Robinhood Markets, Inc. into limiting trades in AMC, GameStop Corp., and other meme stocks.

This sent their prices down and may have benefited Citadel LLC’s portfolio.

Now, Griffin and Citadel seem to have decided that if you can’t beat them, join them:

When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, holds the most valuable position in AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE:AMC). Citadel Investment Group has a $338.1 million call position in the stock, comprising 0.1% of its 13F portfolio.

With AMC’s stock up more than 17-fold for the year, Griffin seems to have realized that fighting hordes of retail traders is a losing battle.

He’s in good company. Jim Simons, legendary founder of Renaissance Technologies LLC, has been loading up on AMC shares since at least August.

Other top funds, including D.E. Shaw (former employer of Jeff Bezos), have also thrown their hats in the ring.

One of the most common sayings in markets is “The trend is your friend.” Griffin will find few friends in the meme stock community, but the trend may be on his side.

More on markets:

Jim Simons Buys AMC, Bets on Retail Trend

How Did High Dividend Stocks Perform In the Last Crash?

AMC May Issue Its Own Cryptocurrency, Per CEO

Photo: “Ken Griffin” by DanGPhotos1 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Amazon Business American Express Card

You already shop on Amazon. Why not save $100?

If you’re approved for this card, you get a $100 Amazon gift card. You also get up to 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants/gas stations/cell phone bills, and 1% everywhere else.

Best of all: No fee!

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. 

If Citadel is Trolling on Twitter, Where Else Are They?

Some unusual online behavior from major broker Citadel Securities recently:

“Refuse to believe an American landed on the moon.” Does this sound like a normal PR department of a major company?

Not remotely. With the hyperbole and mudslinging, Citadel Securities sounds like an online troll.

The Financial Times notes that the firm has rarely said anything online. Indeed, its last tweet was from January.

This behavior strikes me as unhinged and speaks to dysfunction within the company. Why would the largest processor of stock trades in America get into online trashtalking?

If this slipped past management’s filter, I’m willing to bet a lot of other things have to.

And that’s where the lawsuit comes in. A suit in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida alleges that Citadel pushed Robinhood to restrict trades in shares of AMC, GameStop and other meme stocks to benefit its associated hedge fund.

Both sides have already admitted meeting shortly before the restriction, but deny anything inappropriate happened.

Citadel seems to be getting desperate in fighting these allegations. And if they’re trolling on Twitter under their company account, I wonder where else they’re pushing their narrative.

I would not be surprised to see reports of Citadel employees pushing the company line under their personal accounts or pseudonyms. And with botnets available for just a few hundred dollars, why not?

Something has gone wrong inside this company.

It may take a federal court to sort it out.

More on markets:

AMC Fails to Deliver Are 40,000 Times Amazon’s, Per Latest Data

Will Evergrande Spark a Global Financial Crisis?

AMC Has Burned Short Sellers for $4 Billion in 2021, Per Latest Data

Photo: “Ken Griffin” by DanGPhotos1 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Amazon Business American Express Card

You already shop on Amazon. Why not save $100?

If you’re approved for this card, you get a $100 Amazon gift card. You also get up to 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants/gas stations/cell phone bills, and 1% everywhere else.

Best of all: No fee!

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

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Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. 

When Citadel Almost Died

Meme stock traders on Reddit and elsewhere love to hate Ken Griffin, CEO of Citadel LLC. The hedge fund and market maker manages over $34 billion and handles more US stock trades than anyone else. Many suspect it had a hand in Robinhood limiting buying in GameStop shares, which angered traders.

Its tentacles are everywhere. Citadel is so big, well-known, and rich it almost seems invincible.

But what’s less well known is that Citadel nearly went bankrupt during the financial crisis of 2008:

…in July 2008, Citadel endured the first of six straight money-losing months. Following his old script, Mr. Griffin raced to buy beaten-down assets such as convertible bonds, long his specialty, only to see them take a further beating.

Griffin’s hedge fund lost 55% of its value, and rumors swirled that the fund was about to go bankrupt. That was a very real possibility: 20% of all hedge funds shut down in 2008-09.

Citadel stopped investors from withdrawing money to stanch the bleeding. It also benefited from a helping hand from regulators, perhaps showing its political influence. From The Wall Street Journal:

In particular, regulators pressed Wall Street firms including Deutsche Bank AG not to make drastic changes in their dealings with Citadel, according to these people.

I suspect that if banks had been left to their own devices, Citadel would’ve imploded under an avalanche of margin calls and severed credit lines. When you’re down 50%, much less 55, people assume you can go down all the way. And they want to cut their losses.

With this governmental helping hand, Citadel managed to survive and today is thriving. But I find this history lesson instructive: the mighty can fall, fast.

More on meme stocks:

SHORT SELLERS LOSE $44 BILLION IN 30 DAYS

AMC ON THE THRESHOLD LIST: STRONG EVIDENCE OF NAKED SHORT SELLING

HEDGE FUNDS LOSE $12 BILLION ON AMC AND GAMESTOP

Photo: “R.I.P. Rest In Peace” by Beauteous Babe is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! And please leave your comments at the bottom.

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account. I will also get a fee waiver for 90-365 days, depending on what type of account you open.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

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Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. I’ll also get $10.