Tag Archives: Hedge funds

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

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! 

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.

Use this link to save 5%! 

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. 

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

Throughout the year, shares in AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. have had huge fails to deliver. The most recent SEC data, just released today, is no exception.

AMC fails to deliver were 39,976 times those of Amazon.com, Inc. Amazon, with a market cap of $1.7 trillion, is more than 85 times AMC’s size.

Looking at other large stocks, the pattern is similar. AMC’s fails to deliver are 36 times Apple’s, 25 times Exxon Mobil’s and 1199 times Facebook’s.

Fails to deliver occur when a trade is made that is never completed. When there’s a long term pattern of large fails to deliver, it’s often indicative of naked short sales.

This generally illegal practice involves selling shares short without ever borrowing them. The trade never completes because the shares never existed in the first place.

Since you don’t need to borrow any actual stock, you can keep putting in sell orders indefinitely. That artificially drives the price down.

AMC’s fails to deliver go up and down with time. But, they remain consistently far greater than those of much larger stocks.

I strongly suspect hedge funds who have lost substantial sums shorting AMC stock are conducting illegal naked short sales to try to rescue themselves.

When will the SEC act on its own data?

More on markets:

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

Will Evergrande Spark a Global Financial Crisis?

AMC Shares 50% More Likely to be Traded in Dark Pools

Raw SEC data

The most recent data set ends on September 14th. The fails to deliver is the number right before the company name:

20210914|00165C104|AMC|119929|AMC ENTMT HLDGS INC CL A COM S|51.69

20210914|023135106|AMZN|3|AMAZON COM INC;COM USD0.01|3457.17

20210914|037833100|AAPL|3320|APPLE INC;COM NPV|149.55

20210914|30231G102|XOM|4873|EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION|55.37

20210914|30303M102|FB|100|FACEBOOK INC CL A COM STK (DE)|376.51

Photo: “CMI 101: Demystifying Derivatives with CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler” by Third Way 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! 

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.

Use this link to save 5%! 

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. 

What a Hedge Fund King Fears Most


Stephen Mandel, Jr., founder of hedge fund Lone Pine Capital, ranks #752 on Forbes’ list of billionaires.

His net worth: $3.9 billion. His fund’s performance is among the greatest in history.

So you might be surprised to hear what he fears most:


In late January, when retail traders swarmed into short targets of hedge funds like Melvin Capital and D1 Capital, commentators and industry experts called the moves unprecedented, but Mandel sees the parallels between the dot-com bubble excitement and today’s Reddit-directed investors.


“The day I feared the most, every year, was the day after Thanksgiving because it was the day when a lot of people were at home, echoes of what’s going on now — retail traders sitting at their desks,” he said.


He said that the firm’s ethos on long positions — investing in change, whether technological, regulatory, or otherwise — is the same, but shorting has become so expensive thanks to the additional competition in the markets that it’s impossible to make the same alpha in that part of the portfolio.


“There was no problem borrowing Pets.com and eToys and Onsale and all these crazy things. Today, when things like that appear in the markets, the borrow cost shoots up to ridiculous levels immediately, the access to borrow is very limited,” he said about the shares funds that bet against a stock have to borrow from shareholders to hold a short position.


He has a reason to be afraid. Other hedge funds like D1 Capital and Melvin Capital lost 20-50% of their fund trying to fight retail holders of stocks like AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. and GameStop Corp.

The cost to borrow and sell short shares of AMC and GameStop is not particularly high at the moment. However, in any new rally, that interest rate could easily shoot up, as GameStop’s did in January. This would make holding or adding to short positions very costly for hedge funds.

And all the while, they’d be losing money as the stock moves against them.

I find it fascinating that the most threatening thing for a billionaire hedge fund manager is a guy sitting on his couch.

Thing is though, there are a lot of them.


More on AMC and hedge funds:

AMC in Top 4% of Stocks for Fails to Deliver

AMC Fails to Deliver Up 1088% in Latest Data

Hedge Funds Get Special Treatment During Margin Calls

Photo: “I’m scared too, but we’ll make it.” by qousqous is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 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! 

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.

Use this link to save 5%! 

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. 

Short Sellers Lost $1 Billion Yesterday in AMC and GameStop

Short sellers have been fighting retail traders all year. Yesterday, they took a major hit:

“Heavily shorted stocks have, for the last month, been less volatile than earlier this year. Today we saw an end to this,” said Ortex co-founder Peter Hillerberg.

The share price gains in AMC and GameStop generated losses for close to $1 billion for short sellers, Hillerberg said.

AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. was the most active stock in the entire options market. This is remarkable for a company whose market cap is only $23 billion. Apple, the biggest stock in the market, is over 100 times as large.

The options activity in both AMC and GameStop Corp. was strongly bullish, with call options (the right to purchase shares in the future) going like hotcakes.

No obvious news propelled these stocks upward. Yet hedge funds maintain their risky short positions.

This means using investors’ money to bet against stocks that gyrate wildly at the whims of retail traders. I find that to be irresponsible.

But, to quote one of my favorite movies:

Well, it could’ve been worse, right? Could’ve been my money.

Marv, Wall Street

More on AMC and meme stocks:

CHARTING THE HUGE DROP IN AMC FAILS TO DELIVER

HEDGE FUNDS HIT HARD BY MEME STOCK LOSSES, BADLY BEHIND S&P 500

HEDGE FUNDS GET SPECIAL TREATMENT DURING MARGIN CALLS

Photo: “Fitness” by Walimai.photo 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! 

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.

Use this link to save 5%! 

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. 

Jim Simons Buys AMC, Bets on Retail Trend

James Simons of Renaissance Technologies LLC is one of the greatest hedge fund managers in history. His fund’s annualized returns are an eye-popping 66% a year since 1988. Lately, he’s been loading up on shares in meme stock AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc:

Renaissance Technologies, which held approximately 516,000 AMC shares by March this year, has more than tripled its stake in the firm. Cumulatively, RenTech now owns more than 1.8 million shares.

Despite the entrance of some hedge funds, about 80% of AMC’s stock is held by retail investors.

Simons seems acutely aware that individual traders are flooding the stock market and AMC shares in particular. Indeed, the number of retail brokerage accounts has exploded this year. From The Economist:

In 2019 around 59m Americans had accounts with one of seven of the largest brokers. This number has surged since to 95m, as 17m new accounts were opened in 2020 and 20m were set up this year.

Short squeeze or no, that’s a powerful source of demand that Simons and Renaissance can benefit from.

I don’t know whether the stock will go up, down, or in circles. But I do know that I wouldn’t want to bet against Jim Simons.

More on AMC and hedge funds:

HEDGE FUNDS HIT HARD BY MEME STOCK LOSSES, BADLY BEHIND S&P 500

NEW DATA SHOWS BIG DROP IN AMC FAILS TO DELIVER

HOW SHORT SELLERS COULD EVADE THE NEW NSCC RULES

Photo: “Jim Simons” by Graham is licensed under CC BY-SA 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! 

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.

Use this link to save 5%! 

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. 

Hedge Funds Hit Hard by Meme Stock Losses, Badly Behind S&P 500

Losses betting against meme stocks have hit hedge funds hard this year. The latest data from Barclay Hedge shows year-to-date gains for equity long/short funds of 8.51%. (This is the type of fund that would typically take short positions in stocks.)

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has returned 18%.

One of the largest sources of losses for hedge funds this year is short positions in AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Its shares are up more than 18 fold this year, inflicting billions in losses on short sellers. Other meme stocks like GameStop Corp. have also produced large losses.

This continues a pattern of long term underperformance for this strategy:

Investors are losing patience and rapidly withdrawing their money.

If you’re an investor in a fund with a losing strategy, a weak track record, and a habit of betting against the hottest stocks in the market, I ask you: why not try an index fund?

More on hedge funds and AMC:

SHORT SELLERS LOSE $44 BILLION IN 30 DAYS

HOW AMC IS BLOWING UP THE HEDGE FUND INDUSTRY

NEW DATA SHOWS BIG DROP IN AMC FAILS TO DELIVER

Photo: “the Great Hedge Fund Hei$t” by eyewashdesign: A. Golden 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! 

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.

Use this link to save 5%! 

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. 

Why Jim Chanos Is Dead Wrong About AMC Holders

Jim Chanos, Founder and President of the Kynikos Associates hedge fund, has some harsh criticism for holders of AMC and other meme stocks:

What I see on Reddit, Twitter and elsewhere is the exact opposite. The communities have a strong determination to hold and often find the position deeply personal. One very popular Reddit post I saw said that hedge funds killed her father, in that her father fell into despair and substance abuse after the financial crisis, which hedge funds had a hand in:

For many AMC holders, it’s personal. And I don’t doubt the same is true for holders of other meme stocks.

Do they also want to make money? Sure. And I’m also pretty sure that Chanos didn’t start his hedge fund in order to save starving kittens.

In fact, this personalization of the position could be a liability for meme stock holders. As someone who invests for a living, I urge all investors to view an investment as an investment only. It helps you make clearer decisions.

In the future, I suggest listening to this song when you read Chanos’ tweets:

More on AMC:

AMC HAS 35,000 TIMES THE FAILS-TO-DELIVER OF AMAZON

SQUEEZES IN AMC AND OTHERS ARE KILLING OFF SHORT SELLERS

EXPLOSIVE CLAIMS IN LAWSUIT AGAINST ROBINHOOD

Photo: “Notorious BIG by Marv Castillo” by 5AENZ2NEXWNYZRR22ACALR5SWN is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 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.

Use this link to save 5%! I’ll also get 5% of however much you spend, at no cost to you.

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.

Hedge Funds Get Special Treatment During Margin Calls

A major feature of the run-up in stocks like AMC has been a battle between short selling hedge funds and bullish retail investors. The small investors have often sensed they’re not being treated fairly.

And when it comes to margin calls, it turns out they’re quite right.

A margin call happens when a trader borrows to fund a trade and the trade moves against him. If he doesn’t post more funds, the broker will close out his trade, whether he likes it or not.

An average investor generally gets two to five days to resolve a margin call. But the rules for the big boys are very different.

According to a new report from Credit Suisse, it gave troubled hedge fund Archegos Capital Management weeks to meet a margin call. The tactic Archegos used to deflect the demands for more cash was incredibly simple: claim they were too busy to respond.

On February 23, 2021, the PSR [Prime Services Risk] analyst covering Archegos reached out to Archegos’s Accounting Manager and asked to speak about dynamic margining. Archegos’s Accounting Manager said he would not have time that day, but could speak the next day. The following day, he again put off the discussion, but agreed to review the proposed framework, which PSR sent over that day. Archegos did not respond to the proposal and, a week-and-a-half later, on March 4, 2021, the PSR analyst followed up to ask whether Archegos “had any thoughts on the proposal.” His contact at Archegos said he “hadn’t had a chance to take a look yet,” but was hoping to look “today or tomorrow.”

No retail investor would ever get away with this. If Robinhood or any other retail broker didn’t get a response in an exact time window, they would liquidate the shares. And the special treatment extended to Archegos here would likely apply to any big client, like Citadel, Melvin Capital, or others.

This gives hedge funds a systematic advantage. They can borrow money and magnify their bets, and if the trades go against them, they can stall indefinitely and hope their position recovers.

All I can tell you is what I do: never buy on margin. Investing is risky enough without adding to the risks with borrowed money. But whatever strategy one chooses, hedge funds and small investors should at least be treated equally.

More on AMC and hedge funds:

EXPLOSIVE CLAIMS IN LAWSUIT AGAINST ROBINHOOD

AMC SHORTS LOST $642 MILLION YESTERDAY

SHORT SELLERS LOSE $44 BILLION IN 30 DAYS

Photo: “Bank Robbery In Progress” by foilman is licensed under CC BY-SA 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.

Use this link to save 5%! I’ll also get 5% of however much you spend, at no cost to you.

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.

Explosive Claims in Lawsuit Against Robinhood

As it prepares to IPO this week, Robinhood Markets, Inc. is facing several class action lawsuits from its users. Inside those lawsuits, an explosive claim:

High level executives and employees of Robinhood and Citadel Securities were in contact around the time Robinhood restricted trades, according to the complaint.

This lawsuit grows out of buying restrictions that Robinhood imposed on stock in AMC, GameStop, and others this January as their prices skyrocketed:

Retail investors suing Robinhood Market Inc and others over trading restrictions in the wake of a social media-fueled rally that squeezed short sellers have filed complaints seeking potentially billions in damages.

One of the proposed class actions filed on Tuesday in Miami federal court accuses Robinhood and clearing brokerage Apex Clearing Corp of acting negligently in cutting off trades in late January. The other lawsuit alleges they and others were part of an antitrust conspiracy with Citadel Securities LLC to spare the market maker losses on short bets.

Citadel plays an interesting dual role here. Citadel Securities handles many of Robinhood’s trades, but its hedge fund arm invested money in Melvin Capital, a fund that was imploding due to losses shorting meme stocks.

I see two possibilities:

  1. Citadel Securities handles a lot of Robinhood’s trades, so Robinhood naturally talked with them about issues it was facing holding enough money to back trades in volatile stocks like AMC and GameStop.
  2. Citadel tried to influence Robinhood to stop its users from driving up the price of meme stocks, which would hurt its positions in Melvin (and perhaps elsewhere)

I don’t think we have enough information yet to determine which it is. We need to find out what was said in conversations between Citadel Securities and Robinhood, and what contact Citadel Securities staff had with people on the hedge fund side of the firm. The lawsuit will likely expose phone records, e-mails and more that could shed light on what really happened.

That said, we definitely have at least the appearance of impropriety here. Citadel is exposing itself to a huge risk of regulatory crackdown and legal judgments. And Robinhood customers may be skeptical enough that they move on to any of the countless other brokerages available.

Major financial institutions are in the habit of saying “just trust us.” What they don’t understand is that after decades of bailouts and conflicts of interest, that’s a very hard sell.

More on AMC:

AMC SHORTS LOST $642 MILLION YESTERDAY

HEDGE FUND LOSSES COULD TAKE DECADES TO RECOVER

SHORT SELLERS LOSE $44 BILLION IN 30 DAYS

Photo: “Fruit of the fireball machine” by SiamEye 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.

Use this link to save 5%! I’ll also get 5% of however much you spend, at no cost to you.

Misfits Market

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Hedge Fund Losses Could Take Decades to Recover

Melvin Capital, among other hedge funds, has taken severe losses on bad bets in AMC, GameStop and others. They are now down by almost half:

Melvin Capital Management, which lost more than $6 billion in January, is now down 46% for the year through June, the fund recently told investors. Maplelane Capital is down 39% for the period.

Until Melvin recovers all of those losses, it will not earn any performance fees. This juicy 20% fee is what induces traders to set up hedge funds in the first place.

The average long/short equity hedge fund, the class Melvin belongs to, has returned just 3% annually over the last decade. At that rate, it would take Melvin 21 years to recoup its losses.

Here’s what could come next:

  • Manager Gabe Plotkin shuts the fund down, locking in investors’ losses. If he starts over with another fund, he can get performance fees right away.
  • Top traders leave the firm for other hedge funds that are earning performance fees, and hence can pay hefty bonuses. Only the B Team remains.
  • Melvin and similar funds make increasingly risky bets, desperate to quickly recover what they have lost, thereby losing even more. After all, 21 years is a long time to wait.

I think you will soon see more and more hedge funds either shutting down or getting desperate. If I were invested in any fund that saw big losses in meme stocks, I’d sell now before I lose it all.

More on AMC:

AMC SHORTS LOST $642 MILLION YESTERDAY

SHORT SELLERS LOSE $44 BILLION IN 30 DAYS

HEDGE FUNDS LOSE $12 BILLION ON AMC AND GAMESTOP

Photo: “Forever is Binding and Freeing” by Lomo-Cam is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Fundrise

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Use this link to save 5%! I’ll also get 5% of however much you spend, at no cost to you.

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.