Ken Griffin and Citadel Securities compare meme stock investors to moon landing conspiracy theorists

In case anyone thought Citadel Securities wasn't hated enough by most meme stock investors on Reddit and Twitter, founder Ken Griffin just couldn't help but double down on insulting the angry mob.

u/HocusPocusYo on r/SuperStonk

Citadel Securities has been taking to Twitter in defense of their founder Ken Griffin this week, and the old bag of bones even spoke publicly for the first time in months. Both Griffin and Citadel used the term "conspiracy theorists" to describe the Reddit meme stock investor movement's due diligence research that has lead many to believe the company's founder perjured himself in his testimony before Congress earlier this year. Citadel went further on the offensive on Twitter yesterday, sending out a disparaging tweet that "there are those who still refuse to believe that an American landed on the moon." 

Here's a transcipt of the statements made in the latest tweets from Citadel Securities:

  • “It must frustrate the conspiracy theorists to no end that Vlad and I have never texted, called or met each other. But I must say, kudos to Vlad and his team at Robinhood for their remarkable success story.” – Citadel Securities Founder Ken Griffin (link)
  • There are those who still refuse to believe an American landed on the moon. (link)
  • Internet conspiracies and Twitter mobs try to ignore the facts, but the fact is that Citadel Securities was the pre-eminent market maker to the retail brokerage community in January 2021. (link)
  • On January 27th, numerous retail brokerage firms imposed restrictions on the trading of certain “meme stocks” due to capital constraints, liquidity concerns and other commercial reasons. (link)
  • Citadel Securities never requested, intimated, agreed or otherwise sought to limit or to restrict the trading of such securities. (link)
  • On January 27th, we executed an astonishing 7.4 billion shares on behalf of retail investors. (link)
  • We’re proud of the important role we have long played in making US financial markets fair, transparent, resilient, and the envy of the world. (link)
  • Conspiracy theorists and plaintiffs’ lawyers are trying to concoct an absurd story from regular-way communications among Citadel Securities and the brokers who handle orders for retail investors. (link)
  • Of course, the teams at Citadel Securities and our counterparties are in constant communication to meet the needs of the retail investor community. (link)
  • Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, amid an unprecedented surge in retail trading engagement, our respective teams made sure that operational demands were addressed and that retail investors had access to Citadel Securities’ superior execution capabilities. (link)

Check out our previous article that highlights Citadel Securities' initial #KenGriffinLied response on Twitter, but it is surprising to see the company continue to stir the hornet's nest on social media. At the core of the recent consternation is what many meme stock investors on Reddit and Twitter believe to be a blatant lie. When US Representative Juan Vargas asked Citadel Securities CEO Ken Griffin if he or anyone at the company had communicated with any of their counterparties about limiting the purchasing of GameStop shares, the executive and founder of the market maker said, "Let me be perfectly clear. Absolutely not."

Excerpts of filings from lawsuits against Citadel Securities have begun to surface on various meme stock subreddits like r/SuperStonk, and it seems pretty suspicious for Citadel to break their social media silence all of a sudden. The Citadel Securities Twitter account actually tweeted out yesterday that "of course, the teams at Citadel Securities and our counterparties are in constant communication to meet the needs of the retail investor community," which seems to contradict Griffin's own testimony. At the core of these tweets is a fixation on the date of January 27, 2021. Outside of Griffin saying that he has never spoken with Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev, there has been no mention of the communications that potentially occurred between the companies on the days surrounding January 27. 

Citadel Securities and the founder have resorted to name-calling in an attempt to reduce the hard work done by a collective retail investor effort across Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube into just another conspiracy theory. The problem here is that Citadel is actually fueling the fire without providing enough transparency to tell the entire story. They are very proud of the 7.4 billion shares traded on January 27, 2021. What percent of those trades were made with institutional investors trying to cover their short positions? That staggering amount of shares is larger than the entire floats of GameStop, AMC, BlackBerry, BestBuy, and Bed Bath and Beyond combined. With retail investors locked out of buying shares, who exactly was trading those 7.4 billion shares? Why won't Citadel break out or even mention GameStop in any of these tweets? 

This week's reappearance of Citadel Securities honestly leaves more questions for traders than answers. Meme stock investors can be certain of one thing for sure. The decision to halt purchases of meme stocks in late January of 2021 tipped the scales in favor of short sellers looking to cover their positions. This is blatantly unfair, and investors are well within their rights to pursue legal actions against broker dealers and market makers like Citadel. Only time will tell if the SEC will actually do something to defend the rights of retail investors. 

This article is only meant for educational purposes, and should not be taken as investment advice. Please consider your own investment time horizon, risk tolerance, and consult with a financial advisor before acting on this information.

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