Rep. Maxine Waters announced that Reddit investor DeepFuckingValue, aka YouTuber Roaring Kitty, aka former insurance marketer Keith Gill, will testify before Congress about what the hell has been going on with GameStop’s stock later this month.
Waters made the announcement on Cheddar TV yesterday following Gill’s posts on the WallStreetBets subreddit, where he goes by the handle DeepFuckingValue. Gill’s discussions about investing big in GameStop helped turn its stock into a meme. That sent the stock soaring to over $400 a share last week, and it put him at the center of a new debate over how the stock market should work.
“We’ll have the young man there from Reddit, his name is Keith Gill, who basically started this mania,” said Waters, the chairwoman for the House Financial Services Committee. “We will hopefully have some hedge funds represented there. We’re going to make sure that we’re not taking sides.”
She added that Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev will also attend, and the committee hopes to have someone from GameStop present as well.
GameStop and other floundering companies like AMC recently saw their stocks balloon thanks in part to coordinated campaigns among Reddit traders using commission-free platforms like Robinhood. The stocks were heavily shorted, largely by big hedge funds, which allowed retail traders on Reddit ( as well as other rich people on Wall Street) to take advantage of a “short squeeze,” financial jargon for when market dynamics cause a feedback loop that pushes a stock’s price higher and higher.
Some hedge funds, like Melvin Capital, saw big portions of their funds wiped out in the process. Trading apps like Robinhood, meanwhile, were forced to temporarily ban users from buying specific stocks like GameStop and AMC. Robinhood claimed last week it ran the risk of being unable to cover the bets being placed on its platform and has slowly been allowing users to trade more GameStop stock in the days since. Investors on WallStreetBets who were unable to buy more stock during this period accused Robinhood of market manipulation, and some even filed a class-action suit against the tech startup.
In effect, a bunch of stocks went bananas last week. Some people got rich while many others lost tons of money, and now everyone is pointing the finger at each other while Congress prepares to hold hearings on February 18 to try and get to the bottom of it. Gill, who has reached legendary status on WallStreetBets, becoming a meme himself, told the Wall Street Journal last week that his original investment of around $50,000 had grown to over $30 million throughout all of this, though he reportedly suffered $13 million in loses as GameStop’s stock started to tank earlier this week.