GameStop hearing: Robinhood CEO says sorry for ‘black swan’ trading suspension

Eric Platt and Aziza Kasumov

It was a terse exchange between Citadel chief executive Ken Griffin and Brad Sherman, a senior member of the House financial services committee.

Sherman told the billionaire that he was doing “a great job wasting my time,” adding that “If you’re going to filibuster you should run for the Senate”.

Sherman was seeking answers around payment for order flow, the practice where brokers get paid to send their customers’ orders to market makers like Citadel. The Democratic congressman from California wanted to know whether a client of Robinhood would get the same price for a stock as one trading with Fidelity.

Griffin responded that it would depend on the trade size, but before he could continue Sherman interjected. “Don’t tell me there are other factors involved and take me down another road,” the Congressman said.

Griffin continued that the community where the trade was coming from mattered.

“That is not my question sir,” Sherman said. “You are evading my question.”

When questioned by another member of the House later in the session, he did not answer Sherman’s question.

Griffin later defended the controversial practice of payment for order flow, saying it was an “important source of innovation in the industry” because it drove the industry toward zero-comission trading. “This has been a big win for American investors,” Griffin said.

The Citadel founder also noted that if the rules around the practice were to be changed, “that’s fine with us”.


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