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Citadel’s Ken Griffin Called to Testify at GameStop Hearing this Thursday; In Past Two Years, Republicans Got More than $60 Million of His Winnings

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Ken Griffin

Ken Griffin

The tentacles of Ken Griffin’s Citadel octopus were involved in multiple ways in the GameStop saga that will get a hearing this Thursday before the House Financial Services Committee. Griffin has been called to testify along with others.

GameStop is the brick-and-mortar video game retailer whose stock soared from $18.84 on December 31 of last year to an intraday high of $483 on January 28 – a breathtaking run of 2,465 percent in four weeks – before plunging back to earth. It closed on Friday at $52.40.

The hearing has been called to understand the relationship between all of the parties that played a pivotal role in the wild trading activity, which made fortunes for some big players while leaving others licking their wounds from what has the appearance of a pump and dump scheme.

Griffin’s Citadel Securities was paying for order flow from nine online brokerage firms and able to get an early peek at their trades. Another unit of Citadel, Citadel Advisors LLC, had a net short position in GameStop and held options that could potentially benefit from the stock whipsawing up and down. Citadel’s hedge fund also invested $2 billion in Melvin Capital to keep the hedge fund from going belly up over its losses from its short position in GameStop.

Things have changed dramatically for Griffin since the financial crash in the fall of 2008 when rumors were rife that his Citadel hedge funds were bleeding and the Federal Reserve had arrived at his offices to assess the situation for itself. Citadel denied the rumors and the New York Times published its denial, allowing Griffin to survive the crash.


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