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Vlad Tenev, Grilled in the Hearing, also Apologizes to Users

Vlad Tenev, the Chief Executive of the online brokerage firm Robinhood, faced heat from the Congress Members. From the opening moments of the House Financial Services Committee hearing on GameStop, Tenev is facing heat from all over.

During the hearing, Representative Maxine Waters told Tenev to get to the point and talk directly about what happened on Jan 28. For stopping the customer trading accounts during the peak frenzy, he apologized. Even then, he stayed put with his point that Robinhood did nothing wrong. As some critics suggest that he privileged powerful business partners over the expense of small investors, Tenev denied that as well.

Mr. Vlad Tenev said, “We don’t answer to hedge funds. We serve the millions of small investors who use our platform every day to invest.” He said that circumstances forced them to stop trading. The business partners and clearinghouses that perform trading on behalf of Robinhood had significantly increased their money requirements. Robinhood had to park them as collateral.

Mr. Vlad Tenev and Robinhood collectively earned $35 billion in realized and unrealized gains above their deposited money. One congressman asked him to justify his claim. Mr. Tenev was asked for more details regarding the revenues by Representative Jim Himes as well.

The republicans present at the hearing were more sympathetic towards Mr. Tenev. However, they felt that he and the company should have given prior intimation to the customers.

Representative Carolyn Maloney, Democrat of New York, showed Robinhood users anger even directly. She said, “You reserve the right to make up the rules as you go along. I don’t blame customers for feeling treated unfairly.”

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