GameStop (NYSE: GME) shares shot to the moon over the past month as hedge funds sold the shares short, or bet against them, as a band of retail investors bought the shares.
The fight between the two reached epic proportions as shares of GME rose from $20 to $483. The short sellers needed to buy back shares, but the retail investors kept pushing shares higher. This is a classic example of a short squeeze.
One hedge fund, Melvin Capital, required a $2 billion bailout.
But regulators and industry professionals weren’t happy that the big boys were getting screwed. Several called for investigations and others demanded that the NYSE stop trading in GME. Now the brokerage firms have done the dirty work with TD/Ameritrade and even Robinhood, which touts itself as an investment platform specifically for small investors, banning retail investors from buying shares of GME, AMC Theaters, Blackberry, and other stocks that are in short squeezes.
The situation has drawn interest from many parties, included politicians, and done something that used to seem impossible. It brought together Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). AOC tweeted her frustration that retail investors were locked out of buying shares so that institutions could benefit, and Ted Cruz agreed.