‘Power to the people,’ commented the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, Congressman Patrick McHenry in an interview with Yahoo! Finance’s Zack Guzman on Twitter last February 2 when he was asked what his takeaway was from the uprising of Reddit’s WallStreetBets.
During the last week of January, redditors from discussion group WallStreetBets caused GameStop’s shares to surge by 500%, as well as AMC shares to rise by 300%. The massive stock movement caused the financial sectors to reflect on the newfound power of the people.
‘You’re not going to stop people from talking to one another; you’re not going to stop the use of technology,’ Congressman McHenry said in his statement where he expressed that it was time for America’s finance to be more accessible for everyone.
‘The opening of finance is here to stay. We need to embrace it; we need to be more permissive of it; we need to open up our regulations and our laws to make it more equitable and available for everyone—small or large,’ he further stated.
Congressman McHenry shared his insight on how people should be given more freedom in the financial market so everyone can have an opportunity to earn from it.
He added, ‘We need to have more access in our markets to help them make decisions for themselves. Not [the] government mandating it. Not [a] centralized approach mandating it, but individuals making choices for themselves.’
‘We don’t know how that’s going to play out. We don’t know how any market’s going to play out. So, buyers beware, but let’s allow the people to make a decision for themselves,’ Congressman McHenry added.
The volatility of GameStop’s stocks last January not only opened the doors for the people to disrupt the financial market, but it also opened up opportunities for brokers to step in the scene. Top crypto broker site Robinhood temporarily blocked customers from buying GameStop shares by offering commission-free trades to customers.
People expressed their worries through social media that it could conflict with brokers’ responsibility to pursue the best execution of their customer’s trade.
In response to this, Congressman McHenry shared in his interview with Yahoo! Finance that he took little issue with the highly questioned practice of brokers getting paid by market makers to route trades towards specific markets.
‘Payment for order flow is what enables those fees to be crashed to zero for average everyday investors and I think there is still net good from that system,’ the Congressman McHenry said.
‘I don’t think as a governmental official I need to step into that business decision. I think average investors have that option to go [in] different routes.’
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