AOC and Ted Cruz, Agree!

Yes, 2021 is starting off as crazy as 2020. They don't agree on the Green New Deal, or Socialism, but Ted Cruz and AOC both agree that limiting investor access to markets is a mistake. In case you missed it, last week, Robinhood, a new online trading platform that marketed itself as democratizing investment, stopped investors from buying certain stocks.

They did this during a "short squeeze" that apparently pitted small investors who bought stocks that hedge funds had sold short. The result: these stock prices sky-rocketed. Billions were made and billions were lost. What actually happened: Who lost money and who made money is still being sorted out. What we do know is that some trading platforms locked investors out.

One explanation for keeping small investors from buying certain stocks was that their inexperience made them vulnerable to a big drop in the stock price.

To be clear, we have no idea what "fair value" is for the companies at issue. And, yes, there are very inexperienced "investors" in this market. However, both buyers and sellers influence market prices...and the result of those actions, no matter how much volatility must be allowed to play out.

Short-sellers sell shares of companies they don't own, with a promise to buy the shares later so they can complete the transaction. In general, if the price of the stock goes down after they short it then they make money; if it goes up, they lose money. Sometimes shorting can overwhelm a security and send its price well below fair value.