Reporters Grill Jen Psaki on GameStop — Biden Press Secretary Dodges on Wall Street Chaos
The White House is staying silent as chaos reigns on Wall Street.
During Thursday’s White House briefing, press secretary Jen Psaki dodged multiple reporters’ questions about the turmoil in the stock market involving video game manufacturer GameStop — whose shares have fluctuated wildly throughout the week as small investors on Reddit banded together to drive out massive hedge funds which shorted the stock.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins kicked off the questioning on the subject.
“Given all the volatility surrounding Wall Street and GameStop, what is the Biden administration going to protect the average American investor if there’s going to be, potentially a major market correction?”
Psaki ducked the question.
“The SEC put out a statement,” Psaki said. “I believe it was today, or in the last 24 hours, I should say. I’d refer you to that. We’re not going to have any additional comment from here.”
That SEC statement, released Wednesday, was itself a dodge.
“We are aware of and actively monitoring the on-going market volatility in the options and equities markets and, consistent with our mission to protect investors and maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, we are working with our fellow regulators to assess the situation and review the activities of regulated entities, financial intermediaries, and other market participants,” the statement said.
Collins tried again, with no luck.
“Beyond just monitoring it, has he had any conversations with economic officials about what’s going on?” Collins asked.
“He’s briefed by his economic team frequently,” Psaki said. “But I don’t have anything more to read out for you.”
Another reporter followed up by asking about the financial app Robinhood — which restricted trading on GameStop and several other stocks Thursday in a move which cut off many smaller investors, while access for the major hedge funds remains unfettered.
“Is the SEC, DOJ, or broader administration specifically looking at Robinhood and other platforms’ decision to prove retail investors from purchasing certain stocks like GameStop?” The reporter asked.
“I don’t have anything more on this, aside from [pointing] you to the SEC Statement,” Psaki said.
A third correspondent tried again later — questioning Psaki on speaking fees paid to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen by Citadel, the hedge fund which owns Robinhood. The reporter asked whether Psaki would recuse herself. We’ll have more on that part of the exchange shortly. But based on the rest of Psaki’s comments Thursday, you can pretty much guess how it went.
Watch above, via CNN.
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