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   제목: The Silicon Valley Start-Up That Caused Wall Street Chaos


The Silicon Valley Start-Up That Caused Wall Street Chaos


By Nathaniel Popper, Matt Phillips, Kate Kelly and Tara Siegel Bernard

Jan. 30, 2021


The online trading app Robinhood became a cultural phenomenon and a Silicon Valley darling with a promise to wrest the stock market away from Wall Street뭩 traditional gatekeepers and 뱇et the people trade making it as easy to put millions of dollars at risk as it is to summon an Uber.

This past week, in the middle of a market frenzy pitting amateur traders against hedge fund bigwigs, that veneer began to chip. As it turned out, Robinhood was at the mercy of the very industry it had vowed to upend.

The frenzy morphed into a crisis when legions of armchair investors on Robinhood, who had been buying up options and shares of GameStop, a video game retailer, enlarged those bets and also began making big trades in other stocks, including AMC Entertainment.

As the trading mania grew, the financial system뭩 risk reduction mechanisms managed by obscure entities at the center of the stock market called clearinghouses kicked in on Thursday, forcing Robinhood to find emergency cash to continue to be able to trade. It had to stop customers from buying a number of heavily traded stocks and draw on a more than $500 million bank line of credit. On Thursday night, the company also took an emergency infusion of more than $1 billion from its existing investors.



A high-flying start-up suddenly looked a lot like an overwhelmed, creaky company.

밊rom a marketing standpoint they position themselves as new, innovative, cool, said Peter Weiler, the co-chief executive of the brokerage and trading firm Abel Noser. 밯hat I think everyone is missing is, when you peel the onion back they are just a heavily regulated business.

Robinhood뭩 distress follows a familiar narrative: A Silicon Valley company that promised to disrupt an industry ends up being overcome by the forces it unleashed and has to be reined in by regulators, or in this case, the industry it promised to change. Its arc is not all that different from Facebook and Google, which changed the ways in which billions of people socialize and search for information, but are now caught in the cross hairs of lawmakers and an angry public.

밫hey were trying to change the rules of the road without understanding how the road was paved and without any respect for the existing guard rails, said Chris Nagy, a former trading executive at TD Ameritrade and the co-founder of the Healthy Markets Association, a nonprofit that seeks to educate market participants. 밒t ended up creating risk for their customers and systemic risk for the market more broadly.

Excerpts articles from The New York Times
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