Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) accused Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) of seeking to have her murdered in a dramatic exchange that unfolded amid an unusual market war between retail traders and hedge funds, Fox News reported Thursday.
The Democrat congresswoman swiftly rejected an offer of support from Cruz to investigate alleged unfairness in the financial markets after small investors were locked out of trading GameStop shares by hedge fund-aligned brokerage firms.
Breaking it down
The back-and-forth came after retail traders on the website Reddit loosely coordinated a shocking rally in GameStop’s shares, prompting the hedge funds betting on GameStop to fail to rush to cover their losses, in what is called a short squeeze.
In short selling, an investor borrows stocks with the expectation that the price will fall, allowing them to net a profit when they buy it back at a lower price before returning the “borrowed” stocks. Short sellers have lost nearly $20 billion in the GameStop phenomenon, Fox Business reports.
The stock rally has been described as a populist revolt fueled by anger at predatory investors on Wall Street and a “rigged” financial system.
An ensuing clampdown on retail traders fueled further anger and complaints of a double standard favoring hedge funds. According to Fox News, Ocasio-Cortez, among others, called for an investigation after the online trading app Robinhood restricted trading for GameStop and other specifically targeted stocks that had been shorted by the hedge funds.
Cruz agreed, but the brash congresswoman fired back with rehashed claims that Republican lawmakers, such as Cruz, are responsible for the recent “insurrection” at the Capitol, which she said nearly resulted in her death, as Fox noted.
This is unacceptable.
We now need to know more about @RobinhoodApp’s decision to block retail investors from purchasing stock while hedge funds are freely able to trade the stock as they see fit.
As a member of the Financial Services Cmte, I’d support a hearing if necessary. https://t.co/4Qyrolgzyt
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 28, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez also reiterated Democratic calls for Cruz to immediately resign.
“I am happy to work with Republicans on this issue where there’s common ground, but you almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago so you can sit this one out,” she tweeted in response to Cruz’s agreement with her assessment of the GameStop and Robinhood controversy.
According to The Daily Wire, Cruz responded by saying that the progressive congresswoman was not demonstrating a desire for “unity” that Democrats, including President Joe Biden, claim to want.
Despite the seriousness of Ocasio-Cortez’s claim, Twitter has taken no apparent action, Fox News reports.