Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren have slammed Wall Street investors and hedge funds that have criticised public traders buying up GameStop stock.
The lawmakers accused Wall Street of using the market as their “personal casino” and backed the amateur investors behind a 700 per cent surge in the company’s value.
The stock price of the video game retailer has spiked after traders on the r/wallstreetbets Reddit group bought massive amounts of GameStock shares.
As a result the share price has soared from around $20 at the beginning of January to nearly $350 a share on Wednesday at close of trading.
The internet-fuelled rally has seen the share buyers make huge profits and punished Wall Street investors and hedge funds who were shorting the once-struggling company.
Trading in GameStop has been suspended a string of times and Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman has threatened to halt trading if the social media campaign causes volatility.
The Reddit investors have also targeted other shorted stocks such as AMC, Bed Bath & Beyond, Blackberry and Nokia.
“With stocks soaring while millions are out of work and struggling to pay their bills, it’s not news that the stock market doesn’t reflect our actual economy,” said Senator Warren.
“For years, the same hedge funds, private equity firms, and wealthy investors dismayed by the GameStop trades have treated the stock market like their own personal casino while everyone else pays the price.
“It’s long past time for the SEC and other financial regulators to wake up and do their jobs — and with a new administration and Democrats running Congress, I intend to make sure they do.”
Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter and backed her Democratic colleague’s stance.
“Gotta admit it’s really something to see Wall Streeters with a long history of treating our economy as a casino complain about a message board of posters also treating the market as a casino,” she tweeted.