Keith Gill, the Massachusetts resident whose use of social media helped fuel the frenzy in GameStop’s stock, has been asked to appear before a congressional panel looking into the trading phenomenon.
In an interview on the Cheddar News Channel, House Financial Services chair Maxine Waters said, “I want him here,” when asked about calling Gill to testify at the hearing scheduled for Feb. 18.
Gill, a 34-year-old former employee of Springfield-based MassMutual, has been pounding the table on behalf of the beleaguered video game retailer since 2019 on the Internet chat site Reddit and through YouTube videos. Known by the YouTube moniker Roaring Kitty, Gill kicked-off a stampede of Reddit users and other individual investors who started buying GameStop shares, largely via the app Robinhood, briefly sending the price into the stratosphere and triggering huge losses among veteran hedge fund investors who had shorted the stock.
At one point, Gill had posted images from his trading account that purported to show a $48 million balance, from an initial investment of $53,000.
Gill could not be reached for comment.
Also Thursday, The New York Times reported that Massachusetts securities regulator William F. Galvin is investigating whether Gill broke any rules because he was working at MassMutual, where he was a financial wellness educator, during much of the time he was touting GameStop. Galvin has reportedly sent requests for information to MassMutual.
From beginning the year at around $17 a share, GameStop’s stock hit a peak of $347 last week, and has since closed at about $90 for the past several days. And along the way, the manic trading provoked something of an existential crisis on Wall Street, as well as calls from Washington, D.C., for regulatory oversight.
The hearing by Waters’s committee is just one of several inquiries underway in the capital. In a separate interview with Bloomberg News, Waters said she has a “wish list” of other witnesses for the hearing, that include representatives of Reddit, Robinhood Markets Inc., GameStop Corp., and hedge funds Citadel and Melvin Capitol.
“I’m trying to get everybody that has a role to play,” Waters said. “I want Reddit there. I want Robinhood there. I even want GameStop there. And I want a couple of the hedge funds there.”
“I’m looking at Citadel and Melvin Capitol,” the California Democrat added.