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‘Roaring Kitty’ Keith Gill defends his GameStop posts amid lawsuit

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‘Roaring Kitty’ Keith Gill defends his GameStop posts amid lawsuit

A star Reddit trader known as “Roaring Kitty” plans to defend his bullish GameStop calls in front Congress one day after being slapped with a lawsuit for his role in the trading frenzy.

The trader, whose real name is Keith Gill, is set to testify to the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Services on Thursday about the manic rally last month that pushed GameStop’s shares up more than 1,600 percent in just a few weeks.

Gill — who used his online personas “Roaring Kitty” on YouTube and DeepF***ingValue on Reddit to tout the stock — plans to say that he pushed GameStop because he believed in the company — and still does.

“Social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and WallStreetBets on Reddit are leveling the playing field,” Gill says in written testimony released ahead of Thursday’s hearing. “And in a year of quarantines and COVID, engaging with other investors on social media was a safe way to socialize. We had fun.”

“The idea that I used social media to promote GameStop stock to unwitting investors is preposterous,” Gill wrote. “I was abundantly clear that my channel was for educational purposes only, and that my aggressive style of investing was unlikely to be suitable for most folks checking out the channel.”

Gill will also say that he didn’t profit as much as some think, saying: “My timing was far from perfect, and many of the options contracts I purchased expired worthless because GameStop’s stock price remained depressed longer than I expected.”

But in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday, Gill — known for donning a red headband surrounded by cat paraphernalia in his YouTube videos — was portrayed as an undercover trading mastermind who drove GameStop shares higher to line his own pockets.

The class-action suit filed in Massachusetts federal court on Wednesday took aim at Gill’s online personas, saying he knowingly used them to create a fake populist attack on hedge funds and pump the price of GameStop — eventually creating millions of dollars of losses for retail investors who followed his advice.

GameStop shares closed down 7.21 percent on Wednesday to $45.99 a share, down from a $483 a share in late January.

“Indeed, in order to motivate amateur traders, Gill fashioned himself as a kind of Robin Hood and characterized securities professionals as villains,” the complaint said. “Gill slyly targeted large hedge funds who had shorted GameStop stock as the evil, powerful big boys.

Only Gill was actually “a highly sophisticated and calculated investor” and registered stockbroker at MassMutual in Boston, the suit says. And he had taken a substantial position in GameStop stock at $5 a share in the run-up to the social media-fueled short squeeze.

“Gill, however, is no amateur (and no Robin Hood),” the suit claimed. “For many years, he actively worked as a professional in the investment and financial industries.”

The suit also named MassMutual, claiming the bank was legally responsible to oversee Gill as a registered broker. The bank is under investigation by Massachusetts regulators. 

Gill reportedly quit his job on Jan. 21 and officially left MassMutual on Jan. 28, the day after GameStop stock fell 44 percent off its high.

Gill will testify before Congress Thursday alongside Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev, billionaire investor Ken Griffin of Citadel and other key players in the Reddit Rally.

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AT&T execs roll their eyes as Elliott Management takes victory lap on $43B merger

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AT&T execs roll their eyes as Elliott Management takes victory lap on $43B merger

Some higher ups at AT&T aren’t too happy about billionaire Paul Singer’s hedge fund’s response to their $43 billion media merger on Monday.

“Elliott Management is taking a victory lap even though they had nothing to do with getting this deal done” one AT&T insider griped to The Post about AT&T’s plans to combine its WarnerMedia entertainment unit with media giant Discovery.

Elliott took a $3.2 billion stake in AT&T in September 2019, calling in a letter for “improved strategic focus” and “enhanced leadership.” But the hedge fund’s execs weren’t in the room when negotiations to were taking place, according to sources close to the situation.

That didn’t stop Elliott executive Jesse Cohn from tweeting about the deal on Monday in a way that rubbed some insiders the wrong way.

“@ATT has now executed on its promise to streamline operations and re-focus on its core businesses,” Cohn said in a tweet about what he called AT&T’s “transformational year.”

A source close to Elliott Management fired back by doubling down on the notion that the deal was the result of the hedge fund’s activism. “AT&T wouldn’t have completed the deal if we hadn’t put out that letter,” this person said. “There’s not even a debate that Elliott provided cover for John (Stankey) to make the necessary changes.”

Stankey took the reins from Randall Stephenson in April 2020 in what presumably was a step towards “enhanced leadership.”

Another Elliott insider, however, emphasized the now-collegial relationship between the hedge fund and AT&T. “Stankey saw things the way we did,” this person said. “This is a feel-good story.”

“It’s puzzling a statement in which Jesse (Cohn) gives credit to John (Stankey) is being considered a victory lap.”

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Goldman taps former Uber executive to lead its consumer bank

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Goldman taps former Uber executive to lead its consumer bank

Goldman Sachs has tapped a former Uber executive to lead its fledgling consumer banking division, whose retail lending arm Marcus has seen heavy turnover since its launch.

Peeyush Nahar, who at Uber had overseen teams that developed software for payments, insurance and other fintech, has joined the Wall Street giant as a partner and global head of its consumer business. He will report to Stephanie Cohen, Goldman’s global co-head of consumer and wealth management.

Earlier this year, Goldman’s former head of consumer banking Omer Ismail and one of his top deputies, David Stark, left to run a new fintech startup at Walmart. On Friday, Goldman announced it was losing another member of Marcus — chief financial officer Sherry Ann Mohan, who is leaving for JPMorgan.

Amid the flight of financiers, Goldman is trying to shore up the consumer division that launched in 2016. Over the past few months it has brought on three new executives. Brian King, a former Goldman executive who left for a brief stint at Wells Fargo, is now chief risk officer. Swati Bhatia joined from payment technology company Stripe as head of proprietary business. Robert Cochran has joined as digital product lead at the division.

Before the pandemic, Goldman set a goal of lending $20 billion and maintaining $125 billion in deposits by 2024. As of March, Marcus has $8 billion in loans and $100 billion in deposits.

Before his stint at Uber, Nahar spent 14 years at Amazon where he focused on lending and machine learning.

“Peeyush will lead the business in its next phase of growth, helping drive forward our commitment to our customers and make us the place they go to manage their finances,” Goldman said in a statement.

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World Economic Forum cancels 2021 Singapore event amid pandemic

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World Economic Forum cancels 2021 Singapore event amid pandemic

World Economic Forum organizers say they have decided to cancel their annual gathering — usually held in Davos, Switzerland each year — this year amid concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After multiple attempts to find a proper date and venue, most recently settling on hopes to hold it in Singapore in August, the forum’s organizers said in a statement Monday that it won’t go ahead with the meeting, largely citing the impact of the coronavirus.

“Regretfully, the tragic circumstances unfolding across geographies, an uncertain travel outlook, differing speeds of vaccination rollout and the uncertainty around new variants combine to make it impossible to realize a global meeting with business, government and civil society leaders from all over the world at the scale which was planned,” the forum said.

Forum founder Klaus Schwab called it a “difficult decision” … “but ultimately the health and safety of everyone concerned is our highest priority.”

The forum’s next annual gathering will be in the first half of next year, with the final date and location to be determined, organizers said.

The elite gathering typically draws hundreds of well-known government leaders, business executives, civil society advocates and artists, actors and musicians.

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