Updated: Feb 17, 2021
On Thursday, February 18, Keith Gill, commonly known by his Reddit pseudonym, “DeepF***kingValue”, will deliver a prepared testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. Gill became famous for documenting his investments in GameStop Inc. (GME) on his YouTube channel and the popular subreddit “Wallstreetbets.” The 34-year-old allegedly made millions of dollars on GME call options that he had bought as early as June of 2019.
On January 28, 2021, GME’s stock price reached a whopping $483.00 per share, despite being as low as $19.00 per share on January 4, 2021, the first trading day of the year for the NYSE in 2021.
The surge in GME’s stock price was fueled by a frenzy of retail investors placing long positions (buying shares) on the stock. Some market analysts argue that the driving force behind this surge was not based on GameStop’s underlying value, but rather on a sort of populist revolt against institutional investors that had heavily shorted GameStop’s stock. Some institutional investors, such as the firm, Melvin Capital Management LP, had placed bearish investments on GameStop, meaning they expected GME to decrease in value. The massive increase in GME forced many short sellers to buy shares of GME at these high prices to cover their losses.
The House Committee on Financial Services will hear from several witnesses on Thursday, including Gill. The committee is looking into the circumstances surrounding the surge in GameStop’s stock price. One of the committee’s aims is to determine whether amateur investors were manipulated by individuals such as Gill involved in GameStop’s short squeeze.
In his prepared testimony, Gill states that his investments in GME were based on a bullish outlook for the company, and not on any other factors. His opening statement reads “As an individual investor, I use publicly available information to study the market and the value of specific companies… I did that with GameStop. I believed the company was dramatically undervalued by the market. The prevailing analysis about GameStop’s impending doom was simply wrong.”
Gill’s opening statement makes it clear that he had no intention to manipulate investors, “The idea that I used social media to promote GameStop stock to unwitting investors is preposterous. 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 testify to the House Committee on Financial Services on February 18. The hearing will begin at 12:00 E.T. and can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfEuNHVPc_k&ab_channel=FinancialServicesCommittee
Read Keith Gill’s prepared testimony here: https://docs.house.gov/meetings/BA/BA00/20210218/111207/HHRG-117-BA00-Wstate-GillK-20210218.pdf