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Fmr. SEC commissioner compares GameStop short squeeze to Capitol riot

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On Thursday a former commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), while discussing the ongoing short squeeze involving GameStop, compared the situation to the deadly January 6 Capitol riot.

Former SEC Commissioner Laura Unger made the comparison while talking to CNBC on Thursday afternoon about the market volatility and short squeeze sparked by users on the Reddit community r/WallStreetBets. To briefly explain the complex situation, some users on the subreddit had encouraged other retail investors in the forum to purchase stock in GameStop—a failing video game retailer—through entities and calls, which caused its stock price to skyrocket and fluctuate dramatically within the span of more than a week.

MORE ON GAMESTOP, ROBINHOOD: Class-action suit filed against Robinhood app for blocking trading of GameStop, other stocks

“Everybody is scratching their heads about this: ‘What should happen? What is the right thing to do to control this or stop this?'” Unger said

She then said that the ongoing GameStop debacle is “[n]ot unlike what we saw on January 6 at the Capitol.”

“If you don’t have the police in there at the right time, things go a little crazy,” Unger continued.

Watch the full CNBC interview here.

“And that kind of feels like what’s happening with this,” she added but quickly walked back from her comparison, saying the Capitol riot was “much different, much lesser degree; it’s financial harm, not personal bodily harm.”

Though, Unger called the short squeeze of GameStop “the same kind of platform-created frenzy that people are operating under, and these are very trying times.”

Here, the former SEC commissioner is most likely referencing the litany of reports detailing how rioters utilized platforms such as Parler and Telegram to plan the violent storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Unger, a Republican, was appointed to the SEC as a commissioner by then-President Bill Clinton in 1997 and served until 2002, once briefly serving as the acting chair. Currently, Unger sits on the board of CIT Group, which she joined in 2010, according to her biography on CIT’s website.

MORE ON GAMESTOP, ROBINHOOD: ‘You almost had me murdered’: AOC doesn’t want Cruz to join bipartisan push to investigate Robinhood

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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White House Confirms It Is Looking Into Shutting Down Oil Pipeline Amid Fuel Crisis

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Gas Pipeline

The Biden administration confirmed that it is considering shutting down an oil pipeline in Michigan despite the ongoing fuel crisis in the country.

“Revoking the permits for the [Line 5] pipeline that delivers oil from western Canada across Wisconsin, the Great Lakes and Michigan and into Ontario, would please environmentalists who have urged the White House to block fossil fuel infrastructure, but it would aggravate a rift with Canada and could exacerbate a spike in energy prices that Republicans are already using as a political weapon,” Politico Pro reported. “Killing a pipeline while U.S. gasoline prices are the highest in years could be political poison for Biden, who has seen his approval rating crash in recent months.”

Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked about the report during Monday’s press briefing, asking, “why is the administration now considering shutting down the Line 5 pipeline from Canada to Michigan?”

“So, Peter, that is inaccurate,” Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed. “That is not right. So, any reporting indicating that some decision has been made, again, is not accurate. … So, again, I would — it is inaccurate what you just stated, but —”

“What’s inaccurate?” Doocy asked.

“The reporting about us wanting to shut down the Line 5,” Jean-Pierre said.

“I didn’t say ‘wanting.’  I said, is it being studied right now?  Is the administration studying the impact of shutting down the Line 5?”

“Yeah. Yes, we are. We are,” Jean-Pierre admitted.

 

The news comes as gas prices have reached their highest since 2014, when Biden was vice president, and are currently about 50% higher than they were when Biden entered office.

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