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Amid the GameStop Frenzy, Andrew Left Calls It Quits On Short Reports After 20 Years
The Citron Research founder will still issue reports, making long recommendations to investors.
After 20 years, Andrew Left’s Citron Research will no longer issue reports on stock shorting.
Left announced the news via a video on Friday after a week of market upheaval fueled by retail investors buying up GameStop’s stock, in an apparent effort to squeeze short sellers.
On January 19, Left said on Twitter that he believed the stock would go to $20, warning investors to buy at their own risk. Since then, retail investors, particularly those who have congregated on Reddit forum WallStreetBets, have been targeting Left, he has said.
They’ve shown up at his guardhouse, signed him up for a Tinder profile, and have been calling him nonstop, he told Institutional Investor on Tuesday.
In his Friday video, Left pointed out that when he started Citron, he did it “with the intention of protecting the individual against Wall Street.”
Citron’s website says that since 2001, 50 of the companies Citron covered became targets of regulatory intervention.
But, Left acknowledge Friday, the market’s dynamics have changed.
“When we started Citron, it was to be against the establishment,” Left said in his video on Tuesday. “We've actually become the establishment.”
He said in the video that he still wants to help individual investors, but won’t be issuing any more short reports. Instead, Citron will focus on long recommendations for individuals. He plans to publish the first of these recommendations on Monday.
“The Citron narrative is going to change and have a pivot,” Left said in his video. He added that he will release a new long report on Monday.
It’s unclear whether Citron Capital, Left’s investment firm, will continue to make short bets. Left did not return an email seeking clarity on Friday.
[II Deep Dive: ‘They’re Harassing Me However They Can’: Citron’s Andrew Left on WallStreetBets and Shorting GameStop]
The GameStop phenomenon has reached far beyond making a short-selling researcher go long. On Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it is reviewing “actions taken by the regulated entities that may disadvantage investors or otherwise unduly inhibit their ability to trade certain securities.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to the regulatory body on Friday morning, calling on the SEC to provide information on how it plans to address these concerns and prevent incidents of “market manipulation.”
Likewise, the Senate Banking Committee’s incoming chairman Sherrod Brown said Thursday that he plans to hold a hearing on the subject.
This announcement followed Robinhood and other trading platforms’ decision to limit trading on volatile stocks like GameStop and AMC.
Since December 31, when GameStop’s share price closed at $18.84, its stock has risen more than 1,700 percent, trading at $349 as of midday trading on Friday. The company’s share price dipped 44 percent on Thursday after trading was limited.
As of Friday, users on the WallStreetBets forum, Twitter, and other social media sites were still hyping up the stock.