FINANCE

Roaring Kitty blasts E-Trade over ban threat during triumphant return to YouTube

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Keith Gill, the financial influencer known as Roaring Kitty, made his first appearance on a YouTube livestream in three years on Friday, and he had a bone to pick with his brokerage firm. During his session, Gill called out E-Trade, which reportedly considered banning him from trading earlier this week after he revealed positions worth hundreds of millions of dollars in the meme stock Gamestop.

“I’ve seen those headlines,” joked Gill, pulling up a webpage showing his portfolio and deleting the E-Trade logo using his browser’s developer tools. “Don’t make me remove it.”

Gill’s nearly one-hour stream came a few weeks after his X account posted a GameStop-related meme, driving speculation about whether the vaunted internet figure had really returned after years of speculation, and kicking off a rally in GameStop prices. Without any verbal confirmation from Gill himself, who would communicate through often absurdist YouTube livestreams during the peak of the meme stock trading mania in 2021, some wondered whether he had sold his social media accounts or been hacked.

That changed on Sunday, after Gill posted his positions using his trademark Reddit account, DeepFuckingValue, revealing that he was holding positions in GameStop shares and call options that, at their peak, had him worth over half a billion dollars. After market close on Thursday, he posted a new screenshot of his positions and added a livestream scheduled for Friday afternoon to his YouTube channel—his first since the pandemic era.

In the money

Hundreds of thousands of people piled into the stream on Friday, with the sidebar chat flying with new comments. After a 20-minute wait, a sizzle reel of cat clips aired, followed by a long scroll of financial disclosure text. Roaring Kitty was back.

Internet culture around meme stocks has receded from the boom days of the pandemic, with stimulus checks long spent and the economy in a precarious state. But Gill’s return has breathed new life into the strange nooks of social media platforms like Discord, Reddit, and YouTube, where amateur investors trade memes and financial advice, often with the spirit of sticking it to institutional traders like large hedge funds.

During Friday’s livestream, Gill claimed that he was not working with anybody on his new, massive position, with some skeptics accusing him of partnering with GameStop or hedge funds. “What weirdo spends their free time working on memes—is someone else doing that?” Gill said. “This is me, I’m the one active on my accounts.”

During his often rambling one-man show, where Gill doubled down on his support for GameStop due to his belief in its CEO Ryan Cohen, interest seemed to wane among his audience—and other investors. Despite the stock halting in trading because of volatility, its price still slumped, in part impacted by the company’s early reporting of its quarterly results on Friday. At the time of publication, shares are trading around $28 after reaching a high of nearly $50 this morning.

While Gill may not yet be a millionaire, he still has reason to celebrate—his call options have a strike price of $20, meaning he is still “in the money.”

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