The Spread: Can’t Stop GameStop

Matt Raebel

Matt Raebel


Welcome to The Spread, I’m Matt Raebel.

A number of people appeared before Congress on Thursday to discuss the GameStop trading phenomenon, including Vlad Tenev, CEO of Robinhood. Tenev, who apparently donned his best John Wick costume for the hearing, defended his company’s innocence while apologizing to customers.

Also among those interviewed by members of the House Financial Services Committee was Keith Gill, or “Roaring Kitty” as he is known on YouTube, who was hit with a lawsuit this week. The suit, which alleged that Gill misrepresented himself as an amateur investor for personal gain – when he was, in fact, a licensed securities professional – was filed Tuesday in federal court in Massachusetts on behalf of Washington state resident Christian Iovin and other similarly jilted investors. Gill was among the more influential personalities involved in the GameStop situation, and while “Roaring Kitty” is a memorable title to go by, he was better known by his Twitter handle and Reddit username – Deep”Effing”Value – though I’ve censored some of the language in his actual username because this is a family-friendly show.

This week, the investment bank Citi successfully traded and cleared the first client-executed credit default swap index options trades – bit of a mouthful, that – through ICE Clear Credit. This is the first time Citi has done so in the U.S. since ICE launched clearing services for CDS index options last November. Better late than never.

In other news, Cboe announced this week that the exchange operator plans to enable its electronic auction mechanism, AIM, on the Cboe Options Exchange for those trading SPX and SPWX options – that’s options on the S&P 500 and S&P 500 Weekly options, respectively – for smaller trades up to a maximum of 10 contracts. The change is scheduled to take effect on

February 22, and according to Arianne Criqui, senior vice president and head of derivatives and global client services at Cboe, this was done to serve the growing demand for smaller-size contracts, especially from retail traders.

JLN Editors Suzanne Cosgrove and Thom Thompson have a few late-breaking stories up on JLN dot com. One is about the basics of options trading according to finance professor Edward Szado, another about the cryptocurrency exchange ErisX’s proposed NFL binary options, and a third is on Acuiti’s newest report on market data costs. Check out the site for those pieces and more news. 

Anyway, that’s it for me this week – as always, stay safe, and happy trading.


Robinhood CEO defends actions in GameStop saga at hearing

Marcy Gordon and Alex Veiga – AP News

Citi clears first CDS index options through ICE Clear Credit

Annabel Smith – The Trade

‘Roaring Kitty’ Sued for Securities Fraud Over GameStop Rise

Christian Berthelsen – Bloomberg

Cboe to Enable Electronic Auction Mechanism for S&P 500 Index Options Products, Beginning February 22


NFL Calls Time-Out on ErisX’s NFL Binary Options

Thom Thompson – JLN

Options Basics for Newbies: Mind Your Greeks, Professor Says

Suzanne Cosgrove – JLN

No, Virginia, There Is No Santa Claus; He Was Demutualized

Thom Thompson – JLN


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