Ken Griffin brushed off accusations that his massive hedge fund Citadel Investments had a hand in spoiling the “Reddit Rally,” calling it an “insane conspiracy theory.”
Fresh off his Thursday testimony on Capitol Hill on last month’s surprise surge in shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment, the Wall Street billionaire pushed back Friday on the idea that he was playing both sides of the chaotic short squeeze.
Some Reddit-fueled retail investors have accused his hedge fund of moving to invest $2 billion in Melvin Capital — a high-profile hedge fund whose bets against GameStop shares they had attacked — even as his securities firm was tasked with executing many of the GameStop trades on Robinhood that were squeezing the crippled hedge fund.
In particular, rumors have swirled that Griffin’s fund was involved in Robinhood’s decision to limit users’ ability to buy GameStop shares, and that he was conspiring to block retail investors in order to protect Melvin and its founder, Citadel alum Gabe Plotkin.
“If I had to run my business to the possibility of an insane conspiracy theory emerging at any point in time,” Griffin told CNBC, “I would have no business.”
When asked directly if his investment in Melvin at the height of the short squeeze might have been a mistake, Griffin curtly retorted “No, I think Gabe Plotkin is one of the finest investors of his generation.”
As to the powerful financiers thoughts on the red-hot market for Bitcoin, Griffin said he doesn’t have any.
“I just don’t spend much time thinking about cryptocurrencies,” Griffin said. “I don’t see the economic underpinning of cryptocurrencies. I understand how to value a stock … I don’t know how to think about what is effectively a digital token.”
Bitcoin hit yet another all-time high earlier Friday, raising its total market value above the $1 trillion mark after Tesla chief Elon Musk called the cryptocurrency “less dumb” than cash.