Ken Griffin, the billionaire CEO of Citadel hedge fund, last month defended his $ 2 billion investment in Melvin Capital from short seller Gabe Plotkin amid the height of GameStop mania.
“No, I think Gabe Plotkin is one of the best investors of his generation,” Griffin told CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin in Squawk Box.
The comment was in response to a question from Sorkin about whether Griffin’s investment was a mistake, as it posed questions about Griffin’s motivation to prop up Plotkin in his battle against Reddit retailers who were driving up the price of GameStop.
“If I had to run my business with the possibility that some crazy conspiracy theory might emerge at some point, I would have no business,” Griffin said.
In addition to running the Citadel hedge fund, Griffin is the founder of Citadel Securities, a market maker that handles roughly 40% of the order flow of US retail stocks, including brokers like the free trading app Robinhood.
After Citadel and Point72’s news of the investment broke out, there was widespread speculation on social media about Griffin’s possible role in the unfolding drama. In a now-deleted tweet, Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch, said he “got a tip” that Griffin may have been involved in Robinhood’s attempt to restrict access to GameStop cops.
Robinhood later stated that it was his clearinghouse, a behind-the-scenes operator called Depository Trust and Clearing Corp., who had requested billions of dollars in collateral to support GameStop trades and forced the broker to restrict access for its users to reduce until it could raise capital.
In the long-reaching interview, Griffin also said that there was “no doubt” that the number of short sales will be reduced thanks to the force that Reddit retailers demonstrated with GameStop.