Scroll through the comments on the WallStreetBets forum and you’ll find stories of financial struggles growing up during the great recession.
“I was in my early teens during the '08 crisis,” wrote WallStreetBets member ssauronn. “I vividly remember the enormous repercussions that the reckless actions by those on Wall Street had in my personal life, and the lives of those close to me.”
Fungi-seeking-fungis wrote, “The ‘08 recession collapsed my family (6 boys, parents with no college and new credit) so far into poverty that my parents will never climb out.”
WSB member and YouTuber Louis Rossmann points to “pent up aggravation at the financial services industry that's been brewing” since 2008.
“You have people who were aggravated at all the bailouts that occurred 13 years ago, people just aggravated at the financial services industry that are playing their own game and beating them at it,” he told Yahoo Finance.
“They’re not trying to fix income inequality with a wealth tax,” he added. “They're not trying to legislate getting a certain percentage of your trades or anything like that.”
“They're just literally buying shares of a stock,” he said.
‘A fundamental distrust’
“There is a fundamental distrust of people that work in the financial services industry by average, ordinary, everyday working people,” said Rossmann
“I also don't believe that they would be honest when their back is up against the wall,” he added.
This prompted “Free Market” to trend on Twitter with WSB members crying out market manipulation. The founder of WallStreetBets on Yahoo Finance questioned “How free exactly is the market?” He also questioned who or what entity pressured Robinhood to make such a decision, given their core user base is young retail investors.
Following a class action lawsuit and calls for congressional hearings, Robinhood announced after the bell it would allow limited buys of these stocks on Friday.
Robinhood’s CEO later tweeted the decision to restrict buying “was not made on the direction of any market maker we route to or other market participants.”
Ines covers the U.S. stock market. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre