E-Trade is debating whether to ban meme stock star Keith Gill from its platform, WSJ reports

Finance

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E-Trade is having internal discussions about whether to ban Keith Gill — the meme stock trader who just disclosed a big position in GameStop — from the trading platform over concerns regarding potential market manipulation, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The brokerage, owned by Morgan Stanley, hasn’t reached a decision yet, the Journal said, citing people familiar with deliberations inside the firm.

GameStop shares shot up early Monday after Gill, who goes by “DeepF——Value” on Reddit, posted a screenshot of what could be his portfolio holding a significant amount of GameStop common shares and call options. The meme stock leader holds 5 million shares of GameStop and a position of 120,000 call options with a strike price of $20 that expire on June 21, purchased for about $5.68 each, the screenshot showed.

E-Trade declined comment to CNBC, noting “we don’t publicly discuss the individual activity of our clients.”

Morgan Stanley’s global financial-crimes unit and external counsel began debating if it should cancel Gill’s account as the firm monitored his account activity, the Journal said.

The brokerage found that in May Gill had bought call options before he posted on social media platform X, the Journal said, adding that some of those contracts expired that week, meaning he likely made a profit.

The meme stock mania in 2021 led to a series of congressional hearings, including testimony by Gill, around brokers’ practices and gamifying retail stock trading. Gill also faced several class action lawsuits, including one alleging that he pretended to be a novice trader despite being a licensed professional.

Gill worked as a marketing and financial education employee at MassMutual in 2019 and 2020.

— Click here to read the WSJ story.

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