Listed here are some phrases I by no means thought I’d kind: the hedge fund CEO that bailed out GameStop brief sellers earlier this 12 months simply secretly outbid a hyped-up bunch of crypto lords for an extremely uncommon copy of the unique U.S. Structure. Earlier this 12 months, billionaire Kenneth Griffin turned public enemy primary for GameStonk acolytes. Now he’s pulled the rug out from underneath one other weird on-line clique: ConstitutionDAO.
As detailed extensively in a sequence of current reviews by Vice, crypto lovers fashioned ConstitutionDAO in an try to meme a brand new decentralized type of political order into existence by buying a duplicate of the Structure. Just like the plot of a BioShock recreation, issues rapidly descended into chaos because the group, which raised a whopping $40 million, bought out-bid at public sale by a secret purchaser fronting only a few million extra, resulting in the costliest sale of a historic doc ever at $43.2. There are 13 copies of the Structure nonetheless in circulation, the final one in all which offered in 1988 for lower than $200,000.
As we speak, Griffin broke the information that he was the one who thwarted ConstitutionDAO’s plans. “The U.S. Structure is a sacred doc that enshrines the rights of each American and all those that aspire to be,” Griffin informed Barron’s in an announcement. “That’s the reason I intend to make sure that this copy of our Structure will likely be obtainable for all Individuals and guests to view and respect in our museums and different public areas.” The doc will start its new journey on the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Artwork in Bentonville, Akansas.
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This isn’t the primary time Griffin has pissed off a bunch of very on-line folks by throwing his cash round. Again in January when GameStop’s inventory hit report breaking numbers due to an unlikely confluence of market forces and web memes, a hedge fund known as Melvin that was shorting the inventory misplaced out massive time. Merchants and GameStop meme inventory lovers at locations just like the WallStreetBets subreddit had been joyful to see it tank. However then Griffin and others swooped in and propped it again up with over $2 billion in new capital.
As CEO of Citadel, Griffin additionally runs one of many largest market makers on this planet, which means it’s the one really shopping for and promoting shares on exchanges for shoppers. Certainly one of its massive shoppers is Robinhood, the commission-free buying and selling app that many had been utilizing to purchase and promote GameStop and different meme shares. On one pivotal day close to the tip of January, Robinhood immediately began blocking customers from buying and selling GameStop inventory simply because it was hitting unthinkable new heights (over $300 a share the day earlier than).
Robinhood claimed it wanted to quickly halt trades to verify it had cash available to cowl potential losses, however WallStreetBets-types have lengthy speculated, with out a lot in the way in which of precise proof, that Citadel made Robinhood do it to assist out Melvin. A traditional conspiracy, in different phrases, and the worst type of all: one meant to defraud Redditors. Congressional hearings ensued, and ultimately a complete investigation by the SEC. When commissioner Gary Gensler lastly launched the SEC’s findings final month, it was stuffed with warnings however no actual solutions. The conspiracy theories, and Twitter mobs calling on Griffin to admit, continued.
Time will inform if ConstitutionDAO turns into equally dedicated to some type of Griffin-trutherism. Within the meantime, he can get pleasure from studying an authentic copy of of the founding authorized doc at present crippling our republic.