Dave Portnoy Vlad Tenev
via BarstoolSports.com

Dave Portnoy and Vlad Tenev went head to head on a live stream on barstoolsports.com. Portnoy is the founder of Barstool Sports and since the pandemic, and his companies sale to Penn National Gaming has been in the mix in the stock market world.

Vlad Tenev is the CEO of and co-founder of Robinhood, the popular brokerage app for the younger traders that have flocked into the stock market since March.

Robinhood has been dragged through the mud since the GameStock trading situation not only on social media but also had to sit before Congress to answer questions about how they handled the trading fiasco. They halted trading, allowing investors only to sell their positions and not buy more, which was to protect their investors.


Dave Portnoy and Vlad Tenev are about to go face to face. Starting soon!

Dave starts the stream saying he knows Vlad is a rat but he respects him for coming on the show. “I think he is trying to get cutsey with me”

Vlad joins the show and the first question is “You know everyone here hates your guts right” Vlad says he wants to hash out the issues and answer his questions

Daves first question to Vlad is about Robinhood’s liquidity issues which he denied at first when trading stopped.

He calls the liquidity issue a brokerage issue, not just an issue for Robinhood. “Deep systemic vulnerability in the trading system, not just for Robinhood”

Vlad is being condescending and already not answering Portnoy’s questions.

They set the stock margin to 100% which means that all cash needed to be settled before trading, which is not typical prior to this GameStop issue.

“If you don’t get a call at 3 in the morning, do you stop trading,” Portnoy asked, “No if we didn’t get that call we wouldn’t have halted trades” Vlad responded

“Robinhood met capital and deposit requirements” This was only resolved because they made the margins 100%. “If the firm can’t continue to serve its customers that is a much bigger issue”

“We had to act to make sure we prevented a liquidity issue in the future… the next day yes, what your saying is fair, we were trying to raise $3.4 billion dollars to make sure we were able to keep trading” – Vlad

“We prevented a further issue by acting when we did”

Portnoy then shows him a clip of his testimony when he couldn’t answer a yes or no question. Portnoy accuses him of cratering the stock by halting sales.

Portnoy asked why he didn’t just freeze all trading, as oppose to just sales. “How do you rationalize not freezing it?”

Vlad says that the cratering talk is all speculation, that we do not know how the price would have changed. He called it “standard procedure” He keeps referring to this as the standard procedure, the ability to restrict sales, it wouldn’t have helped their deposit requirement issues.

Portnoy asks again why he didn’t prevented purchases and sales, Vlad says that then customers would be upset that they were not allowed to sell their shares.

Vlad claims that the majority of retailer traders were selling GameStop but the corporations and hedge funds were purchasing, which seems to be opposite of everything we have seen.

Everything Robinhood stands for is allowing customers to buy and sell quickly and easily. Their customers are the retail traders meanwhile the “corporate suits” were not locked out from making purchases.

“The last thing we want to do is create a problem for our customers where they can’t buy something they want” – Vlad

Portnoy asked if this was something they should have seen coming, Vlad says he thought it was possible and that was why they changed the margin requirements to 100%.

Vlad says this is the first time viral ideas from social media has made its way into the stock market world. Vlad says this happens once every 3.5 million weeks. WOW

There are things we could have done better, one of that thing is explaining better to our customers what volatility is and that is was possible that this could happen. Vlad is proud of how they handled it and “protected the firm”

Portnoy hated that line and goes in on “protecting the firm” He thinks they should have protected their customers since they were left to suffer.

Vlad wants to reiterate that this isn’t just a Robinhood issue, it is an issue that all brokerages have to deal with. Standard operating procedures would have been to freeze purchases and sales, not just purchases of “meme stocks”

Now Portnoy starts about the little guys finally beating the suits, then the rules change, and the rules were changed by the suits who were getting killed. Portnoy believes this happened to protect the suits.

Vlad is glad he brought it up and says there is no collusion, they had no relationship with Melvin Capital, he hadn’t heard of them before that week. Vlad calls Portnoy wrong for insinuating there was collusion.

“We support the little guys” says Vlad, meanwhile he stabbed the little guys in the back. “All I can say is we are going to make sure this won’t happen again… going to make sure we are better about this and serve our customers when they need it”

Portnoy says Robinhood will fail because traders don’t believe they have their back. He asks how they can make it right

‘Step 1: Marking a stock PCO is not a great experience, we had position limits to get it under control. There is a systemic issue behind the plumbing of the market world and the numbers they use and the way trades are settled”.

He is glad to have a role in fixing these issues, and he wants to be a better communicator to their customers.

Portnoy and Vlad agree that change needs to happen to ways trades settled. Protecting the firm and protecting the system was best for the customers long term Vlad said. “We can ask for rules to evolve and change to make this better in the future”

Vlad ends it with thanking Portnoy for saving small businesses and for the Barstool Fund.

Nobody pauses the market when we are all losing, it only happened when the little guys were winning. Robinhood is the center of the mistrust and Vlad says Robinhood will work harder at communication with the customers.

Dave Portnoy and Vlad Tenev exchanged words on a livestream,