It says something about the disconnect nowadays between rational thought and market activity on Wall Street that today, one day after Robinhood was fined $70 million by a financial industry regulator, it confirmed plans to go public. And its IPO filing highlights just how enmeshed the company is in regulatory investigations and litigation of one sort or another, hardly the environment that should be conducive to investor confidence.
What other company would think about going public when its CEO has had federal prosecutors serving a search warrant on his cellphone? That’s the case for Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev, the filing reveals, related to inquiries into trading restrictions Robinhood put in place during the meme stock rally earlier this year. Oh, and because Robinhood is subject to a “cease and desist” order from the SEC over securities violations, its freedom to market the offering is limited, as it also explains in the filing. It faces numerous class action lawsuits filed by customers over outages preventing trading last year and over the meme-stock rally trading restrictions.