The Securities and Exchange Commission isn’t screwing around now. Maybe it’s because Senator Elizabeth Warren has lit a fire underneath them or the relentless news of allegations of social-media-hyped “meme stonks” and penny stocks parabolically rising then crashing in questionable pump-and-dump, market manipulation schemes, along with the skyrocketing of Bitcoin.
You know things are serious when CNBC, the financial porn cable station, trots out the older dude in a nice suit, smart glasses and fancy pocket square to explain the situation: https://youtu.be/sgvrd9GfRHs
On Friday, the top U.S. financial regulator said in a press release, “As part of its continuing effort to respond to potential attempts to exploit investors during the recent market volatility, the Securities and Exchange Commission today suspended trading in the securities of 15 companies because of questionable trading and social media activity.”
The SEC added that the “action follows the recent suspensions of the securities of numerous other issuers, many of which may also have been targets of apparent social media attempts to artificially inflate their stock price.” The regulator asserts that it will “review market and trading data to identify other securities where the public interest and the protection of investors require trading suspensions.”
Melissa Hodgman, acting director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said, “The SEC’s recent suspensions of trading in nearly two dozen securities—including 15 today—are one facet of our ongoing efforts to police the market and protect investors.” She added, “We proactively monitor for suspicious trading activity tied to stock promotions on social media, and act quickly to stop that trading when appropriate to safeguard the public interest. We also remind investors to exercise caution and do their diligence before investing generally, including in companies promoted on social media.”
The SEC “suspended trading in the securities of: Bebida Beverage Co. (BBDA); Blue Sphere Corporation (BLSP); Ehouse Global Inc. (EHOS); Eventure Interactive Inc. (EVTI); Eyes on the Go Inc. (AXCG); Green Energy Enterprises Inc. (GYOG); Helix Wind Corp. (HLXW); International Power Group Ltd. (IPWG); Marani Brands Inc. (MRIB); MediaTechnics Corp. (MEDT); Net Talk.com Inc. (NTLK); Patten Energy Solutions Group Inc. (PTTN); PTA Holdings Inc. (PTAH); Universal Apparel & Textile Company (DKGR); and Wisdom Homes of America Inc. (WOFA).”
The agency previously “issued orders temporarily suspending trading in: Bangi Inc. (BNGI); Sylios Corp. (UNGS); Marathon Group Corp. (PDPR); Affinity Beverage Group Inc. (ABVG); All Grade Mining Inc. (HYII); and SpectraScience Inc. (SCIE). Each of these orders stated that the suspensions were due at least, in part, to questions about whether social media accounts have been attempting to artificially increase the companies’ share price.”
With the buy-anything and FOMO mentality taking hold, it’s going to be interesting to watch how things play out.