Cantor CEO Lutnick Likens Tesla, Bitcoin Surges to GameStop Saga

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Howard Lutnick, chief executive officer of Cantor Fitzgerald LP, said the dramatic rise in values of Bitcoin and Tesla Inc. was driven by retail investors in much the same manner that led to last month’s surge in GameStop Corp. shares.

“With all due respect: What’s Tesla been? Why was Tesla up?” Lutnick said Friday on Bloomberg TV. “It’s because retail kept buying it. Why is Bitcoin where it is? Because retail keeps buying it. This is just another form of the same thing. GameStop was Bitcoin and Tesla.”

Cantor CEO Lutnick Likens Tesla, Bitcoin Surges to GameStop Saga

Tesla, the electric-car maker, rose more than eight-fold in 2020. The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is valued at more than $55,000 and has nearly doubled this year.

Video-game company GameStop was at the center of a wild ride that gripped Wall Street and Washington last month. Individual investors banded together online, often trading through Robinhood Markets Inc., to drive GameStop and other stocks to astronomical levels. That triggered volatility that caused hedge fund short-sellers to lose billions, while Robinhood and some of its competitors were forced to temporarily prevent their clients from buying.

“What the retail investor showed is they have such power and such excitement,” Lutnick said. “Tesla’s not the world’s greatest auto company, OK? Elon Musk is not the most brilliant person in the world,” he said of Tesla’s founder and CEO.

“Retail keeps driving that stock up and retail keeps driving Bitcoin up,” he said. “It’s exciting, but does it have a place and what’s its worth? I have no idea.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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