Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

After Morgan Stanley last month agreed to pay $13 billion for E*Trade, deal-makers began buzzing that Robinhood could be the next discount domino to fall. Particularly on the heels of Charles Schwab agreeing to buy TD Ameritrade for $26 billion.

What's new: Robinhood does now have a target on its back, but the archers are more likely to be lawyers than potential acquirers.

Driving the news: Robinhood's no-fee trading platform went dark for all of Monday, thus none of its users were able to profit from the day's record-breaking gains. It also was down for the first couple hours of trading yesterday, before returning online.

  • The San Francisco-based company, most recently valued at $7.6 billion by venture capitalists, initially said that the problem was related to how its systems "communicated" with each other.
  • It then took nearly 24 hours for Robinhood to provide a slightly more detailed explanation about how its DNS system cracked under the weight of record volume and account sign-ups. No apology, nor any pledge to conduct a third-party audit.

If this sounds bad, that's because it is bad. It's also the stuff that class-action dreams are made of. Imagine how much money wasn't made by those who tried to use Robinhood on Monday — or at least how much those users can claim wasn't made.

  • Moreover, this didn't happen in a vacuum. As Axios' Felix Salmon notes, Robinhood in late 2018 announced a checking account that it was soon forced to unannounce it. In 2019, users found a glitch that gave them "infinite leverage," and the company was fined $1.25 million for not giving its users the best prices on stocks.

What they're saying: Some Robinhood investors tell me that this too shall pass, and that the company's clean user interface, cash management function, and loyal millennial user base will see it through the storm.

  • They also note that Robinhood's new account growth actually accelerated after many of its incumbent rivals moved to no-commission trades.

The bottom line: Robinhood's success spurred a high-priced consolidation wave that its recent errors may cause it, and its investors, to miss out on.

Go deeper: Another fiasco for Robinhood

Go deeper

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.