The GameStop Saga…The Redditors realized they could pull off what’s known as a “short squeeze”: If they started buying up GameStop stock and refusing to sell it, they could crush the hedge fund as its short positions came due, potentially even driving it into bankruptcy, all while profiting in the market by purchasing a stock that was once in the single digits and watching it approach $300.
Melvin Capital, the hedge fund that held a huge GameStop short position, eventually required an infusion of $2.75 billion in cash from an even larger hedge fund to cover its possession and remain solvent.
And that’s when the Wall Street empire mobilized. With prodding from the White House and new Treasury Secretary Yellen, the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, suggested that it might investigate or even shut down the trading of GameStop stock to prevent the price from getting even higher.
Then the Wall Street-backed trading apps such as Robinhood and the Wall Street brokerages announced they would no longer allow trading in GameStop stock.
The hope here was to send GameStop stock spiraling downward.
This sent people yelling and screaming in all different directions. It may have financial and investing overtones, however, what’s really happening is another front in the major war taking place in institutions and countries across the world.
It’s the elite versus us, the populists.
The GameStop saga isn’t about evil , and how to crush them short-sellers.
The real story is how “retail investors” figured out how to take down a financial leviathan. Wall Street actually likes retail investors, but it sees them as little more than commission cows for the big brokerage houses.
You’ve heard it too, probably from some of your friends. They’re not sophisticated. They didn’t go to elite Ivy League schools, never heard of the Wharton School, and don’t have the family pedigrees of the guys that destroyed the housing market and economy in 2008.
And they certainly don’t have the power to move markets.
But they did. The Redditors drove up GameStop stock and that kind of thing needs to be nipped in the bud. The whole GameStop saga is a David vs. Goliath story, the have-nots vs. the haves.
It is a metaphor for the war between the populists and the elites, the individuals vs. the institutions, the people vs. the powerful.
A bunch of internet dudes in the basement found a way to take financial advantage of a company that had backed itself into a corner. They banded together, executed the strategy, and made lots of money.
They did what Wall Street has done for decades to individual investors.
That was the Redditors’ real crime. They turned the tables and that is not allowed.
Let the Hunger Games begin.