For some Reddit users, GameStop’s dizzying rocket ride on Wall Street is a case in which the masses rebel against one percent people hoarding the world‘s wealth.
The social media movement has caused the shares of the U.S. video game retail chain to jump from less than 20 weeks ago to a high of $ 492 on Thursday, costing dearly hedge funds who have bet on it that GameStop stocks would fuel.
GameStop shares closed the official trading day around 44 percent as some were paid off. But they took off again hours after Tesla boss Elon Musk apparently urged individual investors to punish hedge funds for short sales and tweeted “Get Shorty”.
Here come the little apologists
Don’t give them respect
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2021
A Reddit group – or “Sub-Reddit” – called WallStreetBets, with roughly 4.7 million members, was an online rallying point for those encouraging people to buy and holding GameStop stock and penalizing short sellers with soaring prices.
“We’re constantly seeing that 1 percent trillion make a year, even through the pandemic … compared to the millions of Americans who had to apply for unemployment,” Reddit user Responsible-Height77 told AFP via the forum.
“I think it’s time to show that the masses have a say and that our voice matters.”
The need of 2020 inspired the 21-year-old to take part in the campaign to increase GameStop shares, punishing hedge funds in the process.
The U.S. student said he suffered during the pandemic, as did friends who had Covid-19 and lost their livelihoods.
New players in the casino?
Hedge funds, which have suffered losses due to the market manipulation campaign, have classified the movement and its sometimes aggressive online tactics as stupid and potentially illegal.
“I have to admit that Wall Streeters, with a long history of treating our economy as a casino, complains about a message board with posters that treat the market as a casino,” said US Congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a widespread tweet.
Her comment sparked a controversial exchange on Twitter between those who reflect her opinion and critics.
“Notice how many complain when the rules they manipulated are used against them?” replied to a tweet from educator Ken Shelton.
“This is a great example of what happens when a large group of people get organized and use the system to their advantage.”
US Senator Elizabeth Warren shared similar thoughts, saying that while wealthy investors have thrived in the stock market, they have not represented the economic reality of millions of people in the country.
Continue to play
Responsible-Height – who refused to disclose his real name – told AFP that he had been a video game gamer for much longer than he had played in the market.
WallStreetBets is tinted with video game culture, with the site playfully utilizing the well-known Fallout Boy character from the blockbuster franchise Fallout.
“Your motto has always been power for the player!” said the student. “Which I believe we have taken as a power for the people.”
He argued that it was people who regained power while applying the basic principle of supply and demand.
“Investors need to understand that fundamentals don’t always drive the market. We’re in a new age where anyone can be a part of the market. And if enough people want a stock, it will go up. That’s the fundament of economics.” . “
WallStreetBets is an open group on Reddit who seem to be driven more by group sentiment than any other leader, but advocating GameStop stock seems in line with a millennial crowd of gamers.
Chatter on Reddit has now sponsored similar campaigns for companies with low stock prices and a place in old-school US culture like AMC, BlackBerry, and American Airlines.
Back to earth?
One Reddit user with the acronym DFV is credited for putting GameStop stock on the launch pad in late 2019 and acquiring a $ 50,000 stake in the company that turned into a fortune.
“I see so many people talking about how their lives will change. This is crazy,” said user DontTrustJack in the group chat.
“This is really a moment when the haves are transferring money to the have-nots.”
However, another user advised an exit strategy because ramping up GameStop stocks could cost them if they hold large stakes when the financial reality hits.
“Have a plan folks,” warned the Reddit member. “The drop will come so quickly.”
WallStreetBets founder Jaime Rogozinski, who says he is no longer affiliated with the group, told AFP he was fascinated by how small investors wield the power of the crowd.
“You can do what Occupy Wall Street never could,” said Rogozinski.
“The little guy found out differently. If you can’t hit her, join in.”
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)