This week’s GameStop saga wasn’t David versus Goliath, but the unwitting bystanders who bought into that lie sure made a lot of money for some savvy investors on Reddit.
Sorry to burst your bubble, America, but there are no good guys and bad guys in this story; there is only greed and ego.
Yeah, a handful of downtrodden nobodies got lucky. For the most part, however, the biggest winners on the Reddit side of the field live in the same neighborhood as the hedge fund managers.
What really happened with GameStop was market manipulation – pure and simple. Reddit users conspired to ‘juice’ a stock so they could make money. At its most frenzied point, GameStop shares shot up 2,000% in less than a month.
“Was it legal?”
Yes. But only because regulators didn’t catch on to what was happening until now.
“Didn’t the little guy just beat Wall Street at its own game?”
A handful of little guys got lucky while the majority of them got into the game too late and ultimately lost money.
“So why are you making Reddit users out to be conniving bad guys when hedge funds basically do the same thing every day?”
There are no good guys and bad guys – only money.
The mistake that most people made in forming an opinion about the GameStop saga was that they got emotionally invested in a great story.
Americans love to root for the underdog. It’s in our DNA. We pay Hollywood millions of dollars to see a variation of the “Rocky” screenplay year after year. And in our minds, we’ve been conditioned to picture the average Reddit user as some goofball sharing viral videos and talking about how to hit on hot chicks. That might be true for the majority of users, but it’s still an open forum that anyone can join – even greedy hedge fund managers.
One of the Reddit users who got out before the music stopped Thursday posted a balance of $23 million. That’s not a working-class guy with student loans.
Do you know who else made a lot of money this week? ‘Fat Cats’ on Wall Street.
Wall Street professionals have sophisticated technology at their disposal which the average investor does not. They have algorithms that detect movements in the market long before it’s mainstream news, and they position themselves accordingly. And Wall Street professionals also know that every financial bubble eventually pops.
There is no way to completely eliminate the potential for losses, and sometimes Wall Street is so blinded by greed that they overlook or intentionally ignore risk assessment. In other words, sometimes hedge funds lose billions of dollars. And sadly, some of those very same hedge funds manage the little guys’ 401Ks and pensions.
Hammer and Nigel were kind enough to invite me on their show today to discuss what went down with GameStop and offer a perspective based on my background in the financial world. The thing about insight and perspective, however, is that it’s really nothing more than an informed opinion, and I’m definitely in the minority on this one.
With that said, listen to the following segment from today’s show with an open mind and try to take your emotions out of the equation. You might change your opinion.