This is a fast moving story and not one I’m directly involved in but I wanted to make some brief commentary on it. If you want an excellent, concise background to the whole story then Louis Rossmann has a video on it that is posted below.
Assuming you know what this is about or have just watched the video, I have a small bit of commentary on what is happening. I share the enthusiasm to see hedge funds like Melvin Capital have their practices turned on them and I hope we can see a lot more of this going forward. Some have pointed out that other larger funds have done very well at the expense of Melvin during this time but this is not really the point.
What is more important than one company losing money has been the reaction by authorities to small-timers doing the same sort of thing the big boys have been doing for a long time. The people who started this aren’t right-wing extremists but they were immediately portrayed as such when favours were called in from on high and the media began reporting on it.
This is a similar to #GamerGate in 2014 where a group of mostly apolitical and soft-left types became right-wing overnight for questioning the ethics of video game journalists that used their job as an avenue for special favours and social activism. This woke up a lot of young men and women to the reality of the world they were living in. Though I would say the hysteria behind the influence of GamerGate is overstated, it still had a significant cultural impact on many and so will this.
Whether or not this does significant financial damage or even brings down Wall Street, what is more important is a lot of people are seeing that the game is rigged. When you lose, you lose. When they lose, they get bailed out and/or protected from significant harm. This happened in 2008/09 when the banks and corporations should have been left to collapse and the opposite happened last year when many people were ruined by governments around the work forcing lockdowns on their populous. This significantly goes beyond politics as no rational political or economic ideology can defend the response to this. It is simply a rigged game and the rules are more like guidelines that may or may not be enforced depending on who you are.
A more hilarious aspect is how GameStop became the vector. GameStop is not well-liked by most gamers or software publishers. Their practice of re-selling used games just under the price of new so they effectively double or even triple their profits on a single unit was naturally a sore point for publishers in particular. The move to digital distribution had already hurt them significantly which is why they became the targets of Wall Street predators looking to profit off their slow demise. That betting on and even hastening the loss of thousands of people’s livelihoods would have never entered into the minds of these psychopaths. GameStop has suddenly become a something to be pitied as an underdog and is being used to fight a much worse enemy.
If this action leads to the games Wall Street plays with people’s livelihoods being “stopped”, it will be a source of fun for historians in the years to come. That this was started by underdogs is “power to the players”, indeed. It remains to be seen what will happen but so far at least, this has been a lot of fun. The mocking terminology such as “stonks” and yet more memes coming true is of further entertainment value.
As a Christian, I can also see the hand of God in this and it is further proof (as if we needed it), that the Almighty has a great sense of humour.