What exactly is going on with GameStop? Let's break it down
Like getting Rage Against The Machine to Christmas number one, or Boaty McBoatface, this is organised anarchy at its finest.
A strange grey man in a suit with a smug grin and arms folded stands in front of a wall of financial stats. An orange arrow fires rapidly upward, invoking the dream of infinite growth. Superimposed over him is one word: "stonks".
Confused? So was everyone else. But herein lies the chaotic energy that inspired thousands of internet Davids to conspire to take down a Wall Street Goliath.
Multi-billion dollar hedge fund Melvin Capitol bet against the failing video game retailer GameStop. It's a classic Wall Street move: short-sell the shares and gain when prices predictably drop. But what they didn't predict was an army of people on Reddit (egged on by none other than Elon Musk, tweeting simply "Gamestonk!!") boosting the prices by buying up stocks, even causing part-time traders to invest. This meant that Melvin Capitol and others who betted against GameStop have now lost billions of dollars.
Like getting Rage Against The Machine to Christmas number one, or Boaty McBoatface, this is organised anarchy at its finest. Sticking a middle finger up to hedge funds that benefit the elite few and ultimately making a mockery of the Wall Street stocks system, wallstreetbets turned a random failing company into a symbol of anti-capitalism.
Betting on stocks has always seemed an untouchable world to me, but the Gamestop saga shows it for what it is - a game. And now people are rewriting the rules.
The rebellious army have already turned their sights to the next target: beleaguered cinema chain AMC, flirting with bankruptcy as it tries to keep in-person movie theatres afloat during a global pandemic, has now caught the attention of our capricious protagonists, now opening up over 250 per cent.
The GameStop saga has shown that despite capitalism feeling like an unstoppable force, with collective effort and coordination, people do have the power to fight the system - or at least mess it up for a while.
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