If you told me three years ago that Reddit, specifically r/WallStreetBets, would publicly expose the deep corruption stemming from Wall Street regarding a dispute over GameStop, I would somewhat believe it.
I’d heard of the subreddit long before the astonishing events of last week, and frankly I was proud of them.
To catch you up, Melvin Capital is a Hedge Fund that was betting against GameStop in the stock market. The more the stock value goes down, the more money the fund gets.
r/WallStreetBets caught wind of this, and nearly all 2,000,000 of its users decided to buy as much GameStop stock as they could. Most of them did not like the idea that a large Hedge Fund was betting on GameStop failing and endangering many employees livelihoods.
Push came to shove, and the stock price skyrocketed.
On Jan. 11, the price was $19.94. On the 27, the stock peaked at $347.51. The stock rose 897% since last month and is currently resting at $189.52 [at the time of writing] for reasons we’ll get to later.
Through all this, Melvin Capital lost an unthinkable amount of money. So much money, in fact, that they called for the stock market to be regulated.
They were calling r/WallStreetBets criminals; people who are trying to manipulate the stock market.
The thing with Hedge Funds is that they give money out to various Wall Street personalities to buy high-risk stock and hopefully get paid in return. Not to mention, most of this is borrowed money.
The stock market is a gamble, you see.
The thing with GameStop though, was that Melvin Capital was attempting to do what is called a “Short Squeeze,” which is basically selling their assets when the stock is high and buying it back when the stock drops.
If done with massive amounts of money, it can technically be a form of market manipulation, which is illegal.
Yes, r/WallStreetBets did buy a ton of stock and made the value rise exponentially, but that was not a private ordeal like what Melvin Capital was doing.
r/WallStreetBets is a public board, after all. The users of the subreddit noticed something. If a lot of people pump in a massive amount of money into a single stock, it’ll benefit everyone.
The common man doesn’t make enough money to place millions of dollars into a stock. That’s why to the working class the stock market is like a casino; you either win big or lose big. To these Hedge Funds and other Wall Street personalities, it’s not a gamble.
If they put a massive amount of their money in a stock, they have a better chance of earning it back. They also have backup Hedge Funds who’ll loan them the money if they lose to keep the cycle going. See the pattern?
Basically, in the words of George Carlin, “It’s a big club, and you’re not in it.”
Reddit single handedly exposed the corruption of Wall Street and uncovered that the free market wasn’t as free as it seemed.
Ironically, everyone was on the same page that the market is not only a casino, but now one that has people directly trying to make you lose.
I’ve never been a fan of Keynesian economics, but I can tell you this is how the money trickles down.
Melvin Capital is practically bankrupt having lost over $70,000,000,000.
Various people on r/WallStreetBets are selling big: one user earned $44,000,000, another was able to pay for his dog’s lifesaving surgery, and someone else was able to pay for his sister’s Lyme Disease treatment.
All this, while some of the richest people in the world cry about losing one billion of their 12 billion dollars.
I think what r/WallStreetBets did is on the same level as Edward Snowden exposing the NSA for spying on the American people. Honestly, this is a win for the commonwealth.
I have hope that maybe now the Free Market can become free again.