As I’m sure you’re well aware by now, GameStop made major waves this week. The video game-retail-dinosaur was on the verge of bankruptcy, causing their stock to hit an all-time low. Because of this, the Wall Street elite started to bet against them, making money on GameStop’s failure and reaping seemingly unethical benefits from their demise.
I’m not one of those finance bros, but I’ve met a lot of them and dodged many a rant about stocks in my day. So I’m basically just expressing what I know about the situation at a very beginner level. My knowledge of stocks goes back as far as The Wolf of Wall Street, but other than my killer Donnie Azoff impression, it’s not really my area of expertise. Because of these shortcomings, I had to do my own research.
To paraphrase Margot Robbie in that one bathtub scene from The Big Short, *cue Jordan Belfort fist in mouth*, shorting a stock is when investors borrow other people’s stocks and sell them in the hopes of buying them back later on to make a profit. This happens all the time—people even do this for a living, and lowering the value of a stock is a very common thing to do, regardless of how unethical I may think it is. However, it went way further than that in the case of GameStop, because the company started losing real value. But the hedge fund guys just didn’t care, and they kept doing it until they started making a lot of money at the company’s expense… which is where Reddit entered the conversation.
I’ve read 5 articles about what happened with GameStop and I still don’t understand it even a little bit which must be how my mom feels when I talk about Twitter.
— Ꮍᴀᴇʟ (@elle91) January 28, 2021
What had been brewing on Reddit for a number of weeks (seriously, this was a well-orchestrated event) eventually culminated in a mass purchase of GameStop stock, led by the subreddit r/wallstreetbets, taking place on January 27 into January 28. Regular people, like you and me, were eating this up. Maybe it was nostalgia for GameStop, maybe it was an “eat the rich” mentality, I don’t know, but what I do know is that people were hungry and to the moon they went. To give you an idea of the effect this maneuver had on the GameStop stock, it went from a value of around $18 to about $330 in a couple of hours.
Everyone wanted in on the financial fun, and after the GameStop stock skyrocketed, the crowd on r/wallstreetbets turned its attention to other “dying” companies, including AMC Theaters, Build-A-Bear, and even BlackBerry, to name a few. All of these companies whose stock had been in the dumps were suddenly making major market comebacks, and regular people quickly started making irregular money. And who did this hurt? You guessed it: those finance bros we were talking about earlier, who were counting on these companies to fail.
So let me get this straight: Redditors rallying GameStop is market manipulation, but hedge fund billionaires shorting a stock is just an investment strategy?
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 28, 2021
Naturally, the Wall Street crowd cried foul play, talking to any media outlet that would allow them to spin a story of greed and collusion, even calling the Reddit scheme an “attack on the wealthy“. How dare anyone else try to manipulate the markets that they’ve been manipulating for years! Before long, a popular trading app, Robinhood, started making it very difficult to place orders on GameStop and other suddenly-popular stocks. They even went so far as to glitch the site into not allowing users to draw funds, and making it impossible to do basically anything other than sell existing stocks.
Robinhood has since issued an apology to its users, saying these moves were made with everyone’s safety in mind. But given the intense pressure from the financial world, no one is really inclined to buy (pun intended) that explanation. Judging from Robinhood’s reaction to this week’s events, it’s clear that they’re not immune to the influence of the Wall Street elite, and it’s too bad. This week’s events were undeniably chaotic, and Robinhood may have considered a number of factors in their decisions, but their reputation as a great equalizer in the finance sphere has certainly suffered. The app received a tidal wave of bad reviews on mobile platforms, and the company has confirmed that the Google Play Store assisted them by deleting over 100,000 one-star reviews.
Say what you will about this ongoing story, but if nothing else, it got a lot of people into day trading, myself included. Just as a disclaimer, you should always research your investments and take educated risks, if you’re going to take any at all. Investments shouldn’t be treated like savings accounts, but they can be a lucrative and exciting way to grow your money. I like seeing the lines go green and I’ve heard that the red ones aren’t so good, but I’m still learning. Anyway, until next time, stonks.
Images: quietbits / Shutterstock.com; elle91, rbreich / Twitter
You’ve probably spent the last week complaining about the new Snapchat update, but you’re definitely not the only one. On Wednesday, Kylie Jenner tweeted that she doesn’t even use Snapchat anymore, and the whole world noticed, apparently. On Thursday, Snapchat’s stock lost over $1.3 billion, and experts are blaming Kylie. Call it a crime scene, because Kylie Jenner killed Snapchat. So yeah, if you’re one of those people who still claims that Kylie Jenner and the rest of the Kardashians don’t actually matter, the stock market would beg to fucking differ.
Kylie tweeted that the new Snapchat update “is so sad,” and also called Snapchat her first love, which I’d make fun of, but honestly, same. I’m not like, trying to have a baby anytime soon, but I’m definitely more committed to my Snapchat streaks than I am to 85% of my interpersonal relationships. My therapist definitely isn’t making enough for putting up with my shit.
If Kylie is really serious about giving up the Snapchat life, it’s going to be a big adjustment for her. She was less active while in her pregnancy lockdown hideaway, but she’s always used her story as a major branding tool. I’ve wasted literal hours of my life watching her do lip kit swatches on her forearm, and it just sucks to think that this might be the end.
sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.
— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) February 21, 2018
Kylie was also an avid user of Snapchat filters, particularly the puppy and the deer. Her go-to was basically just staring into the camera while playing the music of whatever rapper she was dating at the time, which is the exact content I most identify with. Snapchat has given the world many important thirst trap moments, but all good things must come to an end.
So now that Kylie Jenner killed Snapchat , you can probably find her hawking her makeup on Insta stories. Oh wait, I forgot we still have Insta stories. Forget all that shit I said before, we’re totally going to be fine. Plus, I’ve already spent too much time and energy worrying about Kylie Jenner this month. Call me if Khloé has her baby, but other than that I’m taking a fucking nap.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy