Retail investors’ battle against short sellers who had bet against GameStop and AMC — and other heavily shorted stocks with depressed share prices — offers a window into what happens when Reddit culture spills out into the real world.
The big picture: Reddit is a microcosm of mainstream internet culture, a massive clearinghouse for all sorts of interests that’s populated mostly by young men with a vaguely anti-establishment bent. That’s caused major trouble at times, but is now propelling a populist-progressive unity movement that’s rattling Wall Street.
Catch up quick: The run on troubled stocks with vintage appeal — first GameStop, then other 2000s mall staples like AMC, Nokia and BlackBerry — began with one man.
The WallStreetBets community has remained at the center of everything that’s happened since.
The appeal is obvious. The WSB types have demonstrated that, by banding together, normies can flip the script on billionaires who were just waiting to cash in on failure and collapse.
Between the lines: Some commentators have described the investors as trolls; some have drawn a through-line between them and the Capitol rioters.
What’s next: At some point, the inflated prices, wildly decoupled from any underlying fundamentals, are bound to come crashing down.
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