Real Life Lessons from the GameStop Frenzy

What if you could ‘actually’ affect who your next leader is? What if you could affect when your road is tarmacked and even influence the quality of the contractor? Not because you are the President but because you are an individual member of that state bound to be affected by any and all services due to your community. This would be power to the individual. A notion that means exactly what you think it means. But if that were the status quo, then we’d have no social classes; ‘the lucky ones,’ ‘the powerful,’ ‘the rich,’ ‘the bandits,’ ‘the violent.’ It would be a Utopia and we all know how faking perfection ends up.

 At its core, the world is really ruled by a set of rules of physics but mostly, randomness. That until 23 59hrs of Wednesday the 24th of November this year, the biggest population of turkeys in the world would have lived, all their lives, under the irreparable impression that their human caretakers were created solely to have only the turkeys’ best interests at heart. Feeding them on time, cleaning their dwelling routinely, vaccinating and all that. Unbeknownst to them, it was all to prepare them for a massive thanksgiving massacre. This is what experts in uncertainty coined as the ‘Turkey Syndrome’. That until 18 43hrs of the 13th of January this year, with proper hindsight of all the previous days mutatis mutandis, my cousins and I did not suspect we were about to be in a car crash and have our car roll over 6 times before falling in a swamp. It is when you live with someone for 5 years, same house and bed, without knowing they kill for a living. It is what religions call divine confusion. The pandemic for example. The markets crashing. It is what Wall Street smarts capitalized on all these years to rip off working class people whilst financing the press to perpetrate the blame on immigrants and poor people backed by the old adage of demand and supply. The worst performing banker or hedge fund manager on those streets gets to drive a La Voiture Noire and fly to the Uttarakhand for quarterly meditations. Because at the end of the day, if you have an ISDA, you sit at the table that calls the shots of global finance.

 Despite all things going economically well for a currency or a company, these chaps have a  way and a tendency of influencing its public value to make profits off the artificially engineered price fluctuations. Since this is now a public secret, communities of retail traders on social media have since basked in an ‘us against them’ agenda and last week, the power of the individual took lead and made headlines. Imagine Stuart’s shop from Big Bang Theory but now selling collectibles and subsidized video games instead of comics. GameStop started in 1984 and it got an IPO in 2002. So many young gamers grew up on second hand video games from their stores. Unlike Micheal Burry who saw the housing market coming to a dead end before the 2008 crash and made a killing for himself and a few others, this time the whistleblower took to social media streets. Reddit happens to be a lot more social than Facebook and Twitter. A subreddit: r/wallstreetbets is a community of young retail investors and traders that discusses developments in the same. An uprising started and materialized therefrom. Someone saw 3 hedge funds with big short positions against GameStop stock and rallied a wave against such negativity against a childhood hero. The collective wrath ripped them. Melvin Capital for example, one of those hedge funds lost 53% unbothered. And that is alongside a bunch of other big ticket investors who had shorted GameStop based on an honest analysis.

 The frenzy, in a matter of hours and to the oblivion of GameStop managers, saw the company’s stock rise 1600% alongside Nokia, Blackberry, AMC Entertainment and others that these tweeps-turned-vigilantes deemed to be in the same category. So many teenage traders made a quick buck off this one. The opening of such floodgates owes mainly to the fact that the individual is getting more empowered by the day. Information is all over the internet waiting for you to reach out for it. You will be shocked to find out amazing things like how dolphins hunt down sharks when they are hungry and how exactly Putin sits down the world’s biggest landmass with just a snap of a finger. Keep in mind though, that value, however inflated or deflated, always returns to its bona fide effort earned level. It is such exciting democratic events that will make up a future purely dominated by tech but unfortunately, power to all individuals not only eliminates the powerful individuals but also creates a gap as to who is morally justified to enforce the neighbor principle in the midst of opportunism. States or Corporations? It is also my humble opinion that no matter what you and I think, the world will continue to be shaped by randomness and that we are all just a bunch of highly reasoning ‘turkeys’ who are better off enjoying the now.