The Great GameStop Short

In all fairness, I have not seen The Great Short, though I’ve heard it’s good.

The general shenanigans that are occuring around reddit and GameStop are, however, something I at least generally understand and find interesting. I don’t really wish to discuss that matter in detail, but I shall review it briefly.

When the market is expecting a share price to decrease, money can be made by “shorting” it. Basically borrowing a share and selling it today in the hope that it will go down and you can repurchase it for a lower price and give it back. It is an extremely risky position because your loss is “unlimited.” That is, if the share price goes to the moon instead of going down, your loss from buying the now-more-expensive shares will also go to the moon.

Since GameStop has been doing very poorly for the last several years, shorting their stock is a fairly “safe” bet, as shorts go. So much so that a great many investors were doing it. The thing with being predictable, though, is that sooner or later someone else will figure out your game and exploit it. That is essentially what reddit did. Realizing that the stock was so heavily shorted that they could force it into a “short squeeze” (upward price cycle caused by short sellers being forced to buy back due to price increase) and set out to give it the nudge it needed.

While the memes are entertaining and the investors knew, or should have known, the risk they were taking, I have seen some sentiments I find concerning.

Hidden underneath the humor is a sort of righteous hatred of professional investors and big business. A number of comments I saw on imgur seem to be suggesting violence. While I agree that some things need to change, it all seems a bit… intense. Given recent events involving a violent alt-right, as it were, it conjures for me images of a violent alt-left as well.

A number of people are quite upset about the heavy handed moderation of this reddit community, both on reddit and on discord, but given the commentary, the reaction seems appropriate. Hatred and violence are not the sole purview of nazis and racists, but rather a part of our human nature that we must acknowledge and find other ways to express. It is okay to be angry, but we must recognize that our fellow homo sapiens, even the ones we dislike and disagree with, should be held sacrosanct.

Maybe I’m just crazy. I’m not asking for world peace or perfect harmony, but to try and keep our discourse… civil. Threatening to harm the other guy does not further discussion. It splinters us into cliques who begin to hold positions based on group narratives rather than facts and information.

Okay, rant over, I guess. Y’all take care.

2 thoughts on “The Great GameStop Short

  1. Have you read the Massively:OP thread on this? They might as well be handing out torches and pitchforks. There are some comments by people fairly well-known in the hobby that come across as positively insurectionist. It’s weird because I always thought of that partiuclar forum as being strongly reactionary, not revolutionary.

    Liked by 1 person

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