Thursday, January 28, 2021

Summary of Gamestonk

Here the best I've found. (Source.)

Hedge funds have been shorting GameStop for years slowing driving the price down. Shorting is selling stock you don't own so you can buy it back later for a lower price. Some people on reddit noticed that the stock was undervalued, and heavily shorted. Heavily as in people sold 140% of the all the stock that exists. They bought, and convinced others to buy. Now we hedge funds are in a squeeze. They shorted at $30, and the stock is now at $350. Further problem is that since they shorted more stock than actually exists, they cannot buy stock at a loss now to cut their losses. Also, if they buy stock to cut losses, then the hedge funds drive the price up even more. That means they owe billions on paper, and it just keeps getting worse. Normally, you ride something like this out, but when you owe more than you have in assets, margins get called. This means the hedge funds are required to buy back the stocks they sold at massive losses.

Now hedge funds are pulling out all the stops. Fake financial reports to scare people into selling. Media is doing the same. Bots are spamming the wallstreetbets subreddit and discord with hate speech which then gets reported. The discord got shut down and the subreddit went dark for a bit to deal with it. Markets are being manipulated with short sells to make it look like a selloff is starting and trading halts to slow the stock gains. All the redditors have to do right now is buy when they can and hold, and they stand to bankrupt billionaires. A lot of them are doing this on principle, and there is blood in the water.

If the hedge funds can ride out the squeeze, they win when price drops back to what it is really worth. If wallstreetbets can keep driving the price up and forcing margin calls, they will suck billions from the hedge funds.

Disclaimer, I have no stock, but find the situation funny as hell.

Edit: As of this morning, several brokers have suspended all buying of GameStop.

I concur; it is funny. But not because it "hurts" anyone. Just because the tables got turned on some big bois. Generally short sellers are seen as being clever—like that guy who wins the office football pool by betting against the home team. Well now some other people are feeling big and clever for the moment.