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Review of ‘Eat the Rich: The GameStop Saga’

One of the lasting and disorienting legacies of the pandemic is the warping effect it had on our perception of time. Trapped indoors, our lives on pause, the days often blend into a monotonous, indistinguishable mass.

Nowhere is that phenomenon more evident than when looking back on GameStop’s stock saga, a frenzy that feels so temporary and emotionally distant that it’s hard to believe it happened just a year and a half ago. In late 2020 and early 2021, a motley group of retail investors, using r/WallStreetBets, a Reddit forum for trading stock tips, as their rallying point, almost topped the financial establishment. The Reddit brothers used their collective power to jack up the price of various “meme stocks,” most famously GameStop, to make a quick buck. But the WSB brothers realized that many Wall Street firms were shorting those very stocks and that they could inflict serious damage on these institutional investors by driving prices even higher, at which point activity became less to gain. money and more about the class struggle.

A bored and quarantine-weary nation was captivated by the idea of ​​beating up the bigwigs on Wall Street, so people completely unaware of the WSB and retail investing joined in on the fun. The meme stock price soared to cartoonish heights (“To the moon!”), ultimately costing institutional investors more than $20 billion. These were not retail investors developing novel investment strategies; they were ordinary people taking revenge on a financial system that, in their opinion, works only for the benefit of a few who are already rich.

Now the WSB saga has entered its inevitable phase of streaming content. from netflix eat the rich docuseries is the first of many film and television projects about the events of early 2021. Instead of serving as a feel-good movie about internet underdogs getting the best of Wall Street idiots, eat the richout today, it’s a sobering reminder of a financial grassroots movement that never realized its potential, and it feels like a distant memory.

A year and a half since WSB nearly bankrupted a couple of hedge funds, WSB’s promise to tip the balance of power to favor ordinary people feels completely dead. Stock prices have fallen off a cliff this year, erasing trillions of dollars in wealth. Inflation is at its highest level in decades, severely limiting people’s purchasing power. Some experts say we are inching toward a recession; others say that we are already in one. That’s a far cry from the halcyon days of GameStop’s price bomb, when it seemed like anyone could easily make a few G’s using the Robinhood app from his couch.

eat the rich It is not a great documentary. Indeed, for a three-episode documentary series about a complex, multifaceted financial history laden with heroes and villains, it’s remarkably short-sighted and elemental.


eat the rich It is not a great documentary. Indeed, for a three-episode documentary series about a complex, multifaceted financial history laden with heroes and villains, it’s remarkably short-sighted and elemental. The series focuses on GameStop and the people who invested in it, completely ignoring the People Who Made Millions of Dollars Making Options Bets on Tesla, Blackberry and Peloton.

The documentary doesn’t even attempt to explain the choices, which were central to the culture and success of WSB. Unlike the direct purchase of shares of a stock, options give the buyer the option, but not the obligation, to purchase a stock at a future date at a specified price. Buyers have to pay a premium up front for an option, but other than that, they are relatively risk-free. If the stock price moves in your favor, you exercise the option and make a nice profit. If not, you just lose your bonus.

WSB loves options because they offer endless upside. If the stock price continues to move in your favor, there is no limit to the amount of money you can make on an options contract. Many WSB members used options in 2021 to accumulate small fortunes. (Or they went bankrupt trying.) eat the rich doesn’t mention options at all, instead focusing on people who bought GameStop stock outright, which, by the time many of them got in, was a sucker’s bet.

The documentary tries to capture the fun of posting WSB shit by featuring GIFs and cheesy B-roll footage in its transition shots, but the effort looks rock-shattering. it’s a school rock approach WSB, but with half the charm and wit, and none of the catchy numbers. (eat the rich He does, however, have a couple of Lil’ Dicky-esque white rappers performing his song about GameStop’s stock rally.)

WSB reminds us of the Occupy movement that emerged after the 2008 financial crisis, a flurry of righteous indignation that fails to affect any systemic change.

eat the rich contains a couple of touching moments. In episode two of the series, Andrew Left, founder of market research publication Citron Research and sworn enemy of the WSB, provides this analysis: “Stocks used to follow the truth. If you found the truth, you can find the stock price. What happens when they separate, truth and action? GameStop’s short squeeze was an example of such detachment. GameStop had an outdated business model and its stock price increase did not reflect that reality. It reflects the fucking hive mind of WSB.

Left’s comment inadvertently touches on a deeper sentiment, which is how many people feel that financial markets are always detached from reality. The financial reality for Americans over the last four decades has been one of anguish and precariousness. dares have not kept pace with inflation, housing is prohibitively expensive for a larger swath of the population and the American Dream feels increasingly out of reach. However, while everyone is fighting on Main Street, Wall Street seems to be doing just fine. Even when Wall Street fucks up and wrecks the whole economy, it becomes ransomed to the tune of billions of dollars. If there is a gap, it is between the economic experience lived by ordinary American citizens and the people in charge of taking care of their investments.

Anyone who has followed WSB in real time probably won’t learn anything new from eat the rich. That the filmmakers felt they had to simplify the particularities of the GameStop saga reflects another depressing truth about the public’s relationship with the world of high finance: most Americans are financially illiterateand most of them don’t give a shit about learning.

When I first started reporting on WSB, I was impressed with how its members used the options to make smart bets on the market and pocket good money. Options are a form of derivatives, complex financial instruments unknown to most people outside the financial industry. Witnessing them being handled effectively by ordinary people gave me hope that retail traders would become a formidable market force and wrest some power away from institutional investors. Usually, when the financial markets grab national attention, it means something catastrophic has happened. WSB was the rare occasion when ordinary people followed the fluctuations of the market with complete joy, and it seemed like it would result in lasting public engagement with the markets.

Wall Street was even feeling the heat. Respected wealth management firms wrote white papers on the “The rise of retail”, warning about how shitty Reddit cartels could manipulate the markets at will. In fact, retail trade represented 25 percent of all business during the meme stock mania. Retail trade has declined since then, but still above pre-pandemic levels.

This content is imported from youtube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may find more information on their website.

Eat the Rich: The GameStop Saga | Official Trailer | Netflix

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People who went into retail amid the rise of GameStop and continue to play the markets have learned the hard way that it’s hard to pick stocks when there isn’t an army of Redditors behind you. The market as a whole is down considerably since 2021 and GameStop specifically has lost almost half of its value in the last 12 months. On a cultural level, there has been no sustained interest in engaging with and possibly reforming the financial system. eat the rich Notes, WSB reminds us of the Occupy movement that took hold after the 2008 financial crisis, a flurry of righteous indignation that fails to do much to affect systemic change.

Increasingly, the events of the WSB insurrection look like what famed options trader Nassim Nicholas Taleb would call a “black swan,” a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire wealth due to an unlikely confluence of circumstances.

In the case of WSB, it was an entire country of young people stuck at home due to the biggest public health crisis in a century. They were all flush with cash due to government assistance payments, and the stock market was backed by a Federal Reserve that was willing to pump trillions of dollars into the economy and cut interest rates to zero. Apps like Robinhood made retailing easier than ever, and once word got out that some Reddit users were trolling Wall Street, a lazy populace thought they too could have fun and make a little money doing it.

We now know that pandemic stock prices were artificially inflated, not by Redditors, but by monetary and fiscal policy, and we are suffering from the resulting market correction.

WSB was not a lasting revolution. It was a bump.

This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may find more information on their website.


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