The unity Joe Biden said he wanted for the country was achieved today when Americans on either side of the political divide backed a group of investors on Reddit who teamed up against big finance, and the establishment pundits and politicians in the middle really hated it.
The r/WallStreetBets subreddit investors who bought GameStop options, sending the cost of shares skyrocketing, emptying Wall Street investors' pockets, looked like quite the Robin Hood against that greedy Sheriff of Nottingham.
Amateur traders from r/WallStreetBets played against the Wall Street hedge fund firms and got lots of hate from leftist media, NASDAQ, and Wall Street elites. But captured the imagination of so many who have been shut out of work through no fault of their own and left to their own devices while government relief floundered.
Regular people have been locked out of life while they watch celebrities, politicians and elites continue theirs, seemingly unabated. Many Americans' jobs were taken away and they were forced to rely on government unemployment insurance, and they've got their kids at home getting nothing even akin to education.
It's been brutal, bankrupting, and needless. Businesses have tanked, and GameStop, a mall-based, videogame shop, was well on the way to going under as well.
When a few investors on Reddit ran with a nostalgic impulse to buy up GameStop options did so to the detriment of Wall Street hedge fund firms, it were those amateur investors that were blamed, not the legal investment system in which they were engaged.
Wall Street firms were put in a tough spot, they were doing what they always do, betting on what a stock would do and angling to make a profit from it. Investors don't have altruism, nostalgia, or care and concern for a business or its employees in mind when they gamble on the stock market. They have money in mind, and in fact that's their job. Those who invest with big firms do so because they want their investments—for pension funds, trusts or whatever else—to do well.
The anonymous investors from r/WallStreetBets just wanted a piece of the pie, so they went after it. This could be something of a miracle for a lot of people. And the people who are mad about their profits, and the losses earned by Wall Street firms, are now clamoring for government regulation. But nothing that was done was illegal, in fact, regulating the market further to prohibit amateur investors would likely lead to less profit in the long term.
The investors on r/WallStreetBets saw an opportunity to reach out to grab hold of the money as it swirled around them, and they took it, just as the Wall Street firms do all the time. Those who made money on the GameStop investment strategy took back a piece of the economy that has been rolling along without them, in spite of them, and with no concern for their joblessness, or the economic problems of the little guy.
For their efforts, they were called hateful, racist, and a host of other useless, inaccurate labels.
The amount of money made by some of the Reddit investors is likely small to the Wall Street firms who have lost billions, but it matters for these small investors. So too do the billions matter to the pensioners who had put their money with the Wall Street investors, who have now lost it due to the collective action of a small investors group in a subreddit.