[Economic] [Social] [Political]
A Million Hobby Traders Just Glimpsed What Racism Feels Like
by John Kennedy
Posted February 1, 2021
Outsmarted by savvy internet users, investment institutions rewrote the rules to maintain the status quo.
For many of these determined investors, inflating these stocks wasn’t just a money grab. On the subreddit Wall Street Bets, where much of the activity was centered, users celebrated toppling massive hedge funds like Melvin Capital. By running up the price of these stocks, these Reddit-roused investors were literally costing fat-cat Wall Street folks billions of dollars. This felt like David clocking Goliath in the domepiece. The redistribution of wealth that was unfolding was damn-near poetic.
After all of these stocks posted huge gains through the first half of the week — and the frenzy around the internet-powered middle finger to the man began to circulate — the powers that be stepped in. Robinhood restricted trading of the very stocks that had generated so much buzz online, citing an effort to protect the market and its investors. The brokerage only allowed people to sell their shares, not buy more, stalling the momentum and sending the prices toppling (the service resumed “limited” trading on Friday). More…