While we do not know how the so-called Reddit uprising will change the future of investing, it is safe to say that Wall Street will never be the same again.

Here are five important things you need to know about Wall Street Wild Week.


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The Davids, in this case, are mostly young day traders who gather on the Reddit WallStreetBets site – also known as the Reddit Army or the Reddit Mafia, depending on your point of view. “They’ve seen how the rich have become extremely wealthy by taking advantage of cheap money, and they want their share,” said Richard Fischer, former chairman of the Dallas Federal Reserve.

Their mission has two main goals: Raise stock prices to profit, while encouraging founding investors to take bearish bets against beleaguered companies such as GameStop (GME), AMC (AMC), Macy’s (M) and a few others.

The Goliaths are essentially hedge funds that bypass these stocks – in other words, large investors who bet that these stocks will collapse. They are also the Wall Street elite that millions of investors rely on to make smart decisions and grow their portfolios. But because they operate in a sector linked to the card system that caused the 2008 financial crisis, these giants are not very popular. Positions on WallStreetBets open up a lot of fun watching short sellers lose billions of dollars.


The WallStreetBets community, which currently has about 5 million followers, has been around since 2012. The forum, which describes itself as if “4chan has found the Bloomberg terminal,” has unleashed a war against what it sees as the corrupt mainstream with giddy nihilism, impenetrable language and biting memes.

The group noted that GameStop, a video game retailer, was largely devoid of hedge funds. (The consensus on Wall Street seemed to be that GameStop would soon be a blockbuster.)

However, Reddit’s investors disagreed with the short-term sellers and began buying the company’s shares, which they said were undervalued.


Although the rally has been going on for some time, it only began on Monday, January 11, when GameStop announced that three new directors would be joining its board of directors, including Chewy co-founder Ryan Cohen. Investors appreciated that Cohen brings the digital experience that GameStop desperately needs as video games go digital and malls continue their unstoppable descent into irrelevance.

The price of GameStop stock rose nearly 13% that day. But it wasn’t the usual short-lived rise in action. Two days later, they were up 57%. Then it went up 27% ….and so on. Reddit’s audience also made big jumps in AMC, BlackBerry, Macy’s and other stocks that were heavily short-circulated.

As of Friday, GameStop shares are up 1,587% since the beginning of January.

To put things in perspective, a year ago a stock was worth about $4. It’s now worth about $150.

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Ultimately, this pressure has nothing to do with GameStop’s strength as a company. As investors who followed the Reddit group bought tons of options on GameStop, short sellers were forced to buy shares to cover their losing bids, which pushed the stock price even higher. This is called a “short squeeze.”

Millions of people, including Elon Musk, have called.

It quickly became a “populist riot armed with blind brokerage bills instead of forks,” as CNN’s Christina Rimlian put it. And the only ones complaining were the “sophisticated” Wall Street players.

“Irony is delicious,” Roman wrote. “Flashmob online beats Wall Street insiders at their own game.”


On Tuesday, GameStop was the world’s best-selling promotion. Then Robinhood took down the party.

Citing extreme volatility, a free trading app, popular with millions of amateur investors, suspended trading in the red favorites Thursday morning. So WSB’ers had only two options: Hold or sell. Meanwhile, institutional investors who did not need Robinhood to trade could continue.

GameStop shares lost more than 44% of their value on Thursday, after rising nearly 40% earlier in the day.

The reaction was swift. Those who made money from their GameStop position were outraged, to say the least. The consensus on social media seems to be that Robinhood, which has built its brand name on the “democratization” of investing, seems to be succumbing to pressure from powerful Wall Street institutions.

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Parliamentarian Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the decision “unacceptable.” A Reddit user soon filed a class action suit alleging that Robinhood had rigged the market against its customers.

Robinhood admitted Thursday night that he would resume “limited” share purchases the following day. He also received $1 billion in cash from his private investors, indicating that he was tight on cash.

The GameStop euphoria returned on Friday morning. Action opened with a plus of about 100%.


There is an argument that GameStop is undervalued, but almost no one believes that GameStop, BlackBerry, Macy’s, AMC or any other company promoted by Reddit has the basis to maintain such high prices. Eventually, reality will set in.

But that’s the problem with bubbles: if you get out too early, you lose the chance to cash in on the top. So GameStop keeps pulsing…. until that happens.

“Someone is going to get hurt,” said Fisher, the former president of the Dallas Fed. “Just like mob behavior, at some point, people are going to come at a very high price and get burned.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission, the agency that regulates Wall Street, said it will “closely monitor” the actions of marketplaces to restrict trading.

Matt Egan, Paul R. La Monica, Anneken Tappe, and John Sarlin contributed to this report.

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