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Over the last couple of days, a group of cheap stocks has been pushed to the moon and back by speculative investment. Collectively known as “meme stocks,” GameStop et al., or all those short stocks, or anything else the internet thinks is clever. Here’s a brief history of the phenomenon.
About a week ago, a few hedge-fund guys were galivanting around the internet bragging about all the short positions they had on Gamestop stock. Gamestop is a brick-and-mortar video game store that sells game consoles, new releases, and resells used games. Gamestop has seen better days; they’re getting murdered by direct shipping and direct downloads through Steam.
A short bet seemed to be a sure bet, but other day traders, commoners, and people with a bit of stimulus money took exception to these rich fellows trying to drive a business they have some fondness for into the ground. They decided to run the stock price up, forcing the short sellers to cover for significant losses. The genesis for this was apparently a subreddit called r/wallstreetbets.