A joke with a literal cost

Emily Stewart in Vox:

This is not a thing anymore.

That’s how Josh Brown, market commentator and CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management, responded when I told him I was writing about meme stocks in the fall of 2022, his tone one generally reserved for a parent who isn’t mad, just disappointed. “It was fascinating at the time, but it’s way past,” he said, likening covering GameStop today to writing about Soulja Boy and the Macarena.

You see, at the start of 2021, a handful of stocks gained a cult-like following online. An army of retail traders — people who invest with their own money instead of on behalf of a group or institution — who gathered largely on the Reddit forum r/WallStreetBets were able to drive up the share prices of video game retailer GameStop, movie theater chain AMC, and some other relatively small companies. Part of their strategy involved orchestrating a “short squeeze” against big funds that were betting against the stocks by shorting them.

More here.