By the time we got to Gamestock

Financial stories are a far cry from The Hump’s core mission of science and faith. But the scandal over a company called GameStop casts light on the dystopian nature of the human bit of our world.

There’s a host of Internet sources from The Hill to Tim Pool to The Lotus Eaters discussing this as a successful rebellion by the Little Guys over the Big Guys, to which I refer you for an understanding of the issues, if you’re not up to speed. Here’s an inadequate sketch from a non-financial medic.

Hedge funds up close and cosy (without masks?) to the Wall Street establishment have, for years, been borrowing stock of targeted companies, selling at a high price, and then forcing the price down, in ways including cronies talking them down on mainstream TV, so that when the firm goes bust, they only have to pay peanuts to purchase the borrowed shares, and they make a killing. It’s called short selling, or as one commentator put it, “vulture capitalism,” an activity parasitic on society that somehow has ended up running society.

The company in question, GameStop, is a video games seller which was struggling before COVID, and has reeled from the lockdowns that have made so many small companies go under (to have their assets stripped by the big guys in touch with Wall Street and government, purely coincidentally). A number of hedge funds colluded to do this aggressive short-selling act on the brand, aiming to destroy it together with its share price. But the fact that they’d “shorted” 140% of the stock was spotted by a group of ordinary folks on Reddit, who decided to spoil their game by buying very many small lots of shares (often using their laughably small government COVID relief payments), thus forcing up the price in what was surely a classic South Sea Bubble, once millions more small investors got on the wagon. The hedge funds are at least $13 billion down on the deal, and counting, and the little guys are laughing.

It’s not a classic bubble, however, because most of the investors are budgeting on losing their small investments when the crash comes, if only the Wall Street parasites who caused the crash in 2008 and have, at very least, made a killing from COVID, get their come-uppance. I lose a couple of hundred dollars I’d soon lose anyway, but the crooked hedge fund billionaire goes bankrupt. Remember The Sting, anyone?

I hope that isn’t too inaccurate. But the real story is how much this Wall Street panic is revealing about the human actors in the globalist play. Their first response was to brand the little investors as “far right”, “peddlers of misinformation,” and other familiar labels. They were banned from one social media platform for “hate speech.” And that usefully informs us that whenever those terms are used about anybody, they are probably being employed by the corrupt and powerful against the good guys. (Incidentally, perhaps one can distinguish the players by their insult vocabulary: other terms of abuse like “fascist” and “racist” are used by doctrinaire Marxists, whereas the former insults are used by those wishing to appear mainstream and liberal, whilst actually being sharks). This tells us that Wall Street and “woke” social media are actually partners in the same game – called “power and money.”

Wall Street regulators are shouting for greater regulation in order to stop, not the hedge funds, but the working class investors who are beating them at their own game. They never called for greater controls when the hedge funds owners were the only players in town, and that fact has been duly noted. They are panicking about an imminent financial crash, but were untroubled by the unscrupulous people whose greed made it possible, and who caused the last collapse in 2008.

An app supposedly set up to enable small investors to buy shares, Robinhood, has blocked the buying of a number of different stocks, whilst still enabling selling – thus guaranteeing a fall in share price that will only benefit the hedge funds. The small investors can only lose. It seems its CEO has been pressured by the Wall Street firm that is currently lending the hedge funds billions and keeping those funds afloat, who also have to put money up-front when purchases are made on Robinhood. There is a clear conflict of interest.

The reasons stated for all these moves are about preventing a financial crash that will supposedly harm these little investors as well as “the system.” But as it’s become increasingly obvious that the real losers would be the people manipulating the rules in their own favour. Their actions have become more blatantly about self-preservation, however bad it looks. Which is good for the shining of light into dark corners.

The financiers know that governments made ordinary taxpayers pay through the nose to rescue them after their misdemeanours in 2008, resulting in public impoverishment ever since. This was the direct cause of “austerity,” massive job losses and many deaths from economic hardship, but the billionaires were exempt and, in fact, have gained a greater proportionate wealth. They simply don’t care what we think, knowing that governments will do the same again, at public expense, for their own self-interest. The political class, after all, usually attend dinners with the bankers, the social media giants and the hedge-fund owners, and not fish and chip suppers with the Robinhood investors, other than for photo-opportunities.

So the naked self-interest of the financial markets, which have been transferring wealth from working people to themselves for decades, and in the last year especially through COVID policies, has become crystal clear. But that may not be much of a surprise. What is more revealing is how all the mainstream media, from CNN to the Daily Mail, are presenting the Reddit investors as the problem to be solved, rather than the utterly corrupt financial operators against whom they are protesting. Once again, their attitude reveals whose side they’re on – or to put it in crude terms, “He who pays the piper calls the tune.” Though for balance I should add that, for once, the BBC seems to be rooting for the good guys.

At the time of writing, governments appear not to be doing much about the crisis. But when they do, their choice of policy will show clearly on whose behalf they govern: will they clip the wings of the rich Wall Street guys who caused all this, and more down the years – or will they simply make sure the deplorables can’t rock the boat again?

And that brings me to my last point, which doesn’t seem to have been made much in the comments I’ve seen and read. That is that, at the same time Wall Street is in turmoil, the World Economic Forum has been meeting, virtually, at Davos to discuss the Great Reset, and in particular the “Stakeholder Capitalism” they intend us all to adopt.

WEF spokesmen deny the claim that “stakeholder capitalism” is a plan for elitist domination of the world, saying that on the contrary decision-making on economics will be devolved from shareholders to the People at local level. What’s not to like, since Wall Street is being careful to ensure that any shareholding by the masses is purely a token gesture with no real power? But how is this local devolution to occur, seeing that no body has actually consulted us on whether we even want it? The spokesmen are clear on that – we will be represented at decision-making events by our governments, for whom, of course, we all voted freely.

Now, one might spot slight problems with that interpretation of “local decision making.” Klaus Schwab is a great admirer of the Chinese Communist Party, presumably because, as any fule gno, they are the gold standard in local decision-making, China being a People’s republic. As is North Korea. Xi Jinping is well able to represent the local views of all 1.5 billion Chinese folks on his own. It’s a bit less clear which local stakeholders people like Bono or Bill Gates represent.

But these paragons aside, WEF seems not to have noticed the fact it is the perceived democratic deficit, and the sense that the political classes are completely out of touch, that has led to the surge in populism movements around the world, including the election of Donald Trump, Brexit, and the obvious instability of the remaining EU. The widespread prevalence of rule by decree because of COVID scarcely feels like locally-grounded stakeholder decision-making to most of us, when our British MPs cannot attend Parliament to vote and often don’t even reply to our correspondence.

But the kind of people who attend the WEF are blind to all that, knowing that the populists are alt-right terrorists to a man, rather than stakeholders. One Davos speaker said that the real heroes of COVID are not the small business owners somehow holding on to vestiges of their trade, or the single mothers managing families banned from school on reduced incomes, or even the front-line care-home staff on minimum wage, but the CEOs of the big companies, altruistically shouldering the load and only incidentally making fat profits from government contracts.

The people trying to sell us smiley face “stakeholder capitalism” are the same bankers, fundholders, oligarchs, politicians and media figures who are simultaneously screwing over the little guys from Reddit who dared to make a decision about how things ought to change, and actually did something effective about it. Be warned.

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About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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2 Responses to By the time we got to Gamestock

  1. Ben says:

    In fairness, shorting does have a useful purpose, as it’s the mirror of buying shares.

    When you buy shares in a company you are expressing confidence in its future.

    If you want to express lack of confidence, or simply that you think a stock is overpriced, or even that it is in bubble, aside from just not buying shares, shorting allows you to say ‘to the market’ that you think it’s off kilter.

    Unfortunately, both shorts, and longs, can be abused by gamblers (big and small), but that is what regulation is supposed to be for.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      Yeah – that “public service” thing was George Soros’ reason for breaking the Pound on Black Wednesday. He did very well for all kinds of people – Britain not so well.

      I still wonder if there are not better ways for respected traders to register lack of confidence, like not buying and saying, “I think this stock is overpriced.”

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