Well, did we? Or more specifically, did an old post from Jamie Powell help bring about the deathly squeeze on Melvin Capital et al?
Consider this nugget from Sheelah Kolhatkar’s fabulous tick-tock on the GameStop phenomenon in The New Yorker last month . . .
Now consider this chart:
That’s Gamestop share price action since December, overlaying FT Alphaville’s readership metrics over the same period for one particular post. This post.
And, you guessed it, 81 per cent of social media traffic came from Reddit, with the balance from Twitter and Facebook.
Reckless Redditors appear to have come to FT Alphaville for both help with their history homework, and as a blueprint for their market shenanigans.
Our more mature readers will remember the wonderful VW Fruit Machine (and the comical inability of the German regulator to deal with the issue at the time).
On that occasion, 13 years ago, canny retail punters were able to rush in behind Porsche’s outrageous option-led cornering of the market in Volkswagen stock, squeezing out the short sellers who were betting the discount between VW’s preference and ordinary shares would snap close.
More vintage material on the matter here and here (and in the links below).
Spoiler alert: back in 2008 VW’s stock price fell back to earth rapidly. The same cannot be said for GameStop, AMC and the other stonks. Not yet anyway.
Related Links:The day Volkswagen briefly conquered the world — FT AlphavilleMelvin Capital, GameStop and the road to disaster — FTPorsche LLC? — the VW fruit machine explained — FT Alphaville Car crash in Germany — FT Alphaville The disreputable market in Volkswagen — FT Alphaville Baaaaaaafin: No surprises here — FT Alphaville Baaaaaaafin: Porsche, nochmal — FT AlphavillePorsche ‘Great Squeeze’ action doubles in size — FT Alphaville