I was in the WallStreetBets Telegram channel. Here’s what I learned.
“Institutions like Melvin are like rats in a burning building now— they have no way out. And we have what they need.”
People are angry. No, I’m not talking about hedge fund managers who lost billions of dollars in GameStop’s (GME) moon run. I’m talking about the Reddit group behind the price hike — r/WallStreetBets. But referring to it as a group now may be naive, because it’s quickly snowballing into a movement.
I’m not going to explain r/WallStreetBets here in detail, but basically, the group is a speculative trading community that internally promotes low- to mid-market cap stocks with the purpose of moving prices. They were never really successful in doing so until recently, when they hit big with GME. If you want to learn more, check out their Reddit page linked above.
Most r/WallStreetBets members admit they’re greedy— this is obvious from reading through their Reddit community.
But the unofficial Telegram channel, which is a branch of the Reddit community, holds a starkly different sentiment. Participants emphasize that, as much as they like getting rich off of big stock pumps, they don’t care about money nearly as much the Redditors. Rather, for the Telegramers, it’s about fighting back and making rich institutional Wall Streeters pay up for their high-level manipulation of the United States. Forget “eating their lunch” — their goal is to destroy the lunch altogether.
How do they plan to continue doing this? They want to hold over-shorted stocks, so that institutions who take out short positions cannot easily recuperate losses and are forced to average up, thereby potentially losing billions of dollars.
“We can now see billionaire CEOs literally crying on live television… which is something I love to see.”
The Telegram community
The movement — yes, it’s real movement now — wants one thing above all others: to destroy the popular establishment and the oligarchs who control it (cough, cough, pretty much every Wall Street billionaire).
Most members don’t seem to align themselves with the political left or even care at all about wealth redistribution — they just want to watch the financial system burn.
Important to note though, although the WallStreetBets community shows clear undertones of sadism and love for destruction, its leaders repeatedly emphasize that violence is not the answer and are quick to ban anyone who mentions or even jokes about it.
So… mainstream media is lying to you… again. The group is not white supremacist, it’s not racist, it’s not alt-right. It’s just a bunch of retail traders like you and me. Some want to make a bunch of money, others want to destabilize the oligarchical financial institutions.
No matter how much the mainstream media and corrupt politicians try to halt the Wall Street Bets community’s progress, the movement is only gaining momentum. The main Telegram channel has grown by 50,000 members in under 24 hours. And despite the trading of GME and AMC being frozen by multiple popular exchanges, the Telegram channel is still exploding with discussion about where to buy shares of GME, AMC, and NOK.
“Wall street bets is literally decentralized. It’s literally the opposite of hedge funds. It’s not an organization. It’s not like there’s anyone saying ‘buy X shares of GME’ — no, no. It acts opposite of institutions, and now it’s kind of becoming a group of people who want to bet against hedge funds.”
Pouring fuel on the fire
No matter that the SEC is planning to investigate GME and related stocks to explore their relationship to r/WallStreetBets.
Now that multiple institutions, namely Robinhood, have suspended trading of GME and AMC, WallStreetBetters are only getting angrier. Along with both radical left- and right-wing politicians, community members speculate that Robinhood’s suspension of GME and AMC was not only due to trading volume, but due to intense collusion between hedge funds. There’s no concrete evidence for this — so take it as you will — but this seems quite plausible to me, given how corrupt the US government and financial system has become.
In addition to trading freezes on GME amongst other stocks, Robinhood is now dumping traders’ shares for them! Without asking, they’re planning to sell your shares on your behalf, just because they can. Big mistake, guys. Lawsuits incoming! And WallStreetBetters are gloating!
The cherry on top is that, with all of this juicy drama, Robinhood is getting so much blowback that it’s getting canceled. They can now boast of a 1-star rating on the Google Play store, thanks to a post on r/WallStreetBets earlier today, which urged users to give the app a 1-star review on all platforms.
Let’s get back to the point, though.
Russian traders are into it, too
The Wall Street Bets Telegram channel has a surprisingly high Russian presence in particular: so much so, in fact, that the Russian community even has its very own Wall Street Bets Россия channel. And they seem to wholly share in the American community’s sentiment.
The major issues for Russians, however, is that buying stocks like AMC and GME is significantly more difficult from abroad than it is from the United States. Either way, they stay optimistic, looking for the next “over-shorted” stock to fuel market destabilization — in particular, they’re looking at Virgin Galactic Holdings (SPCE) and cryptocurrency DogeCoin (DOGE). And everyone’s excited.
“We’re sending the most important message — that poor people can make a revolution against the rich. We have Russia. We may get China too. If this goes to other stocks, Russians will surely jump at it. We really have nothing to lose because we’re in chains already.”
It’s all speculation
Most members seem unaware of how “smart investing” should actually work — and they don’t care.
“We’re all autistic retards who don’t know anything about trading, don’t take this as financial advice. We just want to send a message to these fucking leeches.”
WallStreetBetters urge their community to hold, hold, hold GME and AMC stocks because tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 29th) is the day that many options/futures contracts, owned by institutions, must expire.
“Come Friday — [institutions] are gonna have to pay the piper. We’re gonna be the ones with the leverage this time.”
It all comes down to money
The whole GME situation simply comes down to holding the stock as leverage in order to force institutions who short the stock to take a good look in the mirror.
In reality, this will likely never happen — since everyone loves to make money. Let me know if you’ve ever met someone who would opt to knowingly lose money. So realistically, the whole holding-your-shares-to-get-back-at-the-Wall-Street-fat-cats will likely fall apart very, very soon. But in theory, it’s a nice thought.
So what’s the point?
Simply put: there is no point. None of this really matters. Some people just want to watch the world burn. And the Wall Street Bets Telegram community seems to be full of them. It’s not a bad thing — but the fact of the matter is that the movement has gained such attention, that it’s no longer a movement based on ideals, and rather a mob that’s hungry for something.
It doesn’t look to be very sustainable, being built on a flawed hope for change where there seems to be little true potential. But at least they’re making money, and destroying a few things here and there in the process. And those who aren’t in it for the money are in it for self-fulfillment.
“I know that I’m putting in money and I might lose it, but I really don’t care. I just know that I’m part of the attack on the system and I’m happy that way.”
This is not investment advice. But personally, I think there’s a lot of opportunity here for the shrewd investor — you’ve just got to stay ahead of the “mainstream crowd.” But, again, please don’t take any of this as investment advice.