Everything You Need to Know About the GameStop, Reddit, and Stock Market Story, Explained

Illustration for article titled Everything You Need to Know About the GameStop, Reddit, and Stock Market Story, Explained
Screenshot: MSNBC

Thank you!

For what?

Explaining this story. I’ve keeping up with it and trying to understand what’s happening, but I haven’t been able to find a clear deconstruction of it in terms I can understand.  


That’s what I’m here for!

So yeah, before we begin, let me tell you something. There’s no nobility in poverty. I have been a rich man and I have been a poor man. And I choose rich every fuckin’ time. Because, at least as a rich man, when I have to face my problems, I show up in the back of the limo wearing a $2000 suit and a $40,000 gold fuckin’ watch.

Ok...well, thanks?

Okay, so an I.P.O. is an initial public offering. It’s the first time a stock is offered for sale to the general population. Are you following?


So if I sell a stock at $10,000, my commission is 5,000 bucks.

Makes sense.

So if you’ve got a client who bought stock at 8 and now it’s at 16 and he’s all fucking happy, he wants to cash in and liquidate, take his fucking money and run home—but you don’t let him do that... ‘cause that would make it real.


That seems scammy.

Number one rule of Wall Street: Nobody—and I don’t care if you’re Warren Buffett or if you’re Jimmy Buffett—nobody knows if a stock is going to go up, down, sideways or in circles. You know what a fugazi is?



Fugayzi, fugazi. It’s a whazy. It’s a woozie. It’s fairy dust. It doesn’t exist. It’s never landed. It is no matter. It’s not on the elemental chart. It’s not fucking real.


Wow. So it is a scam?

Look, I knew these guys weren’t like Harvard MBAs. Robbie Feinberg, the Pinhead, took five years to finish high school. Alden Kupferberg, the Sea Otter, didn’t even graduate. Chester Ming, the depraved China man, thought jujitsu was in Israel. Smartest of the bunch was Nicky Koskoff. He actually went to law school. I called him Rugrat because of his piece of shit hairpiece. Still, give them to me young, hungry, and stupid, and in no time, I’ll make ‘em rich.


Wait...what? Who are these people?

Second key to success in this racket is this little baby right here. It’s called cocaine. It’ll keep you sharp between the ears. It’ll also help your fingers dial faster. And guess what? That’s good for me.


You’re doing coke? What is happening? I just wanted an explainer.

The Quaalude, or lude, as it is commonly referred to, was first synthesized in 1951 by an Indian doctor—that’s dots, not feathers—as a sedative, and was prescribed to stressed-out housewives with sleep disorders. But pretty soon, somebody figured out that if you resisted the urge to sleep for just fifteen minutes, you got a pretty kick-ass high from it. Didn’t take long for people to start abusing ludes, of course, and in 1982 the U.S. government “Schedule 1'd” them, along with the rest of the world. Which meant there was only a finite amount of these things left. No shit. You can’t even buy them anymore. You people are all shit out of luck.



So you listen to me and you listen well. Are you behind on your credit card bills? Good, pick up the phone and start dialing! Is your landlord ready to evict you? Good! Pick up the phone and start dialing! Does your girlfriend think you’re a fucking worthless loser? Good! Pick up the phone and start dialing! I want you to deal with your problems by becoming rich!


Are you just quoting lines from The Wolf of Wall Street?

Never heard of it. So yeah, my wife... yeah, my wife is my cousin or whatever. But it’s not like what you think or whatever, you know.


Yeah, I think you’re just cutting and pasting lines from The Wolf of Wall Street’s IMDB page. Do you actually know anything about the stock market?

Let me tell you something else. Honestly, I’m not bullshitting here, this is one of the nicest boats that I’ve ever been on. I gotta tell you.



Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)


Moonlight Falls Like Rain

There’s something very Trumpian about the Gamescape phenomenon. It feels like a continuation of the Capitol riots — another angry mob of white males lashing out in mindless rage. Maybe it’s the same mob. Reddit has always been a domain of surly white males frozen in a state of arrested adolescence, so perhaps we should have seen this coming. But we foolishly believed Joe Biden’s election meant a return to normalcy was a done deal. It’s not. The old normalcy is over and it won’t be coming back. We have to invent a new normalcy.