3 out of 5 stars
Playing the stock market can be addictive there are thousands of people out there trying to make a fortune by thinking that they have that edge of hugely expensive computer systems and superfast fibre optic networks that the main players and hedge funds have. Most they can’t win against the might of the financial industry.
But every now and again there is a story of the little guy fighting back and managing to get one over the professionals; this is the story of those people that took down one of the biggest hedge funds on Wall Street. The stock that caused this was the retail shop called GameStop. They had not migrated online and still had a plethora of shops. Because of the transfer of the gaming industry to almost exclusively online, their financial position looked precarious. Big hedge funds were circling, they were looking at shorting the stock with the intention of making a lot of money as the share price fell.
Against them were a motley crew of amateur day traders, video game nuts, and internet trolls who were getting their financial information from a page on Reddit called WallStreetBets. On this page, people were not afraid to say exactly what they thought of companies and their share prices. A few of the members noticed that GameStop looked in better financial shape than the heavyweights of Wall street thought.
Mezrich has fleshed out the story of the stock stratospheric rise and we see that story from some of the major characters involved and the agony and delight as they won and lost fortunes every time the share price changed. I can recall this being aware of this at the time from some of the stuff I was reading from some of the people that I follow on Twitter at the beginning of 2021, however, I didn’t know much detail as I wasn’t following it in any depth so this was a learning curve for me. I thought that the narrative in this book was a bit disjointed because he switches to a different person in each chapter and it always takes a moment to work out where the story is going next. It did show what the little guy can do, however, even though they won some victories in this stock shorting game, the system always wins in these financial battles. Wel will have to see if anything changes.