By Nadja Lovadinov, Second Year, Geography
With the arrival of the new year came the virtual invasion of an army of activist investors fighting against the powers of Wall Street, hellbent on shaking the sacred pillars of American society and its hypocrisies. The revolution was livestreamed.
We appear to be existing in something akin to Aristophanes’ comedy in which the blinded Plutus, Greek God of wealth, has his sight restored and can determine who is deserving of wealth. The effect of this created an unprecedented havoc on Wall Street.
The bandit Redditors of Locksley, who are sympathetic across the political spectrum, detected an inefficient gap in the market that was dramatically over shorted. Reaffirming their financial agency, the Redditors managed to temporarily beat the system.
Their efforts have been applauded by the Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort, who has been heavily critical of the hedge funds titans that intimidate the “little guy”, believing that the crusaders were justified in their provocation of war.
Yet who can deny the Redditors fearless efforts? Personally, I remain undecided as to whether this saga represented a tragedy or comedy. Wall Street will close the gap and its inefficiencies, making these opportunities rarer. Realistically, who will have the capacity to lead such a scheme again? Was GameStop a one hit wonder?
As a student, I have great confidence in the free market. The creatively destructive aspect of capitalism has indisputably benefitted Western society, making companies become innovative, generating jobs and propelling forward the middle class.
I believe that shareholders do have a responsibility to society
Yet with the imminent environmental catastrophe and the inequality gap approximating a rubber band nearing breaking point, Friedman’s philosophy of ‘Greed is Good’ appears outdated, immoral and false.
In defence of the recent events which have been described as a populist uprising, and even a vendetta for 2008, I believe that shareholders do have a responsibility to society.
Equitable reforms are needed since market stock prices do not always reflect a company’s true value. Rather the market should express transparent public investment into companies that people genuinely believe will avail society in the long term.
After the events that took place in relation to GameStop, students should be the charging cavalry, leading a world where information is accessible and translucent.
Where does this leave students? While it is clear that the market is extensively volatile, the GameStop affair should actively encourage students to strive to be financially literate. There are many platforms students can use to sharpen their financial understanding, amongst which YouTube channels such as Economics Explained.
Students are entwined with technology. It is the bane of our existence and with the shifting paradigm threatening Wall Street’s monopoly, students should become more financially aware in order to be better informed of the circumstances which prompted those involved in the Gamestop fiasco to outwit Wall Street. Within the ashes of GameStop there remain embers and planted ideas for future changes.
Featured Image: Unspash / Stephen Dawson
What are you thoughts on the Gamestop fiasco? Let us know!