GameStop & the end of capitalism as we know it

Long read: The story of how a motley crew of internet forum users caught Wall Street unawares was positioned as a flash in the pan. But when you understand what really happened, it doesn't seem like the end of the story - more like the start.

by Bill Borrows

In the months since GameStop transcended its status as a supposedly ailing bricks-and-mortar computer gaming chain to become shorthand for a financial earthquake at the heart of free market capitalism, one particular group of institutions has been paying rapt attention. They are not, however, hedge funds, investment banks or analysts: Hollywood studios have commissioned nine projects based on the saga, including an HBO movie from horror producer Jason Blum.

Meanwhile, Jaime Rogozinski, the 39-year-old founder of the WallStreetBets (WSB) forum on Reddit that spearheaded the campaign to drive up the GameStop share price, has signed a six-figure deal for his life story (provisionally named The Antisocial Network). In February, he joined the United Talent Agency, home of Jessica Alba, Kevin Hart and Seth Rogen.

Actors who specialise in playing plucky, nerdy underdogs can expect a slew of work over the next 12 months. The source material for GameStop biopics is sensational. It was mid-January when analysts and hedge fund managers began to notice the GameStop share price going in an unexpected direction at speed – which, as they had indeed “shorted” the wrong stock, was north. Soon, Elon Musk had commented approvingly on social media (“Gamestonk!!”) and the price moved faster.

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