A GameStop store (selling video games) in New York, January 27, 2021. -

John Angelillo / UPI / Shutterstock / SIPA

The small shareholders are revolting.

In two weeks, the action of the American chain of video game stores GameStop, owner of Micromania in France, has soared by more than 1,500% (price multiplied by 15).

In recent days, shares in AMC cinemas and BlackBerry have also exploded.

A conflagration that can be explained by the concerted action of stock marketers on the Reddit wallstreetbets forum, who are leading a crusade against hedge funds (speculative funds).

Something to be noticed by Elon Musk ... And by the financial authorities.

What's going on ?

All signals are red for GameStop.

This pioneer in the physical sale of video games, founded in 1991 in Texas, and who bought the 400 Micromania stores in France in 2008, lost $ 400 million in 2019 and $ 700 million in 2018. The fault of the Internet and of games that are now downloadable from the living room - and the pandemic and containment have not helped.

But in two weeks, the share price has multiplied by 15, and by 100 since April 2020. The company, which was worth only $ 200 million last spring, is now valued at more than 20 billion of dollars.

It's more than Société Générale or Carrefour.

As the technological site The Verge explains, small investors have been leading a concerted campaign on Reddit's wallstreetbets forum for several months to ignite the action, in an unprecedented revolt against Wall Street.

This is a three-step phenomenon:

  • GameStop is an easy target on Wall Street for the "short," short selling.

    It is a technique that allows you to bet on the downside against a company.

    The investor borrows to sell shares he does not own, then purchases them, hopefully, at a lower price and pockets the difference.

  • Small investors have succeeded, by mobilizing en masse, to raise the price of GameStop.

  • As a result, Wall Street traders were forced to buy the stock to hedge their positions and avoid catastrophic losses.

    We call it a "short squeeze" (or "forced liquidation"), with a monster upward snowball effect.

What other actions benefit from it?

After the success of their operation on GameStop, the stock marketers increased the shares of the cinema chain AMC (price multiplied by 6 in one month), BlackBerry (x4) and the company that owns the assets of Blockbuster, the former VHS and DVD rental channel now bankrupt (x10).

This campaign was made possible in particular by all the online services which allow free stock trading, and even buy and resell options (contracts on a stock, and not the stock itself) in a few clicks, such as Robinhood, which makes a profit by selling its data to the giants of Wall Street.

“It's a war between traditional (investors) and the future.

Hedge fund managers snub (physical) businesses.

Fuck the hedge funds, ”writes user benaffleks on Reddit.

What role did Elon Musk play?

This crusade against Wall Street is the delight of Tesla boss Elon Musk, who has himself fought "vadeurs" (those who practice short selling) in the past.

On Tuesday morning, Musk tweeted the wallstreetbets subreddit link, with one word: “Gamestonk!

This is a reference to the "stonks" meme, "stocks" ("actions") intentionally misspelled, very popular among Internet users.

Gamestonk !!


- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 26, 2021

It's hard to measure the impact of this tweet, but GameStop's price has tripled in 24 hours.

What is certain is that Elon Musk helped popularize the phenomenon among the general public.

What does the gendarme of the Stock Exchange say?

The jump of GameStop raises questions about a possible intervention of the regulator of the American stock exchange, the SEC.

For lawyer Jacob Frenkel, former prosecutor for the SEC, the extreme volatility of the title, whose listing has had to be suspended multiple times in recent days, would justify an action by the stock market policeman.

The SEC can also launch an investigation for manipulation of the stock price, but the commission almost never communicates until a case is opened.

The American elected Ted Lieu, him, has a warning message for all small investors who would be tempted to ride the wave: "Nobody knows if the price of GameStop will rise or fall tomorrow, if the company will grow or file for bankruptcy in a year ”.

At this stage, it is no longer investment but "


 " (bet).

Be careful not to drown.

  • Reddit

  • stock Exchange

  • Wall Street

  • Video games

  • Economy