While financial commentators and regulators can and will argue whether regulations should be instituted in the future, it seems everyone has stuck to the rules as they are.
So, have we really learned anything deep? The market for opinions on the stock meme phenomenon has been as volatile as trading itself: a series of assumptions about populism, corruption, masculinity, inequality, and price bubbles have fought for primacy among those of us who watch cable news and consume think pieces.
At the hearing, various members endorsed different theories. “Many Americans feel the system is against them and no matter what, Wall Street always wins,” said Financial Services Committee Chairman Maxine Waters, Democrat of California.
Leading Republican panel member Patrick McHenry of North Carolina suggested the problem was less one of a game-rig against small investors and more the lack of productive assets to buy. “We’ve created a world where it’s easier to buy a lottery ticket than it is to invest in the next Google,” he said. “Is it any wonder why the unhealthy dynamics of GameStop happened?”
Overall, some hedge funds have been run over, but briefly. Some hapless retail investors had fun too late, taking serious losses. And there was also a lot of life changing profits for people far beyond the usual suspects. It’s a pretty confusing picture.
The most significant thing to take away from all of this, according to Josh Brown, CEO of Ritholz Asset Management, could be a big change in market behavior going forward: “I don’t think it’s in the best interest of anyone who visibly vocally “runs” on anything, “he told me. “I think those days are over where there’s that automatic reverence for a $ 5 billion hedge fund manager with a PowerPoint,” telling other investors why they should bet against a company.
While the shares of GameStop and its fellow AMCs are a far cry from “the moon” where its boosters hoped it would land, both companies are trading above their most disastrous lows for now.