I spent most of last week drenched in sweat, launching a vicious assault on Wall Street hedge funds which cost them $20 billion. Along with thousands of other ‘degenerates’, I bought shares in GameStop, a struggling videogame shop whose value has recently soared by 2,000 per cent. Behind the surge is an online community called WallStreetBets, where bored young men gamble on barely researched stock tips and crack tasteless jokes. The community, which lives on the social media website Reddit, has a history of hilariously aggressive stock-market bets. In 2019, for example, a 19-year-old member made $700,000 and then lost it all again within two weeks.
Last week WallStreetBets became global news. You’ve probably read about it by now: the forum’s members have driven GameStop’s price up by buying masses of shares, inflicting huge damage on the hedge funds who were betting against — or ‘shorting’ — the company’s prospects.