Reddit, GameStop 'Flashmob' Stock Buy Exposes Dems' Anti-Free Speech Hypocrisy

P. Gardner Goldsmith | January 28, 2021
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If there are three things Liz Warren and her regulation-loving pals don’t like, they're humor, creative “little guy” interlopers, and the freedom to engage in peaceful commerce that the Constitution supposedly ensures. And this week’s astounding, Reddit-centered, “flash-mob-like” investment in GameStop and AMC theatre stock epitomize all those things.

They also let all liberty-minded Americans recognize the canard that the current leviathan of U.S. government is, in any way, there to protect us “little guys.”

The story seems unusual at first blush, but, as Reason’s Peter Suderman notes, it’s pretty straightforward. For a while now, lots of folks have been gathering at various websites to exchange investment ideas, and one of them happened to be on Reddit. It was there that a group of posters talked about investing in the ailing GameStop, the videogame sales merchant that has been scrambling to change, in part because sales of physical game packages have declined in favor of online purchases. Writes Suderman:

So one way of looking at the crowdsourced escalation of stock prices for GameStop, AMC Theaters, and other companies over the last few days—coordinated largely but not exclusively through the meme- and profanity-laced Reddit forum WallStreetBets—is as an inevitable advancement of online video game culture, and the prankish, puckish spirit of both earnest and mock heroism that flows through so many of these efforts. This was a meme-managed, crowdsourced effort to exploit a quirk in the financial system, to test its limits, and, in a way, to break the game.

So people began buying GameStop stocks, and the prices rose.

But some of the biggest players in the politically massaged, managed, controlled, and over-fed financial system weren’t too pleased with a rise in stocks that they'd expected to decrease as part of hedge-fund “short-sale” expectations.

Adds Suderman:

The ‘players’ involved did it for any number of reasons. There was a belief that it would afflict the powerful by causing hedge funds that bet heavily on GameStop's decline to lose money. There was a desire for personal gain—not loot drops, but the real money that at least some of these investors are earning. And failing that, there was a sense of camaraderie and communal purpose: The real treasure was the memes they made along the way. 

Thus rose the expected hollering and mindless hypocrisy of hedge-fund managers and regulatory-state fans -- cries akin to: “How DARE the HOI POLLOI get together and talk about investing in stocks?!

Which is, of course, precisely what hedge-fund managers and corporations do every day, and precisely what federal “regulators” do as they tell people through statute and mandates HOW and IN WHAT they are permitted to invest or out of which they can divest.

It’s incredible to think that hedge-fund big-wigs can have the gall to tell individuals that they shouldn’t dare exchange ideas on investments. These are the kinds of holier-than-thou elites who tell us, “do as I say, not as I do,” even as they stick closely to their politics-playing federal bureaucrat friends.

These would-be “angels” of the financial world, so puritanical and clean. These are the kinds of folks who, even as they express their umbrage over the “little guys” possibly gathering in numbers sizeable enough to move stocks, include among their number 60 firms that appear to have paid former Fed Chief and new Biden Treasury Secretery Janet Yellin oodles of cash to “speak."

That includes Citadel, a financial corporation that, as The National Pulse reports, paid Yellin $810,000 for numerous appearances. And, lest anyone forget, as part of the federal “Coronavirus” response, the Federal Reserve was given the power to buy debt instruments (bonds) of any corporations they desired, without revealing any of the buys.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren hasn’t seen a freedom she doesn’t want to crush, and so she is calling for the “regulation” of the very online communications these Reddit users exercised - even as she slams the Securities and Exchange Commission for this week's stock market debacle, and demands they look into market manipulation. 

In other words, while she voted to let the Fed prop-up ailing corporations with invented cash and not report it, she wants to crush another form of communication – another form of free speech -- for average Americans.

If you got together with friends each week and talked about your finances and ideas, this is the kind of thing Warren dislikes, and she is misusing the oft-misused argument that since these communications travel over state borders, they can be regulated.

That’s ridiculous. It, as usual, is an intentional mis-reading of the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8) that was written to stop states as political entities from blocking trade, not to allow the feds to control anything that goes over state borders, especially words that might inform people who want to freely buy or sell stocks as they desire.

The harridans and harlots of government and their financial playmates are, once more, trying to crush freedom because it’s not helping the rigged system they love.

In other words, they don’t like free speech, free markets, or liberty.

Lesson learned.