Wall Street is in the middle of a meltdown caused by the discovery that people can participate in the economy even if they own fewer than three boats, and the slapdash way the tools of capital are being used to rectify that.
But beyond whatever political, economic, or societal ramifications that might come as a result of the GameStop, this is not a clear-cut case of David vs. Goliath. Instead, it’s looking increasingly like a bunch of Goliaths shitting on David while other equally ghoulish Goliaths clap at the spectacle.
First up is hedge fund shithead Leon Cooperman, who has publicly and tearfully cried about people being too mean to billionaires, and was once on the receiving end of a pretty good Trump burn. Cooperman, net worth $2.5 billion, went on CNBC today to share his fury that normal people are getting government assistance and not just banks.
Specifically, Cooperman blamed the market volatility on “people sitting at home, getting their checks from the government, basically trading for no commissions and no interest rates”—the horror—though he made sure to qualify that with “I’m not saying they’re stupid.” Someone’s a little worried Reddit might find out about and exploit all of the stocks he’s shorted.
Cooperman also didn’t let the opportunity to dismiss the concept that he should pay more taxes go to waste. “This ‘fair share’ is a bullshit concept,” Cooperman said. “It’s just a way of attacking wealthy people, and I think it’s inappropriate.”
The flip side to Cooperman is something equally annoying: other billionaires who think they’re joining in (or leading) a fight against the system, a group which includes Mark Cuban, Elon Musk, the Winklevoss twins, and probably a bunch of other guys.
Suits! Main Street! The little guys! Does anyone actually believe this coming from two insanely rich venture capitalists who founded their own Ethereum exchange? If you’re wondering why the likes of Elon Musk jumped into this, let another Winklevoss explain it to you:
So on one side of this GameStop thing, you have the hedge fund leeches taking their own personal journey through the reaping/sowing tweet. On the other side, you have a new group of faux-populist billionaires—whose obscene wealth makes existence for the rest of us much worse—riding a wave of sentiment and directing it toward other rich people. In Musk’s case it’s to directly settle a grudge.
These people view the Redditors who landed a sizable (if ultimately temporary) blow to the most evil eight blocks in America either with disdain or as playthings. None of them are actually on our side—”our” meaning shitposters of all stripes.
If there’s any true good that can come from the GameStop episode, it’s further investigation from legislators, regulators, the media, etc. into how the odds are so stacked in the favor of the ultra-wealthy and corporations that even when we win, capital throws the flag and it gets called back. So far we have some calls for hearings, but it’s a fat chance that anything real and tangible will happen anytime soon to change this basic principle on which our economy operates. And until it does change, it’s a capitalist’s world, and the rest of us are just living in it.