Thinking Citizen Blog — Meme Stocks, SPACs, Reddit Darlings — And the “World Turned Upside Down”
Thinking Citizen Blog — Tuesday is Economics, Finance, and Business Day
Today’s Topic: Meme Stocks, SPACs, Reddit Darlings — And the “World Turned Upside Down”
Sometimes I wake up, go to the end of drive way, pick up the newspaper, read the headline, and have the distinct feeling that I’m living in la-la land. The 17th century English ballad World Turned Upside” allegedly played by British troops during their surrender at Yorktown comes to mind. Wall Street is being raided by a 21st century digital band of men in Lincoln green led by the new Robin Hood, Chamath Palipapitiya (see photo below). And Sherwood Forest is Reddit, a social news website. Today, a few random notes taken in an attempt to get up-to-date. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
WHAT IS A SPAC? (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) — “a poor man’s private equity fund”
1. “ (A SPAC) is a shell corporation listed on a stock exchange with the purpose of acquiring a private company, thus making it public without going through the traditional initial public offering process.”
2. “SPACs raised a record $60 billion in 2020, a period known as a ‘blank check boom.’”
3. “Because a SPAC is registered with the SEC and is a publicly traded company, the general public can buy its shares before the merger or acquisition takes place. For this reason they’ve been referred to as the ‘poor man’s private equity funds.’”
WHO IS CHAMATH PALIPITIYA? AOL, FACEBOOK, SOCIAL CAPITAL
1. The most vocal champion of SPACs, he was a senior executive at Facebook from 2007 to 2011.
2. He has an electrical engineering degree from the University of Waterloo (Canada). He was born in Sri Lanka.
3. His net worth is estimated to be $1.4 billion.
WHAT ARE “MEME STOCKS”? WHAT IS REDDIT? WHAT IS A SUBREDDIT?
1. “Meme Stocks” are stocks driven by social media hype most notably on Reddit.
2. Reddit is an American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. Registered members submit content to the site such as links, text posts, images, and videos, which are then voted up or down by other members. Posts are organized by subject into user-created boards called “communities” or “subreddits”, which cover a variety of topics such as news, politics, religion, science, movies, video games, music, books, sports, fitness, cooking, pets, and image-sharing.”
3. WallStreetBets or WSB “is a subreddit where participants discuss stock and option trading. It has become notable for its colorful and profane jargon, aggressive trading strategies, and for playing a major role in the GameStop Short Squeeze that caused losses for some U.S. firms and short sellers in a few days in early 2021….The subreddit is also known for its profane and juvenile nature, with members often referring to themselves as “autists” and “retards,” “degenerates”, and “apes”. Users also frequently use slang such as “stonks” for stocks; “tendies” for gains or profits; “gay bears” for those who expect stocks to decline, for stock shorters, or as a general insult; “DD” for analysis of potential trades (from “due diligence”); “bagholder” for one whose position has severely dropped in value; “diamond hands” for holding stocks adamantly; and “paper hands” for selling at the first sign of loss.”
NB: Two notable “meme stocks” — AMC: the world’s largest chain of movie theaters. Market cap: $25 bn. Year to date return: 2160%. Gamestop (GME): market cap $17 billion, the world’s largest video game retailer. Year to date return: 1218%.
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