Eat the Rich: The GameStop Saga (2022): Season 1, Episode 3 - The Reckoning - full transcript

After the squeeze, one Redditor and investing app Robinhood come under suspicion for their ties to the financial establishment.

[Banerji] As I was
talking to individual investors,

I was trying to figure out
who's behind this.

The names that kept coming up were
Roaring Kitty and DeepFuckingValue.

He was one of the first
who was touting GameStop on Reddit.

There are a lot of questions,
first of all, about whether or not

the behavior that's happening
on these Internet chat boards is ethical.

There's questions about
whether or not that's something

called market manipulation.
That's a big deal there, for sure.

Normally, these types
of steep run-ups in price

make you concerned that there's
possibly a pump and dump going on.

That's one type of a manipulation
scheme where you pump up a stock.

You tell people
"This is the best stock ever!"

Um, and then everybody
rushes in to buy it,

this increases the price,
and then the manipulator

who told you it was the best stock ever

then offloads all their stock.

Right now I need
to step away from streaming.

That's our typical framework
for a manipulation scheme.

Again, thank you to everybody.

I hope you've had a fun time,
and I'll see you around.

I knew we had to find out,
you know, who he was.

One of my colleagues
had reached out to him.

[bubbling sound]

No luck there.

And then we dug up just any
traces of the terms "Roaring Kitty"

out there in the universe. [laughing]

[cat roaring]

We found that there was an LLC
registered to the Roaring Kitty name,

and it was registered
under the name Keith Gill.

The hunt was on.

[Banerji] We were able to find
some other information about him.

He was a runner.

[spectator] Come on, Keith! [grunting]

And we found the phone numbers

that might have belonged
to Gill family members.

So I just went down that list.

[phone ringing]

[Banerji] Um, hi,
I'm looking for Keith Gill.

[cell phone ringing and buzzing]

Finally, this lovely woman, uh,
living in Brockton, Massachusetts said,

"Oh, he's not here right now."

And I was like,
"Oh, so he was there at some point!"

And that's when we sent
my colleague, Julia, to knock on his door.

[Julia] I just got my
driver's license six months ago.

So, my editor's first joke was,

"How comfortable are you driving?"

There was a big snowstorm,

and I just drove two and a half hours

up to this random
address outside of Boston.

There was a kind of
plastic slide that you see for a kid,

and there was
a beat-up Toyota in the front.

[cat meows]

[Julia] Big open windows, no blinds.

And I could see he was with his wife
and his daughter, who's about three.

And they're just having
after-school playtime.

I knocked on the door and I said,

"I'm really sorry to
intrude on your private time."

"We think that you're DeepFuckingValue,"

"would you consider
doing an interview with us?"

And he was really hesitant.

And he just said,
"Hey, it's kind of a bad time."

I said,
"Look, media works really quickly."

"People are gonna figure out who you are."

"You're going to have to do an interview,
an on-the-record interview."

"You might as well do it with the
paper that has the tightest standards."

He said, "Well, can you give me
your phone number? I'll call you back."

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That evening,
The Daily Mail broke a story on him.

Keith calls me up and he's just like,
"They just put this out about me."

And I said, "Okay,
now we have to move really quickly."

He showed up and, uh,
we started with two beers.

And then we launched into
what was, like, a three-hour interview.

[narrator] Now that
his identity was public,

everyone learned
this wasn't just any old Redditor,

but someone who actually
worked in the financial industry.

He was a licensed securities professional.

[reporter] We're getting
some reports here that,

uh, one of the more influential voices

on that WallStreetBets forum on Reddit

has been hit with a class-action lawsuit.

Let's bring in Jared Blikre,
who's following that story for us.

Right, so this would be Keith Gill,
also known as Roaring Kitty.

There's a quote, "Gill's
deceitful and manipulative conduct"

"not only violates numerous
industry regulations and rules,"

"but also various securities laws."

Uh, and it looks like
they're alleging that

he shouldn't have
been saying what he said.

So this has led to an opportunity.
Tha-- That's-- That's what I think.

I don't know what was going
through his head when he decided

that he could operate on message boards.

If I were to guess, I'd say maybe because
it wouldn't necessarily be noticed.

But then he developed a following.

Shout out to Mexico. Hola, hola, amigo!

Australia, don't think
we forgot about you.

On Wall Street, you know,
if we behaved in some of these ways

to push stocks around that,
uh, that happens on Reddit,

that's not allowed
on the institutional level.

And there are
significant penalties for doing that.

Are they going to fine the hundreds of
people on this WallStreetBets thread?

I mean, how does that go down?

Well, I think it really is going to
boil down to who is saying what and why.

[narrator] Well, who do you
think they look to first?

The original
diamond-handed HODLer himself,

Roaring Kitty, AKA Keith Gill.

According to him, his initial investment
was just over $50,000

and by the beginning of February,

his GameStop shares
were worth around 35 million.

And that's after the stock went down.

At its height, it was
close to clearing 50 million.

[crowd cheering]

[narrator] The class action lawsuit,
which alleged market manipulation,

wasn't brought about
by a mob of Redditors,

but by an investor
who made a bad bet, lost money,

and was looking for someone to blame.

[woman] They want to cry and scream,

"This Reddit movement
or this social media movement,"

"this is all manipulation."

"Like, they're telling each other
to buy these stocks," and this and that,

when really none of us
are there giving financial information.

Like, we like GameStop. [laughing]

[narrator] Market manipulation
is knowingly spreading

false information about a stock,

which can make the stock go up or go down.

And it can be a very hard thing to police.

But have no fear,

because the United States
government was about to take on the case.

[woman] The politicians
really started to weigh in.

"This is something that
my constituents care about."

This hearing is entitled
"GameStopped: Who Wins and Loses"

"When Short Sellers, Social Media,
and Retail Investors Collide."

I want to know how
each of the witnesses here today,

and the companies they represent,

contributed to the
historic trading events in January.

Do you solemnly swear to give the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but the truth

so help you God?

Mr. Tenev?

[Tenev] I do.

Mr. Griffin?

[Griffin] I do.

Mr. Plotkin?

Mr. Plotkin, please.

Mr. Plotkin?

Mr. Plotkin does not agree.

I was muted. I apologize. I do.

[Rep. Waters] Thank you. Mr. Gill?

-Mr. Gill!
-[Gill] I do.

Let's go! Hyped up!

Members of the committee,
a few things I'm not.

I'm not a cat.

I am not an institutional investor,

nor am I a hedge fund.

I do not have clients,

and I do not provide
personalized investment advice

for fees or commissions.

I'm just an individual
whose investment in GameStop

and posts on social media

were based upon
my own research and analysis.

Probably say, "I like the stock."

I believe that GameStop has the potential

to reinvent itself as
the ultimate destination for gamers

within the rapidly growing
200 billion dollar gaming industry.

That kind of genuine belief
in a company, saying,

"I think everyone else is wrong,"

is actually something
that we encourage in the market.

This was all public.
So it's not a secret ploy or anything.

He's just a cool guy. He likes the stock.

That's all there is to it.

Keith Gill kind of holding true to
his belief that GameStop is a good buy,

you know, that-- that's kind of him having

just the opposite side of the same coin.

You are allowed to have
your own belief on this stock

um, even if the rest of
the market doesn't agree with you.

When I wrote and spoke
about GameStop on social media

with other individual investors,

our conversations were no different
from people in a bar or on a golf course.

Hedge funds and other Wall Street firms

have teams of analysts
working together to compile research…

Yeah, that's a good point. Like,
literally, it's just people on a forum.

I think he was just trying
to share with this online community

what you would have maybe done in person

if you were in a financial institution
surrounded by a lot of other people.

The idea that I used social media
to promote GameStop stock

to unwitting investors and
influence the market is preposterous.

My post did not cause the movement of
billions of dollars into GameStop shares.

Every single time when there's
something new that comes on the scene,

either a financial technology
or a new way of investing,

there's always this idea
of "what's manipulation?"

And it's the single hardest thing
to prove in financial regulation.

As for me, I like the stock.

Yes! He said it! [cheering]

I'm as bullish as I've ever been
on a potential turnaround for GameStop

and I remain invested in the company.

[narrator] But even if he liked the stock,

he resigned from his job at MassMutual

and his brokerage license was taken away.

He did lose his license. He was regulated.

He was supposed to be
behaving within the rules

that I've been operating in
since I've been in the business.

[narrator] Congress was trying to point
fingers and figure out what went wrong.

But it seemed like they didn't
understand who or what to point to.

It's shocking how little
these politicians understand the Internet.

I mean, it is insane.

In terms of the platform,

at any given time, how many people
were you talking to on that platform?

[Gill] I wasn't so much
talking to anyone individually

but rather making
posts on that public forum.

There were parts of it where I thought,
"Wow, did-- did anyone debrief you?"

"Did you speak to somebody
to explain this to you?"

I've been concerned
for some time in general

with this sharing
of US individual user data

with the Chinese Communist Party.

[man] I watched the hearings
because I like theater of the absurd.

There's Vlad, and there's Citadel,
and there's that guy, the Kitty,

and-- But it was a hoot because everybody
had no idea what they were talking about.

You admitted to making mistakes.
Specifically, what mistakes did you make?

[Tenev] I…

I… I admit to always improving.

The whole Congressional hearing
that they've been having,

dog and pony show.

[narrator] But Roaring Kitty
wasn't the only one under fire.

Robinhood's move to shut off
the buy button was under scrutiny too.

If you're walking down the
road and a Robinhood customer

that lost all this money when they
got locked out of trading that day

comes up to you and screams
and cries, what do you say to them?

Well, first of all,
I'd be very, very empathetic.

Um, I'd probably want to understand
how someone could lose money, um,

when they couldn't
buy a stock at the all-time high.

-Thursday was the all-time high.
-Well, no.

Yeah. Yeah, but-- but that's--

But the reason for that is because
the ability of WallStreetBets

to continue the trade was,
was basically interrupted, right?

In order to keep driving the squeeze,
they needed to be able to buy.

Once they got frozen out
of the online broker accounts,

-that broke the trade, then it crashed.

Okay, Vlad, you know everybody here that's
watching this hates your guts, right?

Do I think something took place
that was highly immoral

and not putting their customers first?

Yes, but I-- I wear a duck shirt,
I can't really speak to law. [chuckles]

[narrator] But who exactly
are Robinhood's customers?

To understand that,

you need to understand something
called "Payment for Order Flow."

[woman] Payment for
order flow, it was actually

invented by Bernie Madoff. [chuckles]

He's the notorious
hedge fund Ponzi-scheme guy.

[narrator] In the past,
when you went to buy a stock,

you paid the broker a
small fee to carry out the trade.

But with payment for order flow,
you don't pay any fee at all.

That's because Robinhood sells your order
to a middleman known as a market maker.

And the largest market maker
that they work with is Citadel Securities.

[man] We're gonna make our money

by selling your orders
to people like Citadel.

Who's behind the scenes
that you have no idea about,

that's putting the money
in Robinhood's pocket.

[narrator] Here's how it works.

When you click buy or sell on Robinhood,

your order doesn't go
to a traditional stock exchange.

Instead, it most likely goes to

Citadel Securities to carry out the trade.

Since so many trades
are happening during the day,

it's easy for Citadel
to pair together buyers and sellers.

Let's say one user wants to sell a stock

and another wants to buy the same stock.

Citadel Securities takes both orders
and gives everyone a better price

than they would find
listed on the exchange.

Citadel will keep the extra cents

and share it with Robinhood.

On an individual basis,
it's not gonna really make them much.

But when you're talking about millions,
potentially billions of trades,

it quickly adds up

and you could see the result of that
in Citadel Securities' bottom line,

their revenue's in billions of dollars.

Citadel Securities executes
more trades on behalf of retail investors

than any other firm.

He looks rich. He's got plants behind him.
That's how you know he's rich.

[narrator] Ken Griffin,
the CEO of Citadel,

owns the most expensive
home in the United States.

A 24,000-square-foot penthouse
that cost him 238 million dollars.

So, yeah, those pennies add up.

But some see a flip side
to payment for order flow,

and who benefits.

[man] There's a big advantage
that we ought to acknowledge

and that is retail investors
have the lowest cost

in the history of investing.

And what's the result?

The result is record-high number
of Americans are investors now.

Is-- Is someone making money
executing those-- those trades? Yeah.

[Sasaki] There are some really strong
arguments that payment for order flow

brings in way too many conflicts.

There is something amiss
when your broker is being paid

by the person who fulfills the order.

There is a conflict there that makes
you question whether the broker

truly has the retail trader's
interest at heart

or if they're more concerned
with their own profit-making abilities.

The United Kingdom banned
payment for order flow.

Canada, uh, has--
has banned payment for order flow.

If that retail trader is not the one
who's giving the money to Robinhood,

it's Citadel, the market maker,
giving the money to Robinhood,

guess who's the customer?

The customer is the market maker.

And you know what you are?

As the retail trader, you're the product.

Robinhood's business model
is it makes money

based on the more traders trade.

Not the more money traders make,

the more they trade.

At one point, GameStop was
the most traded stock on the stock market.

By volume, it was insane.

[Rep. Axne] It really hit home
with me the day after the trading frenzy

when I found out
that my nephew, who was 18,

had tried to get in on the action.

[music playing]

And I thought, "My gosh,"

"that kid has no money." [chuckles]
He's just starting out.

The last thing he needs to be doing

is investing within some arena
that he knows nothing about

and losing whatever
little money that he has

to start out as an adult.

[music playing]

-Mr. Tenev,

you say Robinhood's mission
is to democratize finance.

Is-- is that correct?

That's correct, Congresswoman, yes.

[Rep. Axne] So, on the specifics,

when people sign up, they get
a scratch-off ticket to see what they get,

confetti falls
every time they place an order.

Um, if a friend signs up,
they get a free stock, on and on.

Your app, to me, shows me
that you're really just trying

to encourage more trades,
which puts more money in your pocket.

Adding features to an app

that makes it more interesting
and more fun to engage in trades--

Look, as long as it's grown adults, uh,

trading or investing with their own money,

I-- I-- I don't see a problem with this.

[woman] They have designed
their user interface in a way

that taps into some of these
psychological blind spots

to make people trade more.

We employed data scientists,
user researchers, and designers

to provide a better customer experience.

The little gaming-type way
that they have it set up too,

is like a little manipulative.

[Rep. Axne] Behind the scenes
are behavioral researchers,

who have spent a heck of a lot of time

studying how to manipulate
folks' behavior online.

[woman] People definitely
get addicted to this

and they can't sleep at night.
They're thinking about their investments.

They can't wait to log on in the morning.

That's what my friends tell me, like,
"You're gambling with stocks,"

"but you don't gamble.
You don't know how to gamble."

I was like, "Yeah, I mean…
Yeah, I don't know how." [chuckles]

The research indicates that
even if you're aware of a blind spot,

it doesn't necessarily eliminate
its effect on your behavior.

There's a sense in which
Robinhood monetizes addiction.

Because they make
a bunch of money doing it.


[Sen. Toomey] Seriously? [scoffs] Like,

what are we-- We're gonna ban confetti?

That-- that strikes me as ridiculous
and extremely patronizing.

So Robinhood is similar to a lot of
other big tech companies and that is

it's based on the attention economy.

And that is the more
it can get you to trade,

the more time it can get you to spend
on the app, the more money it makes.

[Tenev] Our focus has always been

to get as many first-timers,
new investors, into the markets.

Robinhood's incentives are not for you
to learn, not for you to generate wealth,

but for you to engage
in a trading activity

that historically has resulted in
less wealth and less economic security,

and that is day-trading.

The more people
that have access to the markets

and can start investing earlier

the better off our economy will be.

[narrator] So if both
Robinhood and Citadel

were making money
from this trading frenzy,

why stop the buy button?

It was clear to us
that something was going on.

They halted buying, and I mean
what's that gonna do to a stock price?

If there's ever been a more blatant
market manipulation, I'd love to see it.

If you look at the Reddit forums,

they're the ones who want to look
where nobody else wants to look.

They're the bears.

They're the cynics and some people
will call them conspiracy theorists

just to write them off,

but quite often
they can be right about things too.

What's a bit fishy
about Citadel in general is

they're a market maker.

So they are taking all these people's
orders through payment for order flow.

[narrator] Citadel Securities' owner
Ken Griffin also has a hedge fund,

and during the run-up in January,

Citadel the hedge fund invested
in none other than Melvin Capital,

which was bleeding money
from its short position in GameStop.

People kind of didn't like that.

They didn't like that Citadel,
who was fulfilling their orders,

was also the one
that was shoring up a hedge fund

that was losing from their orders.

Now you have Robinhood,
whose main customer is Citadel Securities,

they stopped people from buying,

which capped how much
this price could go up.

Us GameStop investors are skeptics,

and we immediately began speculating
that there was a shady deal being made.

When the big boys make
a bad bet like they did in 2008,

they don't-- they don't lose.

Guarantee that the regulators
are more concerned about this

than anybody in
the WallStreetBets community.

And Citadel has to
prove day in and day out

that there's a wall
in between the two businesses,

and they do do that.

You get a call in the middle of the night,

according to what
I've heard you in interviews say,

and based off that conversation
with your compliance team,

you decided to halt
the buying of GameStop stock.

Look at his face! He's like… [exhales]

Uh, let's be crystal clear.

That decision you made to restrict
the buying but not the selling of GameStop

was based… What-- what was it
based on pressure from anyone

on the witness panel here today?

[Tenev] Not at all.
Zero pressure from anyone.

I want to be perfectly clear,

we had no role in Robinhood's
decision to limit trading in GameStop.

Ken Griffin came out.
You know, very polished.

Did anyone in your organization
contact Robinhood

about restricting or doing
anything to prevent people from buying,

not selling, but buying stock in GameStop?

Anybody in your organization?

Absolutely not.

So if we depose everyone in
your organization, we will find that?

That is correct.

[narrator] Well, a few months later,
some text messages surfaced

that seemed to indicate
that someone at Robinhood

actually did talk to someone at Citadel
the day before the buys got halted.

[reporter] #KenGriffinLied has
been tweeted at least 150,000 times.

Citadel finally responding.

They stated that, uh, uh,
they didn't ask Robinhood

to limit trading activity
on GameStop or other names.

If I had to run
my business to the possibility

of an insane conspiracy theory
emerging at any point in time,

I would have no business.

I love a good conspiracy theory.

Joe, you don't want that on the record.

I do! I mean, I love

-a good conspiracy theory!

So you sound like a Scooby-Doo episode.

"And what happens if Ken Griffin is really
the owner of the spooky amusement park?"

"And what if the spooky
amusement park really is…"

You know. It's-- It's nonsense.

[narrator] But people were
asking for an explanation.

Why did Robinhood
have to turn off the buy button?

Robinhood is always committed
to providing access. It's in our name.

It's in everything that we do.

Robinhood, I believe,
provided two different explanations

as to why they stopped trading.

We added millions of new customers

who became investors
for the very first time.

So, you know,
we had to make a very difficult decision

to protect, uh, our customers.

That is a bunch of bullshit.

If you're going to be
encouraging your customers

to trade as often and as aggressively
and as vigorously as you do,

then you should be better prepared

for the level of volatility
that comes with that.

The official story from Robinhood
after consulting with legal teams was…

Uh, the decision to restrict
GameStop and other securities

was driven purely by deposit
and collateral requirements

imposed by our clearing houses.

[narrator] Yada, yada, yada.

Basically, Robinhood is required
to keep a large deposit in the bank.

Why is that?

Because even though it appears
that your trade executes in seconds,

it actually takes days.

So Robinhood fronts you the money
from their deposit until that happens.

Well, with so many people buying up shares
of GameStop at increasingly higher prices,

Robinhood was running low on its deposit.

And the bank was asking for
three billion dollars more overnight.

-Well, you know how that ended up.
[breaking glass]

Why did folks get
locked out on the buy side only?

Uh, preventing customers from selling

is a very difficult and painful experience

where customers are
unable to access their money.

I recognize customers were very upset
and disappointed that we had to do this.

I imagine it would
have been significantly worse

if we prevented customers from selling.

You knew as soon
as people couldn't buy anymore,

it would trigger a sell-off.

What happens is if they sell,

then they're hoping the price of
GameStop will go back to where it was,

and they won't have to put any
more money into that deposit account.

[woman] Robinhood didn't
have their house in order.

I mean, the clearing house said
every broker needs to have more capital

'cause there's extreme volatility.

We need to make sure
one of you doesn't go bankrupt

and take the rest of us down with you.

It wasn't to protect
investors from themselves.

It was so Robinhood wouldn't go bankrupt.

Mr. Tenev,

you represented, uh, to the media

that there was no, uh, liquidity problem.

Isn't it true that being concerned

about having enough capital,
uh, to meet deposit requirements,

isn't that a liquidity problem?

Could you just answer yes or no?

Chairwoman Waters, I appreciate
the opportunity to address that--

[Rep. Waters] Just yes or no.

We always felt
comfortable with our liquidity,

and the additional capital
that Robinhood raised--

[Rep. Waters] Please answer yes or no.

Yes or no, Vlad!

I don't have time.
I just need your answer.

Shut up, Mr. Vlad! I don't fucking care!

You got liquidity issues!
You piss your bed!

I don't have time.
I just need a yes or no answer.

Oh, Lord. He's so stupid.

I stand by my statement.

Oh, dude! GameStop's just
going straight up right now!

The additional capital
we raised wasn't to meet

capital requirements or deposit--

[Rep. Waters] That was
the gist then? Just yes or no.

Excuse me?

[Rep. Waters] I'm reclaiming my time.


I'm reclaiming my time!

[narrator] After the hearing was over,
GameStop more than tripled in price,

but it was a brand-new stock on the
market that would get all the attention.

[reporter 1] We've got a crowd
today at the, uh, exchange this morning.

It is Robinhood celebrating its IPO…

[reporter 2] Robinhood founders
Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt,

the real payoff for them
will come in the next few years.

The Robinhood board approved
a special compensation package

that gives them millions of shares

if the stock reaches certain
levels over the next eight years.

[Kelleher] Many of the retail traders

really wanted to
stick it to the billionaires.

Ironically, every single
trade that they made

enriched a different billionaire.

The financial system is very often
a wealth extraction mechanism.

It is not a wealth creation system
for the many.

It's a wealth extraction mechanism
for the few.

Where is that money coming from?

Well, it can only come from one place.
The retail trader's pockets.

If you look at, sort of, the flow
of capital in the last like 50 years,

you see it being concentrated
more and more and more at the top.

So I don't know that…

I don't know that
there's a way to reverse that

through something like GameStop.
You know what I mean?

You know, despite taking monster hits
over and over and over again,

hedge fund Melvin Capital always found
more billionaires to give them more money.

Well, maybe that's all over
as the fund looks to be shutting down.

It's also a victory for
those investing apes, which…

[narrator] But Melvin's customers
weren't the only ones jumping ship

after GameStop impacted their bottom line.

I have mixed feelings about Robinhood.

I'm definitely not even
using them anymore. I'm using Ameritrade.

I went to Fidelity and I was like,
"Hey, I want to transfer all of my assets"

"from this account
in Robinhood to Fidelity."

[chuckling] We both
used Robinhood at the time.

-[producer] Not anymore?
-Not anymore. [chuckling]

[narrator] The great thing
about democratizing finance

is that you can vote out the losers.


From its IPO, you can see it's been
nothing but slow, steady decline

and we were closing at
I believe a record low today.

And we're probably gonna
see record lows tomorrow as well.

[Tenev] Let's not sugarcoat it,
we've been disappointed

with the stock price
over the past few months.

They're looking at no new
user growth quarter on quarter.

Pretty much flat, exactly. After--

And we've seen a decline
in average revenue per user,

-decline in transactions.

The only thing innovative about
the company was the hair and the name.

[narrator] Robinhood isn't the
only one trying to make investing fun.

Jim Cramer does it.

Welcome to Mad Money!

-[narrator] WallStreetBets does it.
[crash and scream]

Oh, yeah!

[narrator] But there's a reason that
investing has traditionally been

considered a serious endeavor
best left to the professionals.

You can lose a lot of money
and you can lose a lot of money fast,

and that's not necessarily
a choice people would make

if they sat back
and really thought about it.

[narrator] But who are
the professionals investing for?

When it comes to hedge funds,

some of the beneficiaries
may come as a surprise.

Who do you think
the investors are in Citadel?

Who are the investors in-- in Melvins?

Who are the investors
in all the other funds?

Who are the investors?

Pension funds, teachers unions…

You know, hospital endowments,
university endowments, foundations,


So I think a lot of the negative sentiment
against hedge fund managers,

I'm not sure it fully
appreciates what we do.

Here at the Mudrick Capital Management,

we don't short sell actively.

What we're looking for is a
good business with a bad balance sheet.

[narrator] Which Mudrick's hedge
fund found in the AMC movie chain.

[reporter 1] The world's largest
movie theater chain is barely hanging on.

[reporter 2] AMC Theatres
will likely file for bankruptcy.

Movie theater chain said that it may
not be able to survive beyond this summer.

And in the case of AMC, we could help
potentially, um, influence the outcome.

[narrator] AMC also turned out to be
a huge hit among the WallStreetBets crowd

and other retail investors
who started pouring money in.

What I pitched to them is, "Announce that
you're gonna borrow 100 million from us."

Then as you start to
raise more and more money,

you know, the people that thought you
were gonna imminently file bankruptcy

are gonna say, "You know what?
This company's gonna make it!"

[narrator] Here, David and Goliath
were in it together

with the same goals in mind.

CEO Adam Aron this weekend
managed to pull his company

from the jaws of the bankruptcy wolves

just in the nick of time.

[movie projector running]

[narrator] Not everyone
was that lucky, however.

[Ream] I put $500,000 on GameStop,

it didn't work out.

And then this is when
I really started spiking, hits 848.

And then, from then on, it was like…

[imitates explosion sounds and laughing]

Five bucks, um, buy us a Happy Meal.

GameStop is back at it again.

Shares skyrocketed
more than 100% on Wednesday.

Memestock mania is back.

[Ream] As far as, like,
my future endeavors,

I bought up like
a thousand GameStop shares.

I'm not scared to go broke.
None of us are giving up.

I bought it at $263 per share.
So I was down.

I asked my husband, I was like,
"It's either we walk away now,"

"I just take my loss
and just forget about it."

"Or put more money in [chuckles]
and average down,"

"and hopefully it'll go up
to a couple more bucks"

"and let's just get out
and just break even."

I, uh… I more than 10x'd my--
my, uh… my initial bet.

Yeah, so, it was--
it was good, it was exciting.

'Cause it's a lot of money.
It means I could take some time off.

Do-- Do-- you know, do some
other stuff I was trying to do in my life.

-So, you know. [laughs]
-[producer] Gotcha.

-Buy sushi. Bought sushi.
-Oh, yeah. We got a fancy sushi dinner.


A lot of people like to say
the hedge funds are greedy,

but I think a lot
of the GameStop investors,

we were greedy too.

If I wasn't greedy, I maybe would have
took my profits at 15 or took them at 20,

but I held on for the ride

and really it was like, an experience
like nothing else. [chuckles]

[woman] No, not yet! I mean--

[child] Mom, you're doing this--

[man] $250,000 was what I took home.

I mean, a year ago,
I would have never imagined

I could provide for my family like this.

It's one of those, like,
once-in-a-lifetime type of things.

[Sasaki] They say, you know,
you should see a 100-year flood

every 100 years or whatever.

But I've seen a lot of 100-year
floods in my 30 years on Wall Street.

I think in the case of shorting stocks,

everyone is now questioning, you know,
could a WallStreetBets happen again?

There's a lot of analysis
of trading volume and trading patterns

that led up to the squeeze
that people are now scanning for

with their spreadsheets
and Bloomberg Terminals.

[Gill] As for me, I like the stock.

I'm as bullish as I've ever been on
a potential turnaround for GameStop.

And I remain invested in the company.

Thank you. Cheers, everyone.

[Dr. Bogan] Markets
are not perfectly efficient

because it's a collection of people,

and they have, you know,
flaws, biases, imperfections.

And so markets aren't
perfectly efficient either.

Wall Street has rigged the game.
I mean, the-- the--

the playing field is so unlevel.

It's totally tilted to the
big firms and the billionaires.

[Lorenz] If everybody felt like
they were part of the same system,

I don't think that there would be
this anger and this resentment.

[Banerji] There is a power shift
and I think it's important to acknowledge

that literally TikTok
and Twitter and Reddit,

they've become forums for information
and-- and they clearly can move markets.

[Sloan] A cynic would say, "Ah, well,
you know, it's a passing fancy."

But the Kardashians are still here, right?

Look at that arc
and apply it to financial markets.

And tell me whether you believe
that socially mobilized investing

is actually gonna disappear.

We'll see what happens.
But this isn't the last Black Swan event.

[laughing] This isn't
the last crisis we'll see.

[Tobitt] We're hanging around.
We're not going anywhere.

We are now getting a
very, very big megaphone.

We're not letting go of it.

♪ I like the stock ♪

♪ Wait, what stock? GameStop? ♪

♪ We about to go ape
Like Dr. Burry did in '08 ♪

♪ I'm never paper handing, no way ♪

♪ I'm bullish, bad at olé ♪

♪ Suing Vlad like I'm O'Shea ♪

♪ I'm not a cat, okay? ♪

-♪ I like the stock ♪
-♪ GME ♪

♪ You like it? ♪

♪ We on our Walter White shit
We the ones who knock! ♪

♪ I am the one who knocks ♪

♪ I like the stock ♪

♪ And when those shorts squeeze
You gonna need a smock ♪

♪ I like the stock
I like the stock ♪

♪ I just did a 900 like I'm Tony Hawk ♪

♪ Actually I'm talking about
How many shares I bought ♪

♪ Dollar-cost averaging
Waiting for a price drop ♪

♪ And as for me ♪

♪ I like the stock ♪

♪ You like it? ♪

♪ I did it for the meme ♪

♪ Bro, what the fuck you mean? ♪

♪ I did it for the LOLs
I did it for the dream ♪

♪ Bring the hedgies to their knees ♪

♪ Cup the balls, stroke the shaft ♪

-♪ My Lamborghini plantain ♪
-♪ Plantain ♪

-♪ Tell me what the fuck was you sayin' ♪
-♪ You saying ♪

♪ My strategy was too ape
Like didn't y'all do 2008? ♪

-♪ I like the stock ♪
-♪ GME ♪

♪ You like it? ♪

♪ I like the stock ♪

♪ You like it? ♪

-♪ I like the stock ♪
-♪ GME ♪

♪ You like it? ♪

♪ I like the stock ♪

[distorted] ♪ I am the one who knocks ♪