In this clip, Jordan Belfort detailed going from giving motivational speeches for free to charging over $200,000 an appearance after years of rebuilding his reputation following prison. At this point in life, Belfort explained how he doesn’t measure success simply in dollars and cents, but rather focuses on the carefree life he lives. Elsewhere in the clip, Jordan Belfort gets a little annoyed with Vlad and accuses him of pushing a particular narrative as a result of his line of questioning.
It’s been 100 years since the Tulsa race massacre, one of the worst acts of racial violence in US history. Commemorations honoring the victims have not only brought more attention to the atrocity; they have also revealed a deep national divide over what justice looks like, and whether reparations should be part of it.
The GameStop frenzy on Wall Street has investors, and much of the internet, enraptured — not unlike a good horror movie. Everyone knows doom is just around the corner for some key players; a lucky few will emerge stronger; and the monster might be subdued but will ultimately come back for a sequel.
The popular Reddit page WallStreetBets is fond of targeting short-sellers. If you’ve ever played craps, these are the guys betting against the table, and their tactics, while often lucrative, have burnished their reputation as bloodsuckers and other, unpublishable, names. (More on that later.)
It’s not hard to understand why someone would short GameStop, however. The company is expected to lose money this year and next. Sales growth is sluggish because gamers no longer need to go to the mall to buy games or consoles. That said, some investors have argued that GameStop was seriously undervalued, especially when video games have become staples of the stay-at-home pandemic era.
The GameStop stock surge began for a legitimate reason: The company announced on January 11 it had added three new directors to its board, including Chewy co-founder Ryan Cohen. Investors liked that Cohen brought digital experience to the table, something the largely brick-and-mortar GameStop desperately needs, as video games go digital and malls continue their unending slump into irrelevance.
GameStop’s stock rose a little less than 13% that day. But this wasn’t a normal, momentary stock surge. Two days later, it rose 57%. Then 27%. The next week, it surged 10% twice and 51% another day. This week, it rose another 18% then 93% and more than doubled today.
The reason is two-fold, both of which are far removed from anything related to the company’s fundamental strength: Investors following the Reddit group bought a ton of GameStop options, and short-sellers had to buy shares to cover their losing bids.
On Wednesday, while all three major stock indexes tumbled, GameStop finished up a mind-boggling 134%.
For perspective: One year ago, a single share cost about $4. It’s now $200.
Options are bets investors place on a stock, allowing them to buy (a “call” option) or sell (a “put” option) at a particular price. That allows people to wager on whether a stock will rise or fall.
Investors can place relatively inexpensive options bets and sell those options as they rise in value when the stock price gets closer to their wager. Although buying and selling options isn’t the same as buying and selling stocks, big options volumes can drive a stock up or down, typically because options traders buy or sell the stock itself as a hedge.
In the case of GameStop and other stocks targeted by WSB, traders keep buying options, forcing the investors selling those options to hedge their bets by buying up GameStop stock.
WallStreetBets, which has more than 2 million followers, is littered with posts cheering the stock gains and no small amount of righteous indignation.
“What I think is happening is that you guys are making such an impact that these fat cats are worried that they have to get up and put in work to earn a living,” a moderator in the group posted this week.”That fuzzy sensation you are feeling is called RESPECT and it is well earned. Wall Street no longer dismisses your presence anymore.”
Elon Musk appeared to join the pile-on Tuesday with a single-word tweet — “Gamestonk!!” — that linked to WallStreetBets. Tech investor Chamath Palihapitiya dipped his toe in the frenzy, buying call options on Tuesday but closing his position Wednesday, he told CNBC. Palihapitiya said he would donate his profits to charity and defended the retail-investing phenomenon playing out on Reddit.
“Instead of having ‘idea dinners’ or quiet whispered conversations amongst hedge funds in the Hamptons, these kids have the courage to do it transparently in a forum,” he said. “What it proves is this retail [investor] phenomenon is here to stay.”
The GameStop saga is a battle of new school vs. old school, amateur vs. professional, rebels vs. the establishment. At the moment, the kids are winning. But, like all bubbles, this one’s going to burst at some point.
Reddit has acquired Dubsmash, the lipsyncing video app which launched in 2014 and was largely supplanted when TikTok showed up.
Announced via Reddit’s blog on Sunday, the annexing of Dubsmash’s 12-person team to Reddit’s 700-strong horde is the popular website’s first major acquisition in its 15-year history.
While the financial terms of the agreement haven’t been disclosed, Dubsmash will be keeping its own platform and separate branding. Dubsmash’s Android and Apple apps will continue to operate as normal, with its video creation tools simply integrated into Reddit’s infrastructure.
Reddit currently allows users to upload and livestream videos, however its editing capabilities are somewhat lacklustre — a problem this acquisition hopes to address.
“The transition to video will be bigger than the transition to mobile,” Reddit co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman said, speaking via the Wall Street Journal. Which sounds fake, but okay. Pivots to video historically haven’t worked out well, but perhaps the distinction between editorial and user-created content will yield better results.
Dubsmash went through a slow decline in the wake of its 2015 popularity boom, before revamping itself in 2017 to stage an unlikely comeback. While still not as successful as TikTok, the short-form video app established a significant audience by focusing on the one demographic still using it — Black teenagers in the U.S.
As such, both Reddit and Dubsmash’s acquisition announcements heavily emphasised the diverse, underrepresented creators who use the app. According to Reddit, a quarter of Black teens in the U.S. use Dubsmash, while 70 percent of users are women or girls.
“By joining forces with Reddit, we expand our ability to serve the creators that represent the lifeblood of Dubsmash, helping them connect, share, and deepen their impact on culture,” wrote Dubsmash co-founders Suchit Dash, Jonas Drüppel and Tim Specht. The trio further reaffirmed their goal to “[create] a safe and welcoming platform for underrepresented communities.”
“Both Reddit and Dubsmash share a deep rooted respect for how communities come together,” said Huffman. “Dubsmash elevates under-represented creators, while Reddit fosters a sense of community and belonging across thousands of different topics and passions.”
Cattelan himself has offered no direction on how to interpret the work, but MrPerrotin previously told CNN the bananas are “a symbol of global trade, a double entendre, as well as a classic device for humour”.
The installation has fast become one of the most talked-about works at this year’s Art Basel, with several viewers lining up to take selfies with the piece. One passerby was heard declaring the work “the best of the show”. However some art fans were less than impressed, with one, Weezie Chandler, telling local media: “You can do anything and once you’re established you can get away with it.”
The gallery said Cattelan spent a year working on the piece and had originally envisioned a sculpture shaped like a banana.
“Every time he travelled, he brought a banana with him and hung it in his hotel room to find inspiration. He made several models: first in resin, then in bronze and in painted bronze,” the gallery said in a statement.
Ultimately, the gallery said, Cattelan decided a real banana was the perfect fit.