The emboldened Reddit investors who drove up the price of GameStop stock last week are using billboards in Florida to recruit new members as they continue their war against stock market short-sellers on Wall Street.
WallStreetBets (WSB), better known as r/WallStreetBets on Reddit.com, made waves in the financial world last week after the 7 million member community catapulted GameStop’s diminishing stock and torched bearish hedge funds looking to capitalize on short-selling the brick and mortar video-game retail chain. The phenomenon, championed by individual investors, surged GameStop’s value from just under $40 at the beginning of 2021 to historic heights of $483 a share, resulting in hedge funds like Melvin Capital and Citron Research losing billions of dollars in their attempt to bet against the company.
The chaotic short squeeze pulled off by defiant Reddit users dominated last week’s national news cycle. The movement gained momentum after receiving praise from Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, as well as from both sides of the political aisle — with Senator Ted Cruz and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez backing the internet investors and calling for additional oversight on Wall Street.
Users of the Reddit group are now taking the fight against Wall Street to new heights (literally). Members of the group have begun purchasing billboard space in major metropolitan areas to motivate others to continue buying shares and further inflate GameStop’s price. The stock opened Monday down slightly from its Friday close of $325 per share.
Some of those billboards appeared in Orlando over the weekend.
One member of the group, going by the username aBetterNation, has purchased ten billboards in Orlando, encouraging Floridians to join the group and push back against entities looking to protect hedge funds from further market exposure. The user, who has decided to remain anonymous, bought several ad spaces across major highways in Orlando. Two ads are currently up — located at 2301 Sand Lake Rd. and 7350 Narcoossee Rd. — with the rest going live on Monday, according to a thread on Reddit.
The user made the announcement on WSB’s Reddit page, garnering 30,000 upvotes and over 1,000 comments. The mysterious Redditor says he hopes the billboards will help grow the WSB agenda and prompt others to invest in the stock.
“I sold my shares for a massive profit and was completely out of the trade with a 600% gain. However, after watching the events of Thursday unfold like limiting only the buy-side of the trade and the ridiculous claims of the media that they are concerned about the retail investors getting hurt, I bought back in and decided to help our community grow by purchasing billboard space,” aBetterNation said in an exclusive interview with The Capitolist.
The user, who claims he’s a resident of Miami, said he also wants the movement to motivate media outlets to zero in on brokers and hedge fund professionals who tried to bully everyday Americans and keep “outsiders” from benefiting from the market.
“If the media really cared about the retail investors why weren’t they condemning Robinhood or any broker for allowing market makers to sell out of the money options that are certain to expire worthless to these new investors? No one ever cared about retail taking on that insane level of risk by buying these options, but now all of a sudden, when there’s a risky but winning trade, everyone cares. They can go fly a kite.
“It’s a free market, and at the end of the day someone is going to buy at the top and end up with massive losses, but this happens every day outside of GameStop,” he continued.
Despite many investment moguls and political pundits praising the internet stunt, the pendulum swing in GameStop’s price set off a panic alarm among the Wall Street suits, resulting in brokerage firms and trading applications to halt users from buying and selling the trending stock. Robinhood, a popular free stock-trading app that promotes “investing for everyone,” came under fire after the app placed restrictions on the volatile shares and limited how much consumers could buy, outraging the app’s user base.
While the rise of GameStop’s stock and subsequent fallout has resulted in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announcing that they will monitor Robinhood and other brokerage firms for their actions, that hasn’t stopped WSB from rallying their troops and keeping the crosshairs on Wall Street managers looking to change the rules midgame.