Defiant amateur investors on Reddit say they are not backing down on their investments in GameStop — and even took out billboards in Times Square and across the country urging the faithful to continue holding the line.
“$GME GO BRRR,” blared a digital ad on the corner of 54th and Broadway in Manhattan. The ad ran for an hour on Friday and was a creation of digital billboard maker Matei Psatta.
The line refers to a popular internet meme that uses “Brrr” to signify the sound a money-printing machine makes. GME is the stock’s ticker symbol on the NY Stock Exchange.
Investors on Reddit have driven the price of GameStop — a dusty mall electronics retailer that was worth a pittance on the market last year — to astronomical highs in just days. From a value of just under $40 a share on Jan. 14, the stock skyrocketed to $483 a share. Though price swings have been extremely volatile, the stock has spent much of the last five days comfortably above $300.
The “movement” was initially organized by those on the Reddit page WallStreetBets. The pirate investors convulsed markets all week, pumping up Gamestop’s price in an effort to stick it to hedge fund short-sellers who bet against the stock and planned to profit from its failure. Instead, prices surged because of the renegade buyers, and some Wall Street institutions were brought to their knees.
“For the first time, it is almost as if God gave a reason for all us to band together to battle corruption and stand for what is clearly right. I have never experienced unity like this before, regardless of where you belong in the political spectrum, everyone is unified in what needs to be done,” posted one Reddit user, using almost biblical terms.
The movement has resulted in potentially billions in losses for the Wall Street barons, one of whom — Melvin Capital — required a $2 billion bailout from hedge fund boss and Mets owner Steve Cohen.
An effort by trading app Robin Hood to prevent GameStop purchases during the height of the frenzy has now resulted in a class action lawsuit against the company. Populist politicians on both sides of the aisle have also gotten into the act.
“This is unacceptable. We now need to know more about @RobinhoodApp’s decision to block retail investors from purchasing stock while hedge funds are freely able to trade the stock as they see fit,” Queens Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet. “As a member of the Financial Services Cmte, I’d support a hearing if necessary.”
Texas GOP Sen. Tex Cruz added that he “Fully agreed.”
Psatta, 29, told The Post his Times Square billboard cost him just $18, since it was just a one hour purchase from his own company.
“Did it purely to support the movement and make some people smile,” he said. “I’m considering running another but want to see how the sentiment is on Monday.”
In conservative Oklahoma, another digital ad was spotted along a lonely highway: “We’re not leaving! GME,” read the message, alongside a string of emojis.
A photo of the billboard taken by Oklahoman Tess Jenkins ultimately found its way to the WallStreetBets subreddit page, which originally kicked off the frenzy.
“We drove by it and took the picture,” Jenkins, 34, told The Post, saying she and her husband had seen another post about the billboard Friday evening and went out for a drive to look for it.
“I think it’s great. I think more power to the people. I am excited. I am very happy this is happening. This last year has been kind of crazy. I’ve enjoyed it. My husband has been dancing,” she said.