Tetmeyer: We need to protect brokers from the masses

Columnist Grant Tetmeyer pokes fun at the recent GameStop crisis. 

Grant Tetmeyer

Editor’s Note: The following column is a satire piece. 

My friends, this last week has been host to one of the biggest violations of the American Economic System, with everyday people spitting in the face of respected and well-educated stock brokers and hedge fund managers that help thousands of people make hundreds of dollars while making themselves millions. These great men and women have spent years learning how to swindle people out of their own money and make them think they will actually make a profit. And now, these brave soldiers of the banking jungle have been put out to pastor by these unwashed masses. 

If you have been living under a rock this last week, I am referring to the massive squeeze on fund managers that was executed by a group of internet hooligans trying to cost hard working brokers their jobs using GameStop stock. These same hooligans have now committed unsanctioned market manipulation, and not the sanctioned manipulation that brokers are well-versed in. And now, these internet crusaders have put our hard-working institutions under even more unneeded stress. 

If you need a refresher, dear reader, I shall supply one. Hundreds of amateur traders, fueled by the Reddit page r/WallStreetBets, started buying up call-option contracts on GameStop stock. This is the option that allows people to profit off the appreciation of a stock while putting down only a portion of the worth. This provided a low-risk way for the amateurs to drive up the price of the stock, making a quick buck while costing hedge funds and seasoned traders millions who bet against the stock.  

Now, I understand the desire behind the move made by these armchair traders. Hard-working traders and brokers have been portrayed as the bad guys in movies and television and in the news, though that last one only really happens every time the economy collapses. Some may have even participated to try to save the mall icon that GameStop has cemented itself as. But the question still stands: What will happen when the stock crashes? 

Some trading apps such as Robinhood and Interactive Brokers have taken heroic steps to help stabilize the market by denying small-time traders the right to buy and sell stocks like GameStop, AMC and BlackBerry. This way, large firms and brokers don’t have to worry about the American people actually learning and using the system against them.  

Where do we go from here now? If a group of weekend video game warriors can pull off such a massive market shake up, imagine if they target one of the big anonymous funds backed by a large bank and cause them a minor dip in profits. Because if we have learned anything from our numerous financial crises, it’s that we must protect American financial institutions from the American people.