There is no one single narrative that can cover what's happening. There literally can't be. The wall street bets subreddit has 4 MILLION members. Some of them are sticking it to wall street. Some are in it for the money. Some are bored, some are gamblers that can't help themselves.

All of this is irrelevant though, because the true value of what's happening is what it's revealing about wall street, the double standards, and the corruption of institutions that got us to this point.

2020 was eye opening in the same way re: institutional failure to handle the pandemic and racism, and 2021 is already shaping up to be just as tumultuous. We haven't even closed the first month of 2021, and the US capitol has already been stormed and wall street has been sent scrambling and begging for the sorts of regulations they stripped out decades ago because the people they've been screwing over for so long have turned the tables on them.

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How exactly are Wall street screwing over ordinary people? That's a really unhelpful (and inaccurate) narrative that is propagated around social media as a kind of 'truth', despite no real arguments to back it up.

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No real arguments? That's rich. The evidence over the past 40 years is in the decline of the middle class, the stagnation of wages, the lobbying to remove regulatory protections ensuring the stability of useful market operations, and much more. And who pays when all of this goes to hell, like it did in 2008? The tax payers. Not the richest 0.1% who benefit from lower tax burdens based on a failed neoliberal policies mind you, but the rest of us. Yes yes, they "paid those loans back" when they managed to get the pseudo-Ponzi scheme back up and running again. What a comfort.

Just look up all the criticism of the over-financialization of the economy after the 2008 financial crisis as the most basic starting point. Then look at what happened this past year, at how wall street incentives over decades led to offshoring the production of critical supplies that we needed during the pandemic, and so left western nations vulnerable. And still, wall street continued to profit while the rest of the country fell apart.

How you can claim with a straight face that wall street was not a major reason for the multiple institutional failures we've experienced over the last 20 years is beyond me.

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Serious question: How do you square your argument that there is no single narrative that can cover what's happening with your argument that "wall street" is to blame for all these things you mention?

I think one of the good points of the piece above is that its pretty useless to talk about "wall street" as a single monolithic body that one can fight against.

There are probably good arguments to be made about over-financialization of the economy and deregulation. There are probably also good arguments to be made about capital allocation and the use of the stock market in running pension schemes.

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You square it by recognizing that "wall street" is a label for the system with perverse incentives that inevitably lead to the perverse results. Of course not everyone in this system acts perversely, and I never claimed otherwise. But the system both encourages these perverse outcomes, and attracts those who have no qualms with acting perversely or constantly pushing the boundaries of what's acceptable.

So I think your interpretation of who you're fighting when people speakk badly of "wall street" is misplaced. Just like the BLM protests were not specifically about or attacking police officers, so much as attacking the existing structure and policies around "policing".

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That's some serious cognitive dissonance to go from "not one single narrative" to "it's all Wall St" in back-to-back posts. Catchy populist rhetoric, and it'd be sure to score plenty of hearts on Twitter, but I'm not going to let you pass the buck that easily.

Everyone always talks about "wage stagnation" and "increased productivity" like they're getting shafted. Meanwhile, all these evil, lobbying, polluting, 1% firms are making generally single digit net profits, and USA PPP far outpaces inflation, and remains near the top globally to this day. If everyone's wages went up then inflation would simply rise to match, but this is irrelevant as long as the basket of goods is getting cheaper, relative to wages, which it is. Collectively, we made the choice through our purchases to cut flatscreen TV prices by 85% over a decade rather than take it in our paychecks.

"Wall St's incentives" are your incentives. You want a cheaper medical bill, cheaper drywall installation, cheaper sandblasting on your municipal bridge repaint jobs, and a small fraction of each of these bills is PPP like the mask production you and everyone else now decry the outsourcing of (with 20/20 hindsight - of course). Have YOU lobbied your local government to only use sandblasting contractors that use 100% USA made P100 respirators when they repaint the rail or car bridge you use to commute to work? Of course not. You're just as culpable as Wall St.

Plenty on Wall St took a hit in 07-08, and sure, plenty also scored big. Regardless, the root cause of the crash wasn't Wall St - it was Main St not paying back their mortgages. Yes "the rest of us", again.

The top 10% pay 70.1% of income taxes, which constitute the bulk of USA tax receipts. Should they pay more? Maybe, but writing off the vast majority of the *actual* contributions as "not paying back" because it gets you hearts on Twitter does little to improve actual discourse, or have anyone not oozing confirmation biases take anything you say seriously.

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If you think my points are inconsistent, then you haven't understood the points being made, and I suggest you read my reply to Daniel above.

Frankly, most of your points are disingenuous at best, like your claim that we "made a choice through our purchases" implies that there was some sort of deliberation among available options; there were in fact, no options. The perverse market incentives established by wall street required competitors to seek those outcomes, regardless of whether their employees or the rest of the country wanted them (assuming they even know what was at stake, which they didn't). And of course, people had to purchase the cheaper goods produced offshore because it's not like their wages were going up. What use is "buy American" if you barely have enough to feed yourself or your kids as it is?

Furthermore, "wall street incentives" are not at all the incentives shared by the majority of Americans, let alone people globally. That claim is frankly laughable on the face of it. Go ahead and tell me with a straight face that people WANTED wall street to sell bad debt with 5 star ratings and cause the financial crisis so they could lose their homes. Go ahead and tell me that people WANTED critical goods like PPE to be produced offshore so that when a crisis hit, we couldn't protect ourselves or frontline workers. This is not a matter of hindsight, people have been raising these concerns for decades, but those people don't have the ear of politicians because who are the big political donors? I'm sure you know very well.

Your attempt to shift the blame by asking whether I've lobbied for USA made goods is typical. If I said yes, would my points be any more valid? If I said no, would they suddenly be invalid? No, of course not. The problem is ultimately the money in politics, because the government is supposed to be properly analyzing and making these decisions; every citizen cannot be fully informed of and attempt to influence every government decision, so your attempt to pass the buck on the people is again, disingenuous at best.

Elected representatives have been captured by monied interests because they need money for campaigns. Where does most of the money reside? You know exactly where, and so now you know why those special interests are served above all others.

Finally, for your information I barely even use Twitter, so I'm not here to score points, I'm here to point out the sickness that this Game Stop affair has very helpfully highlighted for us all. Tell me with a straight face in what other circumstances would an overvalued stock that led to a firm's bankruptcy require briefing the president of the United States, as is happening here. Only when wall street billionaires are feeling threatened does that happen.

This direct line to power has existed for decades, except it was hidden behind layers of bureaucracy and double talk before. If you want to continue denying the evidence right in front of you, I don't know what else to tell you.

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Yea yea, it's all everyone else's fault and you're just an innocent victim swept along with the tide. Got it. Domestic alternatives are available for almost everything except electronics, and even some of those are being made here now. Obscure domestics like electric fans are available professionally, domestically restored. Many tool manufacturers repatriated here because tradesman voted with their dollars. Your saying that you have no choice is a cop-out, plain and simple. I've known many people who lived very simply, some even off-grid and they probably bought less than 10 imported good all year. You have choices and you make them everyday - quantity over quality, desirable location in the city over an extra $200/month in your savings account, imports over domestic. You bought into the system because you value the benefits of cheap capital and modern convenience. Which is fine - but you don't get to complain about corporations giving you exactly what you ordered.

Once again - the debt in 07 wasn't bad. That was someone's mortgage you're talking about - and YES! They sure as hell did want that debt repackaged or they wouldn't have taken the mortgage! Then they stop making their payments and suddenly to the lefty looney tunes its they guys who loaned them the money they requested that are wholey responsible. Crazy. Both sides share blame. Repackaging mortgages to lower risk is extremely common and does work. This should be self evident to anyone with a modicum of common sense, although of course we know now that the formulas used in 07 were overly optimistic.

No firm went bankrupt, the term would be insolvent, and of course Biden was briefed, just like Bush would've been briefed on Enron, Obama would've been briefed on Solyndra, and Trump would've been briefed on Boeing. Oh, and Roosevelt would've been briefed on the banana wars and the economic underpinnings. Decades? Try millenia, and people knew about the banana wars at the time too. Wall St is on both sides of GME, as this article and the other day's said, and I've been saying even before I read it here. People with money use it to purchase influence, whether it's a wall street banker or Main St Joe tipping the bartender near his place extra to get it on lock for the honeys.

Yea, lobbying for USA made goods would make your complaints about outsourcing more valid. Hipocrisy detracts from validity. How do you feel about our new climate envoy's private jet?

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Question - is there any way to know who is behind the activity?

In this post, you link to a table of GameStock institutional ownership (totals 52M), but isn't the story a bit more nuanced than that: won't it depend on how much of that ownership is being floated and the mandate of those institutional investors?

Haven't seen much written about the dynamics of the different types of players in the ecosystem (e.g., could an ETF be taking bets? could an index fund? what actions are mandated in this case from its fiduciary duty?)

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