In this read, we’re going to set aside the unnecessary bloat of economics, the GDP, productivity, inflation, flaws in modern policy, trade deals, the interest rates – the faff, if you will. In this read, we are even going to set aside rational thinking, logic, and morality. Setting aside these values and principles may seem backward, but I assure you, it is merely a step in the right direction towards ascension. ‘Ascension?’ you ask. ‘But I just want to read a blog post by a politically charged 20-something year old trying to convince himself that he can both have rudimentary knowledge of economics and be funny at the same time’, you say. ‘I didn’t come for any kind of enlightenment, and blog posts certainly don’t contain knowledge’. Well that might be true, and for the record I do in fact know what a GDP is, but today we’re going to ascend together. Ascend into a being of pure degeneracy and money, a being so driven by making money that the only unit of measurement we’ll need is a Jerome Powell. Today, we’re going to become one with r/wallstreetbets.
Wall street what?
‘Wall street? Wall street bets? What on earth? Where is this train wreck going?’ Absolutely fair questions. Let us begin our journey. r/wallstreetbets, or r/wsb as I shall call it from now on, is a popular ‘subreddit’ on social media and unwarranted-opinion-generator site ‘Reddit’. Some of you may be familiar with Reddit, and some of you even r/wsb, god bless your souls. For those of you who aren’t, Reddit is merely a website that is an image-based discussion-board site – you post a question, statement or image, and people can respond to it and have a discussion about it and with each other. It’s like Facebook, but with less alarmingly angry people and more unnecessarily condescending people.
So now, the golden question: what is r/wallstreetbets? Is that plural? Is there such thing as a single wallstreetbet? We may never know, but simply put (foreshadowing), r/wsb is a place for ascended individuals to gather round and in an entirely misinformed and brazen manner, try and beat Wall Street. That’s right, r/wsb is essentially a cult, that its core is about losing money in alarming amounts.
Where’s the Economics in all of this?
Now let’s discuss how and why this congregation of primates is so obsessed with losing their money, and how they do it. We’re going to be talking about finance for the next little bit, but not long enough for you to feel like you’re learning something, so don’t worry.
If you navigate over to r/wsb you will notice that a large amount of posts mention one of two, maybe three, things: ‘calls’, and ‘puts’, and J-pow (essential discussion later). Calls and puts are the bread and butter of r/wsb and are a form of trading *ahem* gambling *ahem* in stock markets. Simply put, when engaging in a call, you are effectively betting, with your vast intuition and infinitely powerful predictive senses, that a certain asset (usually stocks) will depreciate to a certain amount, and therefore you can buy it, if you’re correct. The more value the asset appreciates during your call, the more money you make.
A put works exactly the opposite way; bet an asset depreciates to a value, the more under that value the better, and you sell assets, not buy them. This is extremely risky generally speaking, because you’re relying on your knowledge of complicated markets with all sorts of factors influencing them every single hour, and then trying to ‘beat’ said complicated markets to make money. Not the easiest thing ever, and frankly is a bit of a crapshoot. It’s essentially as hard as you think it would be, add in the fact the majority of the regulars on r/wsb are young males googling it as they go and… exactly.
And so forms the foundation of r/wsb. Congratulations, you have overcome the second step of your journey to ascension. Do you feel smarter? If yes, just re-read the last couple of paragraphs a few times until you suddenly feel the urge to sell your car and you’re back on track.
Save us J-POW, SAVE US
We’re now going to sidetrack from the above degeneracy into something much more cultured, exquisite, one could even argue…refined: American politics. I know what you’re thinking, but American politics is more refined than r/wsb by a surprisingly large amount – disturbing indeed. Specifically, we’re going to talk about r/wsb’s idolized magician of money, the prophet of options, the savior of stonks: Jerome Powell, better known as his r/wsb-mandated-alter-ego J-Pow.
You see, J-Pow is not just your regular man, oh no, not only does he enjoy coffee with his breakfast, love the smell of a freshly mowed lawn, wears socks with different animals on them every day, and takes pride in that he totally nailed the Gangnam Style dance that one time in 2012, but he also happens to be the chair of the American Federal Reserve. That’s right, ya boy J-Pow is not only a truly patriotic American working hard in the political system, he also happens to run the entire American economy on the weekends for a bit of fun. And fun for him it is indeed.
The Tried and True
The Covid-19 outbreak has hit countries around the world at varying times and different magnitudes. Australia, for instance, has once again confirmed that literally nothing happens in Perth, and that NSW is just generally a bit of a naff place to live. None of this is probably news to you, but what might be news to you is the absolutely tremendous regime America (bear with me) developed quickly (please) to deal with the root cause of the issue (I swear I’m telling the truth): J-Pow. J-Pow singlehandedly stopped the virus with his divine being, and his trusty (here it comes), tried and true… money printer.
That’s right, inflation has no effect on the divine being that is J-Pow, so his printer and angelic hands alone are the only thing between America’s people and the virus. For those who have not necessarily been watching international news, I’m referring to the stimulus packages that Americans received not too long ago, in a similar nature to the ones we’ve received here. The packages were obviously welcome and significant, but with the lack of a robust and well-funded medical system (i.e. not private), testing and screening for the virus is almost impossible to be done effectively in America. This is not great, seeing as it has generally been observed to be the best method of handling it quickly in other countries: lockdown, test anyone sick, make sure they don’t go out, stimulate the economy where needed, wait it out.
Hang on, was that two sentences in a row with a serious tone? Let’s talk about r/wsb’s take on J-Pow instead. They loved it, absolutely loved it. For at least a week after the stimulus packages were announced and J-Pow started manning the money printer day and night, every post in r/wsb wasn’t even about losing money, it was about that damned printer.
There were some exceptionally funny memes posted regarding J-Pow and his tried and true, and some of the best will be linked to at the bottom of this post. Note that some of them may not be entirely PG etc., and are absolutely optional (but a recommended) viewing. You know, recommended in the same way the ‘review’ lecture in the last week of your hardest university course is: the lecturer ‘accidentally’ mentioned something that will be on the exam.
The Pinnacle of Wall Street… Bets
Now we’ve discussed the intricate nature of r/wsb and their leader through these trying times, let’s finally do what the young generation was borne to do: peruse memes. Let’s talk about r/wsb’s all-time greatest moments, and maybe some others just because it’s funny. I’m going to do this by looking at the most upvoted/liked posts in the past year, which is when r/wsb has really become popular and terrible.
The first to discuss amongst this fine collection is a meme that addresses the oil price crash: to solve it, simply print a ‘Supreme’ logo on the barrel, and the value will go from $37 to $5000. Very thorough use of economic theory.
The next is a video of Warren Buffet and Bill gates working at a fast food store that has been dubbed over with tongue-in-cheek and sarcastic remarks about topical events. This one is a personal favorite, and not PG.
Next up is a simple picture of someone’s portfolio returns, in which the poor soul is down $150,000 in the last 3 months. The replies to this thread are as supportive and empathetic as you’d imagine – not at all. This post is the heart of r/wsb, celebrating the death of people’s investments.
Classic 4 is another dubbed clip, this time over the program ‘Shark Tank’, with Nike’s CEO supposedly pitching Nike shares to the sharks. Like the last clip, not PG but hilarious.
My all-time personal favorite is another video titled ‘The Federal Reserve VS Covid-19’. This absolute masterpiece is a commentary on our lad J-Pow and Trump’s efforts, all edited to the sound of Bonnie Tyler’s ‘I need a hero’. It’s practically the reason for this blog post.
So that’s it really, there’s not much else to talk about that’s worth what’s left of your patience. r/wsb is a gem, a dirty gem, probably paid for with blood money, but a gem nonetheless. I’m sorry if you wanted to learn something in the last little bit, and I appreciate your time. However, if you really are still set on learning something, visiting r/wallstreetbets will absolutely teach you how to waste your money. Congratulations on your ascension, and I’m truly honored to be the one who initiated you in the glorious cycle of stonks. I’m William Palfrey, your spiritual and financial guide, and thanks for reading.