Eat the Rich: Gamestop Saga Review

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Eat the Rich: The Gamestop Saga is now streaming on Netflix.

Eat the Rich: The Gamestop Saga does an admirable job of summarizing the events of early 2021, in which a group of day traders stuck at home used the Robinhood app to buy falling Gamestop stock. This short squeeze, as it is called, sent stock prices soaring while jeopardizing many of the hedge funds that had bet on the company’s impending failure. At the time, it was a story that inspired a kind of fascination with car wrecks, while various TV talking heads were quick to label it a “David vs. Goliath” story.

Of course, once the fleeting urge wore off and the media spotlight came on and the stock eventually returned to basement or near-basement levels, many retail investors lost a lot of money. Money and hedge funds have gone back to doing what they do –– shorting stocks and betting on other people’s economic misery. Cynical? Maybe, but it’s a reality that Netflix’s new documentary series focuses on while trying to make a fairly complicated subject matter something wider audiences can understand.

While a dramatized version of those events starring Seth Rogen and Pete Davidson is on the way, this documentary seems like a good enough summary to do the trick, putting human faces to the story. Directed by Theo Love (The Legend of Cocaine Island), the three-part series (which, at under 120 minutes, could have––and probably should–– easily been a feature-length special) focuses on the events surrounding the Gamestop’s surge first contextualizing the state of play around the start of 2021. The pandemic had left many homeworkers out of work, out of time, or both, and the launch of the Robinhood app a few years ago had facilitated investment for many who would not have thought of it otherwise.

Part of what Love does well is focus specifically on a handful of “ordinary” investors who have interacted with the Gamestop stock at various times during its skyrocketing journey, such as house husband Eddie Koo and budding rapper Mikey Guggenheim (we could have done without featuring budding Guggenheim raps, though). Some embraced each other dramatically when the dust settled, others less so, but these are all people not generally expected to make their voices heard in the financial market. By contrast, Love also makes sure to give time to several hedge fund managers (some of whom are so conceited they practically dare to boo and whistle) who offer their own take on what does and does not constitute a stock. viable. based on decades of experience in the financial sector.

In the age of social media, such wisdom from above was no longer needed, and with the arrival of the Reddit forum wallstreetbets, we suddenly saw the rise of “meme stocks” which Redditors happily transformed in weapons to stick them to the big cats. . It’s obviously a reductive way of discussing what was and is a convoluted multi-pronged situation, with few clearly defined ‘bad guys’ and ‘good guys’, but social media has a way of boiling down the nuance of the most discussions. And so you had TV personalities like Mad Money’s Jim Cramer — who first encouraged Redditors to jack up Gamestop prices and encouraged them to cash in while they could — being ridiculed and belittled online, leading him to wonder aloud in the doc what he did wrong.

Now, rather than getting lost in the weeds of jargon, the doc borrows a trick from Adam McKay’s 2015 film. The big court weaving in explainers to take some pretty obscure Wall Street concepts and lay them out with fun images, animations, and captioned gifs. It’s not quite School House Rock but it does something similar. This is all helpful in acknowledging not only how abnormal it was for a stock to do what Gamestop did, but ultimately how the system is set up so that an event like this repeats is unlikely at best. .

Theo Love’s Eat the Rich: The Gamestop Saga is a simple, easy-to-digest summary of events recent enough to feel timely.

This is the final and sobering achievement at the end of Part Three. Robinhood, the app that was supposed to put the power of Wall Street into the hands of ordinary people, was just another way to separate them from their money – another system of control. The same financial system that has allowed the extremely wealthy to continue to grow their wealth exorbitantly is designed in such a way that those on the outside will rarely do anything but look out. The Gamestop saga was an example where the tables turned, but the mere fact that it happened once makes it all the more unlikely that it will happen again.

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