Saturday night.

Another day of absolutely nothing but gaming with a bit of Spanish and exercise. Yay life.

The Gamestop situation used to be as absurd as a South Park episode, but now it’s gotten even stranger. Some very passionate redditors are buying billboards on highways (apparently, they’re quite cheap) and, in one case, on Times Square, to promote Gamestop. More than that, one of them hired a plane to fly the “Suck my nuts Robinood” banner right above Robinhood’s headquarters. Heh. It really is amazing what people will do if they get sufficiently angry and get some cash to play with.

At the same time, there are some reports that Robinhood blocked access to account statements, which are required to transfer accounts someplace safer and better, like Fidelity. That is huge if true. The upcoming week should be very interesting: if this blatant criminality continues, at what point will the SEC intervene? Even in the best-case scenario, it’d take 3-5 business days to move your account to a new broker, and a lot can happen in that time. (More market manipulation, for instance.) And in non-best-case scenario, which we seem to have here, you can’t move your account at all.

My own broker, Ally, stopped locking people out of their accounts by means of a disabled login page, but it’s not showing accurate account balances. Still unclear if that’s the world’s most polite market manipulation or if their IT guy ragequit and destroyed all the servers behind him. (May the bridges you burn light your way.) I sold all my Gamestop three days ago, just before my beloved broker locked me out, and I currently have only a relatively small position in one of the other “meme stocks” as the media calls them. I’m very patient, so all of this is rather entertaining and not as stressful as it must be for millions of Robinhood users out there. This will be such an entertaining week… I wonder how many hedge funds will bite the dust when all of this is over.

In covid news, they’re reopening restaurants in California (specifically, in Los Angeles County) and later on in Alberta. Those two places don’t usually have much in common but I suspect the basic theme is the same: angry business owners lobbying their local politicians so as to not go bankrupt. Both Los Angeles and Alberta have been seeing a decline in new cases. Then again, I wonder how much of that decline is just due to the spike in holiday cases that’s finally going down. Meanwhile, the new and more contagious variants are spreading: there are sporadic reports of them being spotted in community transmissions here and there. If this goes the same way it did in England, it’ll get ugly, and the decision to reopen restaurants will look remarkably awful in retrospect. I really hope it works out for them, eh.

Enjoy your covid-free weekend, y’al.