Tuesday night.

The battle of meme stonks continues. Today, in combination with alarmist media coverage, continued (though improving) limits on buying, and synchronized sell-offs (likely algorithms, possibly short ladders, maybe both), Gamestop fell by exactly 60%, as did other hyped-up stocks. Looks like I made the right decision to sell and take my profits six days ago. (I had some serious doubts, but my innate cynicism won in the end. Huzzay!) Those who joined the party late and invested the money they didn’t have… Well, the so-called “loss porn” stories are already coming in. Washington Post already ran an article about someone who lost $400,000 of unrealized profits. Incidentally, the article makes no mentions of trading limits that cut off the oxygen supply last Thursday. Heh.

And now… I took the opportunity to average down for my Blackberry position: they have a very bright future ahead of them. It’s unclear whether the meme stonks (BANG: BB, AMC, NOK, and GME) will recover. Incidentally, the highly-pumped SLV ETF I mentioned yesterday fell by 8.3% today: as pump-and-dumps schemes go, that one was very short-lived. (And of course the newbies who lost money on it will blame the r/wallstreetbets community. What a perfect setup, eh.) One silver lining of that mushroom cloud was that we collectively managed to – hopefully – bring down an entire hedge fund. It might have been a relatively small one, but still – we shot an elephant with a slingshot. A T-Rex would’ve been more impressive, sure, but most people never even get close to getting an elephant. Netflix has already announced that they’ve started working on a movie about this whole saga. Entertainment aside, there’ll be decades of research and thousands of PhDs about this entire Gamestop affair. I can’t wait to read them all – after I find my next great investment, that is.

Made a new friend today: a rare treat, a voice chat with a new person in my life. At work, someone on the investing-related mailing list finally noticed my references to lean-FIRE. (Financial Independence, Retire Early; the “lean” part means a cheap lifestyle in retirement.) Just had a 40-minute conversation with her, and it felt great to bounce ideas off a fellow young person passionate about leaving the rat race. Her approach deals with options, not stocks, and her plans for 300% annual growth are a little far out, but kudos for the huge ambition. Alas, since she’s in Chicago, there won’t be any quarantine coffee plans, but still… This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Just a few hours ago, Jeff Bezos announced that he’ll be stepping down as Amazon’s CEO in the third quarter. He’ll still be the executive chair and play part in key decisions, but he’ll be able to spend most of his time and energy on other things. I can’t wait to see what he’ll do with his Blue Origin company. In the end, the space race may come down to a race between Bezos and Musk (whose prototype rocket just blew up earlier today) – like with many other innovations, progress in this venture will come from a dick-measuring contest. Anyway, Bezos has spent 27 years of his life building up Amazon from a small start-up (he did have seed money; it wasn’t a cardboard box enterprise) to a behemoth with $119.7 billion in quarterly sales. I was seven years old when Amazon was created… The idea of an enterprise that consumes 27 years of one’s life is unimaginable to me. This will be an interesting year.

In covid news, this is really interesting. A new study by the University of California, San Francisco has found that line cooks are the most likely occupation to die of covid. Their mortality risk has gone up by 60% during the pandemic. The four runner-up occupations are line workers in warehouses, agricultural workers, bakers, and construction workers. That’s so very counterintuitive (you’d think it’d be nurses, wouldn’t you?) but it makes sense in retrospect, and also goes some way toward explaining why the death toll, at least in the US, had such disproportionately high minority representation. I’ll be very curious to see if this study’s findings will be used to reshuffle the vaccination order for critical population, to make the distribution more equitable. (As a 34-year-old hermit who works from home, I’ll be the very last one to get it, I know.) They probably won’t be, but here is hoping, eh?

Buenas noches, mis amigos.