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Reality bites traders, memers and crypt-iots

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Melvin Capital is possibly the primary — but actually won’t be the last — hedge fund hammered out of business as markets wean themselves off the heroin of low cost money that has propelled stocks and nearly every thing else for the past two-plus years.

Hedge-fund investors, even those that run train wrecks like Melvin, do have a way of creating it through tough times. They still have their homes within the Hamptons or Miami as collateral, and infrequently way more than just a few million bucks stashed away for a rainy day.

So don’t cry for the large guys taking it on the chin. The query is, do the typical investors who became day traders lately and chased the bubble in crypto, meme stocks and other inflated assets deserve our sympathy?

Nope.

Yes, hedge funds and market pros are capitulating, a elaborate Wall Street word for surrendering to the truth that stocks or any of our bubble-induced assets are overvalued and it’s essential sell fast. But these wanna-be hedgies are generally holding on hard through the use of their “diamond hands” on crypto, meme stocks and every thing that kept going straight up over the past yr. They’re providing a buffer to the institutional selling, meaning that as bad as things are on the Nasdaq, S&P, crypto and loads more, they might be even worse if/when the little guy starts selling.

Do they know something the remaining of us don’t? They think so, which is why they’re the last ones out of this market. And it’s why we shouldn’t be hand-wringing about their losses. They’d it coming in spades.

Amongst the largest absurdities arising from the Fed-induced market bubble of the past two years is how lots of these novice traders thought they were smarter than the market pros. They piled into stocks in the course of the pandemic shutdowns because there was nothing higher to do. And who can blame them? The Fed was pumping astronomical amounts of liquidity into the system, making stock trading a no-lose proposition.

This photo illustration shows the logo of WallStreetBet on a computer and the Reddit logo.The meme-stock craze led people to following recommendations on Reddit on where to place their money. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

Drinking the Kool-Aid

It also distorted reality. Retail, armed with Reddit message-board “research,” drank the Kool-Aid. The meme-stock frenzy that began in January 2021 looked as if it would prove their point. Small investors rallied together to snap up stocks of money-losing firms the hedge funds bet against.

They sent shares of troubled businesses resembling AMC Entertainment and GameStop to the moon. And large losses amongst the professionals, who were shorting those stocks, eventually forced Melvin out of business.

The smart move for those who were considered one of these retail types could be to understand this was a once-in-a-lifetime event, and proceed with caution. In spite of everything, anyone may be like Warren Buffett when Jerome Powell is printing money. I’m sure some did. But many more bought the fallacy that the market could only go up.

People going to the AMC Theater on W42nd Street in New York, NY on March 6, 2021.AMC Entertainment stockholders were silly to consider the movie show chain’s value would proceed to skyrocket., writes Charles Gasparino.Christopher Sadowski

Last yr, when AMC traded within the high-$70 range, some retail bought more, believing it was going to $1,000. Loads of them have been holding on ever since as shares of AMC fell to where they’re today — around $12. Many are still predicting one other short squeeze that may send AMC back to the $70s. In addition they think crypto is coming back, together with the remaining of the tech names which were getting hammered.

It’s what the Nineteenth-century journalist Charles Mackay called “the madness of crowds.” The truth that they’re ignoring now could be that the Fed is putting consequence back into the markets, raising rates of interest and taking money out of the economic system.

It’s purposely slowing the economy, possibly even making a recession, to tame inflation.

The markets are adjusting to the truth that corporate earnings will probably be getting squeezed, thus stocks must dump. The hedgies get it; retail doesn’t yet.

‘Diss union’ at SEC

It’s easy to see why public firms don’t like SEC Chair Gary Gensler: He’s heaping on all of them kinds of latest, useless, costly and woke regulations involving the environment, etc., that don’t have anything to do with their core mission of ­enhancing shareholder value.

Gary Gensler, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler is forcing his labor-union employees to take vacation days, even in the event that they refuse.Samuel Corum – CNP / MEGA

He’s got no friends amongst GOP House and Senate members because he’s taking an agency that’s speculated to protect small investors from stock crooks and reworking it into an enforcement arm of the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

Now you may throw the SEC’s ­labor union into the combo of ­Gensler haters.

It represents all non-management employees. Union leadership says Gensler’s far-reaching agenda is making their life a living hell, Fox Business’s Eleanor Terrett reports. They’re complaining there’s not enough time within the day to implement all the brand new rules and edicts he’s pushing.

Making matters worse, Gensler and his team are forcing them to take vacation days this yr, a use-it-or-lose-it ultimatum. The union is asking Gensler to permit members to push their vacation day off to 2023 to higher manage their workload. He isn’t budging, setting the stage for an unusual battle between a progressive Biden appointee and a progressive-friendly public-employee union.

Gensler’s office didn’t return a call for comment on why he can’t just get together with people.

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