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February 24, 2021 50 min
By now most people are familiar with the GameStop saga: how a small video game retailer worth less than $1 billion, fuelled by day trader investors and Reddit message boards, went on the ride of its life – rocketing its share price from $20 to $400 dollars in the span of a few days. The company’s meteoric rise wiped out billions of dollars from institutional investors who had bet against GameStop. And then, as quickly as it rose, it began to fall again. The company’s shares lost three quarters of their value in just 85 minutes wiping out many retail investors. Professional traders argue that platforms like Robinhood – no fee stock trading apps of fractional shares – are to blame for this market volatility. These platforms are encouraging average people to gamble with their life savings in exceedingly risky ways that destabilize financial markets for everyone. Retail investors see the GameStop frenzy as a long overdue populist pushback against Wall Street hedge funds and their predatory short-selling practices. The new platforms are a welcome innovation in financial markets. They level the playing field by allowing anyone to trade the markets at minimal cost, in real time, using options and leverage just like any large market participant.    Arguing for the motion is Tom Sosnoff, founder and Co-CEO of the electronic trading platforms tastytrade and thinkorswim. Arguing against the motion is Danny Moses, a private investor and hedge fund veteran profiled in Michael Lewis’s global bestsellers The Big Short and Flash Boys. Sources: NBC, CNN, NBC, CNBC, C-SPAN, www.charlierose.com, Fortune Magazine The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/munkdebates/ To sign up for a weekly email reminder for this podcast, send an email to podcast@munkdebates.com.   To support civil and substantive debate on the big questions of the day, consider becoming a Munk Member at https://munkdebates.com/membership Members receive access to our 10+ year library of great debates in HD video, a free Munk Debates book, newsletter and ticketing privileges at our live events. This podcast is a project of the Munk Debates, a Canadian charitable organization dedicated to fostering civil and substantive public dialogue - https://munkdebates.com/ The Munk Debates podcast is produced by Antica, Canada’s largest private audio production company - https://www.anticaproductions.com/   Executive Producer: Stuart Coxe, CEO Antica Productions Senior Producers: Ricki Gurwitz, Christina Campbell Editor: Kieran Lynch Associate Producer: Abhi Raheja
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