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The not-so-invisible hand of the free market

Can somebody explain why I’m getting most of my information about the whole GameStop story from humorous comics?

For example, the same thing is now being done to silver futures. And gold futures might be next. Let me be clear, I’m not saying that the manipulation of GameStop’s stock is a good thing. The only good thing about it is that it is showing that with enough leverage, the “markets” are basically big Ponzi schemes. We need to fix them before they collapse in a landslide of hubris.

© Tom Tomorrow



  1. westomoon wrote:

    Seems to me that what is causing the uproar is not WHAT is being done, but WHO is daring to do it. Kinda like a Democrat trying to exercise First Amendment rights, or a black person behaving as though they were a citizen.

    It’s just fine when rich people and their minions do this exact market manipulation. It’s just not okay when little people band together and get uppity like this.

    Silver futures? I remember one of a pair of billionaire brothers playing the GameStop game with silver back in the 1980’s. (Bucky somebody?) This is nothing new — for rich people.

    Elon Musk actually has a valid point this time. The shorting guys love to play assault games on Tesla stock, which has complicated Musk’s life even more than his own behavior has — and that is saying something. There are periodic media blitzes about Musk’s crazy behavior, which generally turn out to originate with the kobolds of the Street.

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 11:54 am | Permalink
  2. paradoctor wrote:

    Soul-Short Squeeze
    an Underfable

    Once upon a time, an Orange Toad tried to short a soul, but a Brown Angel squeezed him dry.

    The Orange Toad lived in a golden tower. He was pear-shaped, and his slimy hide was as orange as a tangerine. He wore a red hat, for “red hat” is an anagram of both “hatred” and “dearth”. His red hat bore the inscription “MEGA”, meaning “Make Evil Great Again.”

    At 3 A.M. every morning he would lean out from the top floor of his golden tower, and speak through a golden soft-speaker. Through it he whispered so softly that only the sleeping could hear it. He whispered, “Down is up, false is true, poverty is wealth, crime is law, hate is love, and death is life. Don’t believe your lying eyes.” He did this to soften up the world for his twisted schemes.

    One day, the Orange Toad descended his golden escalator and left his golden tower. He went to visit Sam, a patriot down on his luck. The Orange Toad said to Sam, “May I borrow your soul, for a little while?” For assurance of return he gave Sam an unbreakable contract, signed with his own orange slime. He also said, “To sweeten the deal, here’s a few bucks for the loan, right now.”

    Sam agreed to the loan. He got the money, and right away he felt strange. It was as if a veil of unreality stood between him and the world; for that is how it feels not to own your soul.

    The Orange Toad sold Sam’s soul to a Tin Man. The Tin Man had no soul of its own, nor any need for a soul; it bought Sam’s soul just for scientific observations. The Orange Toad knew souls well, or he thought he did, and he was betting that the value of Sam’s soul would drop, so he could buy it back at a lower price, return it to Sam, and pocket the difference. That was the Orange Toad’s twisted scheme; a soul-short.

    The Tin Man discussed this with its consultant, a Brown Angel. The Brown Angel was from the swamp. Her skin and feathers were as brown as teak, and she had claws like a hawk. She wore a blue hat, which bore the inscription “MAGE”, meaning “Make Amity Good Enough”. The Brown Angel promised the Tin Man to improve the value of Sam’s soul, in exchange for 10% of the profit.

    The Brown Angel proceeded to bless Sam with moments of beauty, peace, and wisdom. She showed him a lovely sunset, a bird in flight, the crescent Moon, and grass breaking through cement. These miracles were inexpensive; they already existed, so she needed only to point Sam’s attention at them. It cost her much more to give him a moment of Zen calm while waiting for a traffic light to change. Instead of grumbling and fidgeting, Sam did nothing but wait, and he noticed that he felt better that way. The Brown Angel also whispered into Sam’s ear while he slept, to teach him two magic spells, fit to quell any quarrel.

    The next day, with the Angel’s lesson burning in his mind, Sam visited the home of his estranged beloved. He pounded on the door and yelled, “I promise to speak my piece and go!”
    Libby opened the door a crack, with the door-chain fastened. She looked at him with one eye.
    Sam said, “You are right, and I was wrong.” For those seven words were the Angel’s first magic spell.
    Libby raised an eyebrow. “About what?”
    Sam said, “Everything, all of it. I have been a stubborn, selfish fool, and I am sorry.”
    Click-clack. Libby unfastened the door-chain and opened the door a little wider. She said, “Let me guess. You’re a changed man? And you promise from now on to be best? So let’s kiss and make up, right away sweetheart? Is that it?” She put her hands on her hips. She glared at him. Libby was lovely in her wrath.
    Sam shook his lowered head. “Judge me by my deeds, not my promises.” That was the Angel’s second magic spell. “I promised to speak my piece and go. I have spoken my piece. Now I go.”
    He walked away. Behind him the door opened wide, showing Libby, with her eyes and her mouth also open wide.

    In his golden tower, the Orange Toad read the ticker-tape and saw the value of Sam’s soul rise. He said, “I’m losing money! Gotta do something!” He leaned out of his golden tower, and through his golden soft-speaker he whispered, “You’re all losers! Nobody’s worth anything! Everything is fake!” He ranted like that all day and all night.

    All that night, Sam heard the Orange Toad’s whisper. He tossed and turned in bed. The next morning, sleepy Sam heard a knock at his front door. He opened the door, and there stood Libby. Sam smiled, for the first time in a long time. He said, “Come in, come in, come in.”

    The Orange Toad read his ticker-tape and saw the value of Sam’s soul skyrocket. The Orange Toad was distraught. The contract was unbreakable, and signed with his own orange slime, so he had no choice but to descend his golden escalator, and go to visit the Tin Man.
    The Tin Man said, “Comrade! Is good investment you sell!”
    The Orange Toad said, “Now I gotta buy it back.”
    The Tin Man said, “Is worth fortune!”
    The Orange Toad moaned, “I know.”
    The Tin Man said, “No money? No problem! You own golden tower, nyet?”
    The Orange Toad wept tangerine tears.

    Don’t make book if you cannot cover bets.

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 4:54 pm | Permalink