At one point I was down as much as $300 on the 71 AMC shares I bought on Wednesday at the hyper-inflated price of $14.07 each. These hands are adamantium. I’m never selling, at least not until my future grandchildren can go watch Avengers 28 at the newest AMC theater on the moon.
Let me be clear: I realize that investing $1,000 into a hype-driven stock for a hemorrhaging movie theater chain is a dangerous play. AMC closed at over $19 after I went in, but even though I was up a few $100, I fully expected the price to fall at some point yesterday.
Of course, I didn’t expect the price to crash because Robinhood, the main retail trading app aimed towards amateur investors ––which I used, as I am one such investor––implemented a probably illegal, anti-consumer ban on buying (but not selling…) GME, AMC, and a number of other stocks that the WallStreetBets community was rallying behind.
I was prepared for a volatile day on the market, but I wasn’t prepared for what looked like disgustingly brazen, pro-Wall Street market manipulation carried out by the app I was using to invest. Robinhood denies this, claiming that trades were limited to comply with “financial requirements.” But if those requirements mean that an investment app can unilaterally restrict trading, then it’s just further confirmation that the system is broken.
Then again, Robinhood’s sneaky shill behavior is a perfect illustration of why I bought these beautiful AMC stocks in the first place.
Sure, I love AMC. I had AMC Stubs A-List before the pandemic, and you better believe that three movies a week for $20 a month is a great bargain in New York City. I like the stock.
But this is about so much more than buttery popcorn. This is about targeting professional leech hedge fund short sellers who prey on struggling businesses in the midst of a pandemic, looking them right in the eye, and giving them a fat middle finger. This is about telling the uber-wealthy powers of Wall Street, who continually manipulate the market however they please without any fear of repercussions (a la the 2008 market crash), that they’re no longer as safe as they think. This is about the many taking power back from the few.
I’ll be okay if all my AMC stocks go down to a penny. I’m proud of my brilliant diamond hands that glisten in the sunlight. Because even if we fail this time, and our portfolios all implode thanks to the trading platforms and the politicians and Wall Street all being in bed together, this isn’t the end. There will be a next time.
The long-held centralization of power and wealth, which our late-stage capitalist institutions have thrived on for so long at the expense of average people, is eroding. It’s important to remember that when centralized platforms like Robinhood screw their users over, all they’re really doing is ensuring their own impending irrelevance. There are alternatives now in crypto and DeFi spaces that hold the potential to give everyday people unprecedented financial freedom.
I don’t know when AMC is going to hit the moon, but when it does, I look forward to laughing as the old guard of Wall Street gets lost in the cold abyss of space.