NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – The wild surges in so-called meme stocks like GameStop have created the financial-markets equivalent of a whodunnit. As with detective mysteries, there’s a weapon, an opportunity for enrichment and a motive. What’s harder to find is a victim. And because the irrational moves in a widening array of stocks poses a direct challenge to high finance, the punishment will likely outweigh the crime.

A GameStop store is pictured amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

THE FRACAS

Video-game retailer GameStop was unloved, and little traded, by big-time investors. Then its shares started to rocket. And kept rocketing. On the surface, this is because users of online forums like Reddit had noticed that the stock was heavily bet against by large investors and figured that what had gone down could be made…

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