On January 28, 2021, stocks in U.S.-based video game retailer GameStop Corp. reached an all-time high of $483. Two weeks earlier, they had been trading at $20. Two weeks later, they were down again, and a congressional hearing on the matter was underway in Washington.

Wild swings are hardly uncommon in financial markets. This episode, however, had novel characteristics. In a recent report, the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission states that “GameStop Corp and multiple other stocks experienced a dramatic increase in their share price in January 2021 as bullish sentiments of individual investors filled social media.” 1 Retail traders congregating on the Reddit platform were key in both price formation and the emergence of a “Main Street versus Wall Street” narrative around the stock.2

The influence of social media on financial markets is here to stay, as younger generations start saving and investing. This carries both…

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