Tuesday, February 2, 2021

All the little guys... you know... Fidelity, Vanguard, BlackRock

 The LA Times indispensable Michael Hiltzik points out yet another flaw in the popular David and Goliath take on the Gamestop story.

You say you want a revolution? 

What’s most amusing about the GameStop story, in a sad way, is the notion among small investors that they’re striking a revolutionary blow against the Wall Street establishment. 

“My goal isn’t to get rich on this, my goal is to bankrupt these billionaires,” says John Motter, an unemployed Angeleno who invested more than he received from the government’s coronavirus stimulus check in GameStop, as my colleagues Daniel Miller, Suhauna Hussain and Hugo Martìn reported. “I would buy magic beans on the street from a stranger if he said they had the potential to ruin a billionaire’s life.... A lot of people are really angry, and no one’s forgotten 2008.”

In fact, many on Wall Street are enjoying the ride, even as proxies for small investors. As of last March, the three biggest investors in GameStop were the investment management firms Fidelity, Vanguard and BlackRock, which combined owned more than 50% of the shares.

BlackRock reported that as of Dec. 31 it still owned 9 million shares, which means that over the last month the firm and its clients added about $2.1 billion to the value of their holdings (on paper).

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