Streaming Spotlight by Cindy Summers
Dumb Money – Netflix
“Dumb Money” is based on a true story when millions of small investors led by a regular guy named Keith Gill (Paul Dano) took on Wall Street hedge funds by backing GameStop when hedge fund Melvin Capital Management was investing big that it would fail. Keith Gill also went by “Deep F*@k!ng Value” on Reddit in the Wall Street Bets (WSB) forum where he posted his daily balance sheets and also produced videos on YouTube as “Roaring Kitty” explaining his financial strategies.
In July 2020, Keith Gill invested $53,000 in GME (GameStop) at $4/share believing that the company was being shorted by Wall Street hedge funds to purposefully deflate the price until the company was destroyed. He shared this information on WSB and his Roaring Kitty YouTube channel, where he always wore a cat shirt and frequently a bright red bandana. Word spread about Roaring Kitty and GME, and thousands of everyday people started buying GME.
By September 2020, GME more than doubled to $10/share and kept rising due to a growing number of retail investors, who were referred to as “Dumb Money” by Wall Street professionals. Then Melvin Capital owner Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogin) shorted another 600,000 shares in GME, triggering a battle where Roar Kitty told his followers to hold, saying the situation was bigger than any personal gains – that it was their chance to rise up together and stick it to the Big Man.
WSB and GME hit the headlines, calling WSB a revolution and causing GME stock to rise to $25/share by December. Much of the trading was processed through the Robinhood app, which offered free trades with no commissions and gained 5 million users during the rise of GME. Robinhood was run by Co-CEOs Baiju Bhatt (Rushi Kota) and Vlad Tenev (Sebastian Stan) and though not made public information, was owned by Citadel Securities, a division of Citadel Corp owned by Wall Street tycoon and hedge fund mogul Ken Griffin (Ken Offerman).
By January 2021, GME soared to $100/share and Gabe Plotkin – Melvin Capital was losing billions daily and was actually considered bankrupt. GME rose to $150/share and after losing $6.8 billion, Melvin Capital received a $3 billion dollar bailout primarily from fellow investor Steve Cohen (Vincent D’Onofrio), CEO of hedge fund Point72, with a portion from Ken Griffin of Citadel. Keith Gill (Roaring Kitty) was up $23 million on GME but still wasn’t selling and told his followers to hold. An estimated eight million small investors all held and GME soared to $350/share.
Then WSB was shut down by Reddit for what they said was inappropriate content, and Keith Gill got a call from his boss at MassMutual and was let go from his job as a financial analyst due to all the media attention. When WSB was shut down and the small buyers didn’t have access to the Roaring Kitty balance sheet, many panicked and sold. When the stock got close to over $500/share a lot of people decided to sell and Robinhood shut down the buy option for stock on their app, though saying it was a technical issue it seemed to be to slow the buying frenzy.
The scare caused the stock to drop, but after WSB was back online and everybody saw that Roaring Kitty still held even though he was down to $17 billion, many small investors sparked an investment frenzy causing the stocks to go skyrocketing again. That’s when Roaring Kitty, Robinhood and Citadel received Congressional subpoenas regarding their involvement in market volatility which put a national spotlight on the institutional practices by Wall Street firms and demonstrated the enormous potential power of social media in the markets.
Runtime: 1h 45m