GameStop’s saga may be over, its effect on Wall Street isn’t

NEW YORK (AP) — The frenzy around GameStop’s stock may have quieted down, but the outsized influence small investors had in the saga is likely to stick around.

No one expects another supernova like GameStop to happen again, where a band of smaller-pocketed investors helped boost a struggling company’s stock 1,000 per cent in two weeks. But the tools they employed can be used again and again, if those smaller investors stay connected on social media forums and if regulators don’t change the rules to hinder them.

These smaller players, called “retail investors” in the industry to differentiate them from hedge funds and other big firms, are using many of the same tactics as the professionals, after all. And if retail investors continue to hold greater sway, the result will likely be sharper swings for some stocks than they would have had otherwise, if not to GameStop’s spectacular degree.

GameStop’s wild ride is causing some professional investors to gird for more volatility in the market and politicians in Washington to ask who is getting hurt. A House committee is calling several of the GameStop saga’s players to a hearing today, titled “Game Stopped? Who wins and losses when short sellers, social media and retail investors collide”.

“I don’t think we’re going to see major reforms that prevent it,” said professor of law at the University of Chicago Tony Casey of the rise of social-media-driven trading. “All the parts in this will still be here in a few years, and we will likely see versions of it.”