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Odd Lots

Benn Eifert on the Mania That Was Even Bigger Than Meme Stocks

What we just learned about markets the last two years

An AMC movie theater in the Times Square neighborhood of New York.

An AMC movie theater in the Times Square neighborhood of New York.

Photographer: Amir Hamja/Bloomberg

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When people think about the market mania we recently experienced, the most glaring thing that comes to mind is the meme stocks. In early 2021, the huge moves in names like AMC and GameStop exemplified this new Robinhood, r/WSB, crypto world. But there were activities much more egregious than some retail traders buying odd lots on Robinhood. Serious, professional investors and traders lost huge sums of money giving out unsecured loans to crypto hedge funds like 3AC, which then proceeded to incinerate their money. In other words, lots of people, with a range of sophistication, threw out some basics of risk management wholesale. On this episode of the podcast, we spoke with Benn Eifert, founder and CIO at the boutique volatility hedge fund QVR Advisors, about how manias happen, and the big lessons everyone should learn from the market over the last two years.

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