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Inside GameStop’s Crazy Week

The Reddit forum WallStreetBets on a smartphone arranged in Sydney, Australia, on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. 

The Reddit forum WallStreetBets on a smartphone arranged in Sydney, Australia, on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. 

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

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What was that?

This week markets were fixated by an astronomical run-up in shares of GameStop Corp., which at one point were up 2,000% in less than a month. Much of the moonshot was driven by retail investors, who used online forums like Reddit's WallStreetBets to organize a concerted push at the expense of hedge funds like Melvin Capital Management LP. 

Now, the White House is monitoring the situation. Congress is planning a hearing on it. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has been asked about the whole saga. Hedge fund losses ran into the billions. The U.S. securities regulator says it's watching the drama. GameStop even almost brought Ted Cruz and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez together.