‘Eat the Rich’ review: Netflix doc explains GameStop’s odd rise, difficulty level

Remember those great epigraphs in “The Big Short,” when the likes of Selena Gomez, Margot Robbie, and the late Anthony Bourdain broke the fourth wall to explain vague terms like a synthetic secured debt obligation? Netflix’s three-part documentary series “Eat the Rich: The GameStop Saga” takes a similar approach to explaining the GameStop stock phenomenon — not through flashy cameos by big-name celebrities, but with a straightforward, straightforward, fun and entertaining approach that follows price-bending stock in one of the most Financial stories are the strangest of our time.

As Joe Miller of Denzel Washington put it in Philadelphia, they explain it to us like we’re six, and somehow makes sense out of the David vs. Goliath fight that revolves around a bunch of clever, saboteurs and motivators used against Reddit against the giants of Wall Street. With an entertaining mix of interviews with hedge fund managers, journalists, and retail investors explaining the phenomenon from different sides, backed by a steady stream of crisp, succinct graphics and clips of clever and often funny viral videos, Eat the Rich guides us through the madness of the GameStop story And we get out on the other side and we understand what happened.

we will. Most of what happened.

‘Eat the Rich: The GameStop Saga’

GameStop’s story has been told in two previous documentaries, and will receive the fictional treatment in the upcoming movie “Dumb Money,” starring Seth Rogen, Pete Davidson, Sebastian Stan and Paul Dano. In this entry, director Theo Love takes us across the timeline and across the country (using Google Map-type graphics) to tell the story, which begins in 2020, with Jim Cramer awakening from TV fame after being sidelined for a week after back surgery, learning from his surprise. , GameStop was up and jumping on the phone to announce on CNBC, “There’s no one involved with GameStop who will accept the fact that this company should be priced at $338….Take a ride on your turf, don’t go to the Grand Slam! You won! Already! I won the game!”

Cramer thought he was doing investors a favor, but he quickly became the target of thousands of memes and trolling comments. “I don’t even understand what I did,” Kramer says. “What do I do? What is their mission? What are they determined to do, to change the face of capitalism?”

This is a common theme throughout the series: the old establishment, including hedge fund managers, traditional wealthy investors, TV commentators, and eventually Congress, didn’t understand what they were up against, a group of retail investors known as day traders who gathered on Reddit and used the Robinhood app. to make their investment. In the eyes of big hitters like Gabe Plotkin, founder of Melvin Capital Management who placed a short bet of $400 million on Nintendo, the tough old GameStop (which specialized in reselling used video games) would become the next Blockbuster or Sam Goody. It was short selling. (As Bob Sloan, founder of S3 Partners explains, “Shorting is just a way of saying we think the stock price will go down.” They’re betting on corporate failures.) What the giants didn’t imagine was an attack of some sort from an army of Reddit users with plans other.

We meet retail investors like Eddie Koe of Englewood, New Jersey, a family man who has been trying to make some extra dollars during the pandemic; Mickey Guggenheim, a retail investor who looks a bit like Will Ferrell in “Zoolander” and raps about the GameStop story, and Alvan Chow, an amateur speculator who couldn’t get a job on Wall Street but switched his $25,000 investment in GameStop to $8 million. (“How do you feel?” he asked, and the reply came: “It’s okay, I think. It’s a good starting point.”)

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Amateur racket Alvan Chow turned a $25,000 investment in GameStop into $8 million.

How did GameStop become such a phenomenon? It’s not as if her business model has suddenly shifted and the company is starting to make huge profits. (The document says that in 2020, GameStop had $216 million in debt and had a poor online presence.) It was more than a confluence of events. A legendary and hugely popular retail investor known as “DeepF —— Value” on Reddit and “Roaring Kitty” on YouTube posted a video saying he’s betting big on GameStop. Ryan Cohen, co-founder of Chewy.com, announced that he is buying 9% of the company. Billionaire venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya sent out a tweet asking what he should buy next, suggesting hundreds of users of the subreddit known as Wallstreetbets GameStop. Elon Musk got into the fun, tweeting, “Gamestonk!”

The “short squeeze” was real, and it was amazing.

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In “Eat the Rich,” retail investor Mickey Guggenheim performs a rap about the GameStop story.

At times, the movement seemed to have nothing to do with GameStop, although many were beginning to believe the company was undervalued. Other than some viral videos in Episode One that chronicle the demise of two GameStop outlets, we’ve never visited the GameStop Store, or heard from its staff or board members. It was more about sticking it with The Man – in this case, the tough sellers who were relying on GameStop failed, and instead found themselves losing out on a collective $20 billion. GameStop’s stock continued to rise, in January of 2021 reaching a daily share price of $483, when it was $2.57 lower than the previous year. The party basically ended when Robinhood stopped buying GameStop, and the reasons behind that are… complicated.

But it is clearly explained in “Eat the Rich”.

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