The Meme Stock Paradox

Corporate and Business Law Journal, Vol. 3:1. page 51- 101 (2022)

51 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2021 Last revised: 5 Jan 2022

See all articles by Moin A. Yahya

Moin A. Yahya

University of Alberta - Faculty of Law

Victoria Chiu

Faculty of Law

Date Written: September 6, 2021

Abstract

This article/essay examines the recent GameStop stock trading saga that took place earlier this year. We take a somewhat different approach than the few articles that have appeared analyzing the saga. Instead of focusing on the technical regulatory aspects of the saga, we argue that the traditional rational investor models underlying the ‘fraud on the market’ theories of securities regulation are misplaced both in terms of describing the market and in terms of protecting investors. Specifically, we question whether traditional information disclosure requirements that are meant to protect investors truly protect investors, when such requirements only seem to favor large investors and shut out ordinary investors. The GameStop saga, we argue, exposes the power of decisions by large disparate investors who can create new information that otherwise wouldn’t have been created with traditional disclosure. We offer three possible approaches to understand what happened, especially in light of the fact that the stock prices of GameStop and other meme stocks continue to be much higher than where they were prior to the start of saga. These approaches are: 1) discovery through collective wisdom, 2) discovery of new tastes in stocks, 3) pride of ownership. Each of these may explain how financially underperforming companies were able to attract substantial interest from small investors, so much so that short-selling hedge-funds were ousted from the market.

Keywords: Securities, Meme Stocks, Financial Regulation

JEL Classification: G38

Suggested Citation

Yahya, Moin A. and Chiu, Victoria, The Meme Stock Paradox (September 6, 2021). Corporate and Business Law Journal, Vol. 3:1. page 51- 101 (2022), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3918506

Moin A. Yahya (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Faculty of Law ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H5
Canada
780-492-4445 (Phone)
780-492-4924 (Fax)

Victoria Chiu

Faculty of Law ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R3
Canada

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