Going to the Well One Too Many Times

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We had one of the best running backs in the state and had successfully run many toss sweeps during the year—probably a dozen times every game. 

It was the first round of the playoffs, and up against a rival that we had beaten handily earlier in the season.  The O-line dropped into their stance, the quarterback took the snap as our star took his step right, and—oh no!  

A linebacker, who had timed the cadence, anticipated the toss, plucks the ball out of the air, and a few seconds later turned this defensive prowess into six points.  And we never recovered.  We lost.

This is where the expression, “going to the well one too many times,” comes from.  A play can work hundreds of times, it can be the go-to option—until that one time when it becomes too predictable and the other team takes advantage.

Click here for a very similar play, not my own team, but close enough to trigger the bad memories.

Yes, Poles Can Shift

One of the big misunderstandings of current trends there is that they will go on forever.  If one is part of the cult of progress, change is seen as a march forward.  To the traditional there are endless cycles and seasons, the sun goes up and down.  To the cynical, humanity is on a downward trajectory, this slippery slope of social decay and spiral to the collapse of civilization.

In almost every case people expect that the current rules (or roles) can’t be flipped.  The winners today will keep on winning or what worked yesterday will keep on working as it always did—ad infinitum.

But long-term trajectories do change, cycles can be broken, powerful empires faded away into nothing and there have also been those massive breakthrough-type events that have completely changed expectations.  North is North, the compass is true as it always has been, and yet there is evidence that even this magnetic reference can flip.  

Things can go one way for a long time and feel very predictable and unchangeable.  But in one moment some threshold is crossed that upends the well-worn expectations.  The end of the epoch.  A critical mass is reached, the dam is finally breached, and the established paradigm blows up, and is washed away, like the linebacker running with the ball after picking off the toss.

Of course, in retrospect, we all claim to have seen it coming, that the signs were there, but few actually do.  If we did we would have invested better, acted differently, and taken full advantage.

Please Capitulate, Charlie!

In the Peanuts cartoon, there is the infamous football gag.  Lucy tells Charlie that she’ll hold the ball for him to kick and, despite her having tricked him many times before—by pulling the ball away right as he is wound up to kick, he is always fooled again.

Retail investors capitulating to short sellers.

This is how institutions have treated retail investors in the stock market.  In the past, when the market would downturn, the ‘smart money’ would short popular stocks, then spread FUD through hired shills to scare their ignorant counterparts who would then sell at a loss and move on.  When this retail capitulation would finally happen the market would finally be ready for the next cycle.

But now, in the meme stock era, the ‘Apes’ or those who learned from the 2008 crash, now hold, buy the dip, and refuse to sell.  This is not what the hedge funds and big banks had planned when they started to short AMC and GameStop.  They had planned to drive these companies into bankruptcy, and collect on their bets.  Instead, after over a year and a half of price manipulation (FTDs, dark pool abuse, naked shorts) and bashing, the selling has not happened.  This means they need to continue to pay the interest to maintain their short positions.

He’s hoping to wish this into reality…

It is a battle of wills, one retail rallying call being “I can be retarded longer than they can remain solvent,” and retail does control all of the exits in some heavily shorted stocks.  If retail does not throw in the towel, eventually the institutions will run out of new ways to kick the can down the road, they will get margin called and will have to cover.

At this point, retail investors have figured out the game.  They know how bashers are paid to scare them, they know how the price is manipulated, and they’re angry and not going to do what they’re ‘supposed’ to do.  Apes are not leaving.  And, at this point, this is a movement to expose the corruption in the market rather than simply an investment in a company we like.

If you want to be part of this history AMC and the new preferred equity called APE are trading for mere dollars.  You can even get free stocks by opening an account following this link.  This blog is not financial advice and investment is a risk, but we would love to have you as part of the Ape fam.

Maybe the pole shift won’t happen. Maybe Lucy has another trick up her sleeve. The future can’t be predicted. But we can be certain that trends almost always come to an end. Retail investors are no longer as easily fooled. This time Charlie Brown isn’t playing the game as expected.

Money Matters, Markets and Meme Stocks

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What happens when working-class investors combine forces to take on the Wall Street elites?  Well, the collapse of Melvin Capital, as a start, and much more to come if retail ‘Apes’ have their way.  It’s amazing, for as much as we hear that AMC stock is a losing bet, retail investors buying (and HODLing) shares are sure upsetting many in the corporate media who claim we’re somehow ruining the market.  

The burnishers of our financial institutions, the smart and privileged people that they are, love to look down their noses at the common people.  This article, “Planet of the AMC Apes: Biggest Market Enemy Isn’t Citadel,” highlights an attitude and contempt, using words like “cult” and”mania” and “conspiracy theory” to describe the Ape movement.  We’re the “dumb money” who are mindless following the crowd, governed wholly by our emotions, unlike them.

And there’s an extent to which this is a valid criticism.  Many who see the markets as a get-rich scheme, that they will become instant millionaires for buying the latest digital token, will be sorely disappointed.  It takes patience and conviction, the ability to overcome our fears when the price drops, as well as good due diligence, to make money in the market.  Those who have YOLO’d their life savings into Luna are feeling some real pain as the price of that cryptocurrency fell through the floor.

But this idea that only some are fit to make important decisions, or that the elites are not distorting things for their own personal gain, is laughable.  The whole idea of hedge funds being allowed to short a stock into oblivion just seems wrong and especially when they are out trying to manipulate retail investors with bearish valuations, FUD articles—deploying bots to shill or bash.  This is not to mention the dark pool abuse.  You can smell the fraud, yet we’re bad for calling it out as what it is?

The thing is, most retail investors, like me, entered the market thinking that it was free and fair.  We didn’t understand how short selling worked or how much happened behind the scenes at the behest of the so-called market makers.  We’re just finally now aware of what they do to distort. We rebelled by taking an opposite position to their own in companies they were trying to bankrupt. And now they’re angry for being bested in their own game.

Who knew my just liking a stock could be such an awful thing?

The true reality is that it is not about the money anymore for those who are buying meme stocks. Of course, yes, we would all be happy to see a huge profit for our efforts. But the real goal is to take on the lack of transparency and ability of the hedge funds to rob millions through cynical means.  It is not a free or fair market when some are allowed to use algorithms to manipulate or withhold orders to set the price where it benefits them.  It is also evident that there is naked shorting—that is to say they ‘create’ fake shares to sell and artificially drop the price to scare retail get out at a loss or illegal dilution.

The average Joe is tired of taking a beating by elites who sold them out over and over again.  From outsourcing, globalism, open borders, and the resultant stagnant wages, to “too big to fail” and bank bailouts at the taxpayer’s expense, they don’t actually care about pension funds, and we’re just fed up with a rigged game and corruption.  Fighting this status quo is something that is worth risking my hard-earned cash for.  Money comes and goes, but bringing some justice into the system is worthwhile.

As far as Apes being stupid.  Sure, there are dumb individuals and, absolutely, we need the meme silliness to keep us focused on the goal and laughing rather than worried.  And yet, to counter what the wealthy elites have at their disposal, there is the wisdom of the crowds and a sort of collective intelligence that is greater than the sum total of the parts.  This is not Tulip mania, this is a short squeeze play and together we’re simply Wall Street’s biggest Whale investor doing what they would do.

In the end, as a final thought, there are many things more important than money in the world and I try to remain mindful of this:

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

(1 Timothy 6:6‭-‬10 NIV)