HomeBusinessThe GameStop guy is back. But he seems to be having...

The GameStop guy is back. But he seems to be having a midlife crisis.

The return of Roaring Kitty has caused chaos in the meme stock. But the latest mania seems destined to crash.Roaring cat; Getty Images; Alyssa Powell/BI

It was kind of cool that Keith Gill walked off into the sunset after the GameStop craze. Gill, who goes by Roaring Kitty on After the mania subsided—and after a trip to testify before Congress—Gill, a father in his 30s from Massachusetts, disappeared from the map. The assumption was that he probably made a lot of money from the whole thing, but no one really knows. He wasn’t even in the big Hollywood movie about him that came out last year.

Now Gill seems to be back, more or less. His Roaring Kitty account started tweeting again this week: on Sunday evening it shared an image of a man leaning forward in his chair, followed on Monday by a number of video compilations of various films. The videos have a “we’ll be right back” meaning, but it’s not clear What we’re back to. Does Gill have anything to cook? Or is he just messing around? It’s all quite cryptic and makes no sense. He hasn’t explicitly said he’ll be trading again, nor has he actually mentioned GameStop. It causes a midlife crisis. If you told me Gill was getting divorced and buying a Porsche, I wouldn’t be shocked.

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Whatever the case, the market is looking forward to it. GameStop shares have plummeted. The price rose more than 70% on Monday and 60% on Tuesday, causing trading halts several times due to volatility. Short sellers are in pain again. Shares of AMC, GameStop’s fellow meme stock, rose nearly 80% on Monday and 30% on Tuesday. The cinema chain took advantage of the rally to raise $250 million in new equity the same day. Both gave back some gains on Wednesday, but are still up quite a bit this week.

The market casino is open again, at least for now.

These stocks’ recent rise makes no more sense than they did in 2021. GameStop’s fundamental business story hasn’t changed: It’s a struggling gaming retailer whose supposed turnaround hasn’t yet materialized. The same goes for AMC: the actual business didn’t get better overnight. What has changed is that Roaring Kitty tweets, and not even really about a company. It’s just meme time again. While Robinhood crashed during the boom a few years ago, E-Trade is now in trouble.

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In addition to stocks, crypto has also been recovering lately. Bitcoin peaked in March, thanks in part to the launch of a number of bitcoin exchange-traded funds. Cryptocurrency trading volumes on Robinhood reached $36 billion in the first quarter of the year, up 224% from the year before. Even the crypto commercials are back. Crypto.com runs an ad during the NBA playoffs that repeats the “luck favors the brave” statement that Matt Damon said on its behalf during the 2022 Super Bowl; this time UFC fighters are shown and Eminem speaks. This is all pretty well known, although as my colleague Peter Kafka likes to point out, no one is really pretending that this crypto wave has to do with building something or the coins doing something. “Numbers up” is the whole slogan.

All of this feels a bit sad, as if it’s trying to recapture a moment and a spirit far in the past. In 2021, people were stuck at home with money to blow, and buying shares in GameStop was a way to channel some energy. The whole episode was exciting, new and fun. Now it’s like, OK, I think we’ll do this again. Even though the “little guys taking it on Wall Street” narrative was exaggerated during the 2021 rally, its newness and the passion surrounding the movement made it feel like a brief market-warping event. This latest bout of meme-stock mania has a narrower slant: young, male, nihilist. It’s more like a rush to a hot blackjack table than some kind of tidal wave. And considering that GameStop and AMC shares are starting to fall, it’s already fading anyway.

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Maybe this run will be different and these stocks and coins won’t completely crash again, but I wouldn’t count on it. People are on the road more and there are more things to spend on. These things are also more expensive because of inflation, and there are no stimulus checks coming. If you bought GameStop or AMC stock in 2021, it might not be a bad time to consider selling some shares to break even. Also, take a look at that dogecoin you placed in your Coinbase account a few years ago.

America has become a nation of gamblers — or maybe it always has, and the proliferation of sports betting, meme stocks and cryptocurrency has only made that even more apparent. Roaring Kitty is back and people are throwing their money into the GameStop slot machine. Remember, the house always wins.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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