The Atlas Society Asks Spencer Jakab

June 01, 2022 01:00:40
The Atlas Society Asks Spencer Jakab
The Atlas Society Presents - The Atlas Society Asks
The Atlas Society Asks Spencer Jakab
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Show Notes

Join CEO Jennifer Grossman and award-winning financial journalist Spencer Jakab for the 106th episode of The Atlas Society Asks as they discuss his book "The Revolution that wasn't: GameStop, Reddit, and the Fleecing of Small Investors" which explains the riveting story behind the January 2021 GameStop/Meme stock event that rocked some of the biggest, richest players in the investment world.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hello everyone. And welcome to the 106th episode of the Atlas society asks. My name is Jennifer Anju, Grossman. My friends call me JAG. I'm the CEO of the Atlas society. We are the leading nonprofit organization, introducing young people to the ideas of Iran in fun, creative ways, like our graphic novels and animated videos. Today, we are joined by Spencer, Jacob, and before I even get into introducing our guest, I wanna remind all of you who are washing us on zoom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, use the comment sections to type in your questions and we'll get to as many of them as we can. So our guest Spencer, Jacob is an award-winning financial journalist and the editor of herd on the street, the wall street journals, financial and economic analysis column. Mr. Jacob is also, uh, the author of two books, including his second one. The revolution that wasn't game stop, red Reddit and the fleeing of small investors, which explains the riveting story behind the January, 2021 game stop meme stock event that rocked some of the biggest players in the investment world. So Spencer, thank you again for joining us. Speaker 1 00:01:28 Thanks for having me. Speaker 0 00:01:30 So, uh, first our audience always is interested in origin stories. So perhaps, uh, you have a, a rather unique one. You'll share a bit about your story. Um, your parents, if I understand immigrated, um, from Hungary as refugees 65 years ago, uh, with next to nothing you grew up by bilingual and, um, for the first chapter of your career, you helped American companies get a foothold in, uh, formerly Soviet block states. So I I'd love to hear a little bit more about that story and perhaps, um, how your parents experience may have influenced your perspective today. Speaker 1 00:02:12 Sure. Well, my dad was a, a 56 refugee and, uh, in 1956 there was a, there was a revolution in Hungary and, uh, about 2% of the country walked across the border, 180,000 people. Uh, he was one of them and, um, of those, uh, but 80,000 came to the United States and the rest went to, to other countries to Sweden, Australia, Switzerland, Germany. What have you? And, um, my mom actually, uh, is, is a bit different category. She came 10 years later. So my, my dad, you know, hung kind of wised up and decided to let people who weren't, you know, really dangerous and oppositional to come back and, and spend their hard currency there. And, uh, he came back to get his father out, uh, and his brother, uh, respected to smuggled his brother out basically, but he got his father out legally, uh, 10 years later and his father and, uh, and my mom's mother lived in the same building. Speaker 1 00:03:07 Um, and, um, they introduced their, their children. My mom, uh, was 10 years younger and, um, he was there for many, many weeks, uh, trying to get his dad out and they, they met, met there. And so my mom left in 1966 and I was born a few years later. Uh, and my sister was born a year after me. Um, so yeah, it definitely influenced me being the, the child of, of emigres it, you know, it has a, has a big influence, uh, because, um, you know, the it's, well, the, the kind of the economic anxiety that they live through, but also having grown up in a, in a communist country. And I would say that, you know, that they experienced it, uh, in different ways. So my mom was born during world war II. My dad had some experience of, of life. I mean, very, very poor life, but a life before communism. Speaker 1 00:03:56 Um, and so people of, of, of his generation, I think, you know, had a sort of a knowledge of the before. And my mom really did not her whole, uh, experience as a, as a child and a teenager and a young person was in, in a communist society. Um, and, and so she's a bit different than those people. And that made me a bit different too, because a lot of the people who grew up bilingual when the iron curtain fell, iron curtain fell during my, my college years, uh, towards the end of my college years, uh, who said, Hey, you know, I'm, I grew up bilingual and not everybody did, uh, I can, uh, maybe I can move back and use my skills and help a company and, and, you know, and apply myself. Uh, we're all 10 years older than me in the case of, of people who moved to Hungary because of, you know, their parents were in their twenties in the 1950s. Speaker 1 00:04:47 Uh, my mom, uh, was in her twenties in the 1960s. And so I was really the, the right age. I had no nothing to lose. Uh, I had no career to, to speak of. And so a lot of the people, I think, who went to, to Hungary, I think were already sort of, maybe they were failing at their careers or not particularly successful at their careers, uh, because if you were really, really successful, you weren't gonna pick up and, and move to this poor east European country. Whereas for me, it was, you know, it was just so exciting and there was, you know, I, I really had nothing. Uh, I was, uh, doing my master's at Columbia university. And, um, I met, uh, a, a kid who had been an investment banker. I had no idea about finance. My parents obviously didn't know anybody on wall street. Speaker 1 00:05:28 And this kid said, yeah, you know, he had been an investment banker. He's a 56 year old kid. Now we're still friends. And he told me what investment banking was. Cause I was curious and he said, yeah, you know, you're totally bilingual. They're gonna privatize everything in, in central and Eastern Europe. You should go get a job there being completely bilingual, just take all the finance for us. Or if you can at Columbia business school while you're here, which I did, I liked it a lot. And, and so I made that career switch and I worked in finance for the first 10 years of my career be before becoming a financial journalist, which I've done for the last 19 long answer to your question. Speaker 0 00:06:00 Spectacular. Uh, no, very interesting about your dad. Obviously I Rand, um, much earlier was one of the, the first, um, refugees from, uh, from Soviet the Soviet union, um, itself. So, uh, I, I bet they would've had some interesting stories to, to Speaker 1 00:06:21 I'm. Sure. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:06:22 <laugh> so, uh, continuing down the family tree, the opening line, the opening sentence of your, uh, book is arresting to say the least mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, you write, I'll never forget the day. I found out that my sons were degenerate. Um, explain what you meant by that and how the revel revelation actually led to your decision to write the book. Speaker 1 00:06:51 Yeah, well, my sons are very nice boys. Um, and they're not doing anything naughty. Uh, but yeah, I always want to get people's attention with that book. So degenerate are, are what people on, uh, a particular subreddit that was very influential. That's very central to my story, call themselves. They call themselves other, uh, things that I, I really can't repeat in a, uh, PG rated podcast, but degenerate are one of the things that they, they call one another and the subreddit it's on Reddit. It's a forum on Reddit called wall street bets. It went from having, let's say the, the beginning of, of my story, uh, slightly over 1 million people on it, which is a lot for a subreddit, but by no means the most, it made it maybe the 200th most important subreddit to having 2 million, right at the beginning of the story, as things started to eat up to having 11 million as the story matured. Speaker 1 00:07:41 So it, it exploded in size and I have three sons, one who's now, uh, 23, he was a, a college senior at the time of the events and one who just turned 16 today. Uh, and he was a co uh, high school freshman at the beginning of the events. And they're both very active on Reddit and they were on this forum. And as my oldest son who was home because of COVID from college, his senior year, and walked over to me, I was, I was at home too. And he said, dad, are you gonna write something about game stop? And, uh, game stop, uh, at this time is a failing mall based video game retailer that I had driven all my sons to at various times over the years, uh, you know, like a lot, you know, we, we were there a lot. We had not been there in a few years, not just because the pandemic was because it, you know, physical media were going, um, out of fashion in video games, it still exists, but you know, games have become digitized. Speaker 1 00:08:35 So it was kind of like blockbuster video a few years before, uh, before streaming completely took over. There was really no reason to, to get the discs or even have them mailed to you. And, and that's at, it was at that stage. We'd been losing money for years. That game stop was, and I took a look at it and I saw that it had doubled the stock had doubled in the last couple of days. Um, and the reason that it had doubled is that they were talking about it on wall street, bets, wall street bets in the, maybe I, I was aware of it, you know, because I I'm at the wall street journal and I'm a markets, uh, person, I at this, this markets column. And I had seen that stocks that were mentioned, there would go up a lot and they go down a lot. Speaker 1 00:09:14 And so it would just be like a flash in the pan. And he mentioned it because a friend of his had boughted the stock. And I, I don't want to, you know, kind of give advice to anybody specific financial advice, I'll give general financial advice, but I said, listen, your friend, I've known this kid since he was, you know, up fairly above my knee. Uh, I, I think he should should sell because this is a flash in the pan. And he said, no, no, no, he's not going to sell that's. The idea is they can't sell. And so that caught my attention. And, and so that's, that's the crux of this story. And it took me probably 10 minutes to see that something crazy was, was going on from a financial point of view, which is that the people on this forum were attempting to do something that had not been successfully done for about a century, which was to kind of, uh, put in a corner on a stock and a corners happen sometimes in commodity markets. Speaker 1 00:10:05 Very, very difficult to do in the stock market since the S C has existed, because a corner is basically where just to explain for people who might not be familiar, there are some people who bet against the stock. Uh, and most people bet that a stock will rise who own it. And when you bet against the stock, what you do is you open yourself up to theoretically unlimited losses. You, you borrow the stock without owning it, you sell it, and then you hope to buy it back at a lower price. But of course the difference between the price where you sold it and the price where you buy it back, the most you're gonna make is a hundred percent, but your losses are theoretically unlimited. You can lose infinity percent if a stock keeps on going up. And so you, then you have to buy it back. Speaker 1 00:10:47 And sometimes there are short squeezes which happen all the time, which is that people have sold a stock short, and then there's like a kind of stamped to reverse the trade and to, to kind of cover their losses or stanch the bleeding, they'll buy it back. And it's kind of a stamped, but what this was, was a deliberate attempt to do that, which is not legal to do like I, you and I couldn't both have hedge funds and gang up on a third hedge fund that we knew was selling a stock short and, and squeezed them that way. But what was happening here was that this was being discussed openly, had been discussed for weeks in a forum that nobody on wall street had bothered to look at, but had over 2 million members that day. Um, and they were, and there were some sophisticated people who were used pseudonyms on that board who explained to them how to do it with the maximum effectiveness to get the most bang for the buck, which is to Ize explain into the book. Speaker 1 00:11:43 It sounds wonky, but it's, I, I do explain it something called a GABA squeeze. And they caused this stock from trough to peak to go up a thousand fold. Uh, and it became the most traded security in the world. It pulled up a whole bunch of other stocks with it. And that is an incredible story by itself. Uh, and I had a half written book proposal about something else that I was gonna at some point send to penguin random house and published my first book. And I just sent an email to the acquisitions editor who I didn't really know. And I said, this incredible thing is happening. Uh, you should be aware of it. I I'd love to write a book about it. And she said, that's great. She wrote right back, which is amazing too. And she said, I, can you, do you have a proposal? Speaker 1 00:12:26 I haven't heard about that. I said, no, no, this is happening now. Like, you're gonna start reading about this in a few hours. And that week there were over 1000 articles in the English language alone about this phenomenon. It was the biggest thing. Every late night talk show host was talking about at president Biden was asked about it, who had just been inaugurated. Uh, it was, it was a big, big, big story for the next six or seven days. It was one of the most, I, I think it was the most search Google term, uh, that week too, uh, in, in many countries. And so game stop was a big phenomenon and, and that's what I thought a book would be about. And they immediately said, yes, we want me to read about this. But within a few days, it got even crazier because what happened, um, as I tell the story in my book is that all these people were creating a lot of pressure on these, these hedge funds and all of a sudden the main broker that was the broker to all these, these mainly young male investors who were doing this no longer allowed them to keep buying the stock or to buy options on the stock, which is what was pushing it up. Speaker 1 00:13:32 And so it was seen as this CRA, this stab in the back, and it was seen as a, a sign of collusion by insiders on wall street. And it still to this day has spawned lots and lots of conspiracies. It, it spurred congressional hearings, politicians on the left and the right were, uh, United and condemning it. And, and that, and they were wrong. That's not what happened. Uh, and as, as I explain in my book, uh, there wasn't a conspiracy. Um, and, and actually what happened is that all these, these financial firms that had really gotten rich off of a phenomenon that was going, you know, going back a year, going back to before, just before the beginning of the pandemic had drawn all these young traders in, uh, had done too good of a job and gotten them too excited. And this was the kind of the apex of the mania, and they just, they almost fried the, the financial system. Speaker 1 00:14:24 And so that's what the book explains. It explains how we got there. And it goes back to 2019 explains how cheap money and free commissions and, um, you know, and, and fiscal stimulus and all these other things all played a role in creating this, this story. Um, and, and people, I, that a lot of people are angry at me for writing this because they want the romantic narrative that these guys gave wall street, a black eye. Uh, and then they, the, the plug was pulled and they were stabbed in the back, and that's just not true, but the story is incredible anyway. Um, and, and very interesting and very instructive about what's going on in our economy. And in finance, Speaker 0 00:15:02 You must have had to write the book pretty quickly. Speaker 1 00:15:05 Yes, <laugh>. Yeah. I mean, I, I told them that, uh, listen, the, the, the book should come out on the anniversary of, of the events, uh, because there'll be, and I thought at the time that it was gonna be this flash in the pan and that a year later there would be all these reminiscences about how crazy it was, and that's what we agreed and that's what the, the contract said. And so, um, I basically spent every waking hour that I wasn't, uh, editing, uh, at the wall street journal. I'd literally fall asleep at my keyboard every night, uh, working on this every weekend, used all my vacation time. And, uh, I had a manuscript, uh, done by the, the summer of 2021. So basically seven months later, uh, there was a, a completed manuscript and the book did come out, although unfortunately, um, supply chain problems then delayed it by a week, which was really aggravating. But yeah, so I, I wrote it very quickly for a book books. Don't don't happen, usually happen that quickly. Uh, but it turns out that it, it has remained a story and remained interesting because it didn't die down. Like all these, these conspiracy theories that stemmed from trading being halted have continued to this day. And it, it morphed into other weird things. And so these, these meme stocks have had a second and third and fourth and fifth life, um, since the story happened. Speaker 0 00:16:31 So, um, it's just to place some context on this and, and get some of the, the background and the players. But a lot of the headlines, a lot of the frosty coverage was about, this is a watershed moment and, um, the power is being placed back in the hands of ordinary investors, and there's sticking it to, to wall street, but you say, actually, that's not what happened at all. So, um, Speaker 1 00:17:02 Yeah, unfortunately it, it isn't, I mean, it's a worthy story for sure. And it's a crazy story. And I think the story and I, I, I try to tell, you know, tell the story I do. I think I do tell the story in a way that even though you kind of know how it ends, um, it, it does build suspense and you're, you get very interested in the characters. So it's a, it's a combination of, of an, you know, kind of a narrative TikTok type story. And, and then also along the way, explaining all the things that were going on and the history of those things of short selling and what is a gamma squeeze, you know, how did all this happen? What is what's the, the impact of free money? How did social media play into it? How did these gamified trading apps play into it? Speaker 1 00:17:44 Um, yeah, but it, it, it was not a, a, a revolution in that sense. I mean, these people thought that they were getting a twofer and they got a zero fur. They, they thought that they were gonna get rich and they thought that they were, um, you know, mortally wounding wall street and turning the tables. And the thing is that, you know, wall street, uh, I hate to be a party pooper, but wall street is a big place. So there were some people who lost a lot of money on wall street. There's a, a hedge fund that just recently closed down now, Melvin capital, uh, subsequent to the, the publication of my book that lost its investors 7 billion in the course of a few days. And there are other hedge funds that lost billions of dollars. You know, hedge funds are not wall street. And, and there are a lot of hedge funds that were much quieter about it that made a lot of money. Speaker 1 00:18:28 So hedge funds as a group made more money than they lost investment banks made a, a ton of money off of this whole phenomenon. Um, and, and the middleman on wall street made lots and lots of money on this phenomenon. They did not lose, although one of them almost went out of business, which I, I do explain how that happened. Uh, and almost took down some other firms with it, which is a story that's not talked about at all. Uh, but they wall street writ large really likes when this happens. It really likes it when people get excited and think that they can can beat wall street. And if you look at the, and then people will write back to me and say, you're lying, there's a conspiracy. Oh, and I made a lot of money. Well, I, I, I'm not lying. It's not a conspiracy. Speaker 1 00:19:11 And maybe you made a lot of money. I, I can't look at everyone's brokerage statement and, and verify that, uh, but there are people who made a lot of money during the.com boom. There are people who made a lot of money during every, uh, mania and panic and crash in history and walked away with, with more money than, than they started with. Uh, some of them are, are diluting themselves, and some of them are, are, are telling fibs. But of course there's some people who make money in any, any crazy financial episode. That's not what I'm saying. And I'm saying that as a group, these people did not figure out a way to, to beat wall street. And, uh, and at the time, you know, there are people who were romanticizing it, Alexis Hanian, uh, who's the, the co-founder of Reddit and Reddit, the, the social network, you know, plays a pretty big role in this said, you know, these people should start a hedge fund. Speaker 1 00:19:58 They, they, they should get together and crowdsource a hedge fund. This is like, you know, mom and pop sticking it to the man, which is comp. I mean completely naive. You know, that's not at all. You can't do that. Uh, you shouldn't try to do that. Uh, hedge funds are hedge funds for a reason. They have very good computers and very smart people. Of course, they don't all do well or make money either. But a crowdsource hedge fund is a terrible idea and a great way to, to burn up individuals money. And, and a lot of these people regretted, ever getting into this. And even if they lost small amounts of money and said, that's fine. I don't care that I lost money. Okay, good. But there are much better ways to spend your money than, than trying to, to blow up wall street, which you didn't do. Speaker 0 00:20:40 So, um, I, I want to, to get to maybe the, the motivation, um, because at the ATLA society, uh, we focus on philosophy. We focus on values and, and we also focus on vices. And, and one of those is envy, uh, which iron Rand describes as, uh, the hatred of the good for being good. It's not just wanting what other people have. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, it's not just wanting to succeed, but it's wanting others to fail. So, um, I'd love to get into that, but I wanna remind all of you who are watching us on various platforms. Um, I learned so much in reading this book and, um, still learning. So if you have some questions or wanna find out more about what happened with game stock, and also what's continuing to, to happen with AMC and all of these other, you know, me stocks going around please type in your questions and we will get to, uh, as many of them as we can. So, yeah. So getting to that, that motivation, um, it almost seems like the, the ethos in some corners of wall street bets was similar or echoing that of occupy wall street. And, um, you know, where did that come from? Speaker 1 00:21:55 Yeah. I mean, first of all, you, you mentioned envy. I think envy, I agree is just a, a waste of, of energy. I mean, of, of, of all the, the vices, that's the dumbest one, right? I mean, you know, what, what are you? It is just, just negative energy, but yeah. Yeah. I don't think it, it was just envy, but, um, I think it was resentment. I think you, you have to look, I mean, the, the people who were involved in this and I, and I met people who are, I'll be 53 this year, I met people who were, who were my age. I couldn't believe how many people I met, like when I just was sort of casually mentioned, oh yeah, I'm working on this book. Oh, really? Oh, I was involved in that, you know, but it primarily, uh, was, um, let's say, I would say 80% male, uh, as, as far as I can tell in my unscientific survey, uh, between the ages of 18 and 35. Speaker 1 00:22:42 And, um, and this is a group that was not invested in the markets, uh, did not own a home when the, uh, great financial crisis hit. Uh, but it's a formative experience for them. And so it's not a group that, that, that resents wealth necessarily, it's a group that resents wall street specifically. So like, if you look at Elon Musk, you know, he's a, he's a real hero to a lot of these people, or you look at someone like, um, Chamath poly Opia who I mentioned a lot of my book, who's the spec king, uh, special, you know, this kind of blank check company king, uh, he kinda in ingratiated himself to this group and was viewed pretty favorably and other people, uh, so Silicon valley wealth is, is not hated, but wall street wealth is. And so it's like, it's almost like this car. Speaker 1 00:23:33 And, and then hedge fund managers are the real cartoon villains of wall street, right? Like they're the, the people who you really, really hate. Uh, and, and, and that group specifically was, um, was vilified by the wall street bets crowd. And so, yeah, I think that occupy wall street, which is to me is just a, kinda, such a, kind of an incoherent movement, but, uh, a lot of that ethos came through where there was resentment at, um, people losing their homes or, or losing their savings. And, uh, of course there, there, there was wrongdoing on wall street, but nobody, uh, not, not that many crimes. And I think a lot of the crimes that were committed were committed on a, on a lower level. It was a sort of a heads, eye, wind tails, you lose thing. And that's always the case on wall street, right? Speaker 1 00:24:20 That's a, that's a real problem with, with wall street is that incentives are, are misaligned. So whether it was, uh, people at, at big banks or hedge funds or wherever during the financial crisis, they, uh, they profited, but they weren't forced to, to give back much of that wealth. You know, if you're at a hedge fund and you have five really good years, and you're making 20% of, uh, you know, um, fees on, on the, the profits you make, and then you wipe out in the sixth year, you don't have to give that back. And so the way that the incentives are structured, uh, is not very smart, but people know that going into it people, and then people don't read the fine print. And so it's, you know, I mean, I think there are people who are, uh, who are duped and, uh, you know, in, in all kinds of financial products and didn't understand what they were signing up for. Speaker 1 00:25:10 And then there are people who were simply didn't bother to read the fine print because they were very greedy and they wanted to, to get, you know, get rich, whether it was to kind of sign a, a liar loan that they know they shouldn't have qualified for, or to invest in a product that seemed fishy, but they, they, they thought that they could make lots and lots of money. So I think the, the blame is, is evenly spread. Um, and you know, and that, that includes recent crypto blowups, where people are, you know, they were making 20% a year. Like why, why do you think you were making 20% a year? Um, I, I really, for a long time and you, I, I started out talking about my, my parents who were both, uh, both immigrants. I saw a lot of, uh, of their contemporaries get sucked into these schemes, which was just so heartbreaking, um, where I, I just, and that's, that's where I got interested in this kind of this GU ability and, um, this, this sort of problems incentives in the, in the financial system. Speaker 1 00:26:09 I remember when I was still working on wall street, I was a director or managing director guess as a director at that point in the equities department of investment bank, I was, you know, one of the youngest directors ever in, in, you know, in that, in that, at that bank, there was a stock going on. I remember holding my, my oldest son who was a baby at the time. So it was like we're talking 23 years ago, right? At the, just before the peak of the, uh, the.com bubble and my mom's friends who would all come here, panelists would all scripted and saved, were very hard, sacrificed. Everything to have a nest egg were [email protected]unchof.com stocks. And when I was telling them that I, they shouldn't be investing in it, it's not appropriate for their, their age and their risk tolerance, whatever. And then they cut me off and they're telling me how smart they were and how many times their money they had made and loosened or, or whatever. Speaker 1 00:27:04 And it is just, you know, when, when people kind of get bitten by that, that bug, I'm telling them, I'm the only person that they knew on wall street. I definitely had kind of the credentials, you know, to, to be able to tell them and no incentive to, to steer them away from it. I had nothing to gain telling them not to do it. And friends of my mother-in-laws, uh, who'd grown up in this country, you know, lost everything. You know, she had, uh, friends lost their homes after the financial crisis because they, they made unwise gambles on these things and they wouldn't listen to me. So it's, I mean, obviously, you know, wall street, the, the people who, who sold them, these things are at fault then, and during the financial crisis, but it it's human nature. That's at fault too. Um, and, and I think that's what people after the fact failed, uh, to acknowledge, Speaker 0 00:27:57 Wanted to get. All right. Well, I wanted to get to asking you about, uh, what you mentioned in terms of gamified trading mm-hmm, but I'm seeing a bunch of questions, uh, here in the chat that are too good to pass up. Okay. So, uh, and, and some of them dovetail and to some of the themes I wanted to cover, one of them from Twitter, uh, Candace rich is asking, um, John Tammy, who's been on this show is a friend of ours at the Atlas society. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> wrote an article on short sellers, uh, being heroes mm-hmm <affirmative>. So, uh, that was back last year, I guess. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, uh, she wants to know your thoughts. Um, is there anything moral or imoral, uh, right during the game stock? Cause you, you do talk a little bit about, um, short sellers and the fact that this whole saga has really meant that, um, few are gonna be engaging in that, that the disincentives are so high, um, and that we might be seeing some more bubbles as a result. So maybe speak to that question. Speaker 1 00:28:59 Sure. I, I, I wouldn't call short sellers heroes, but they, but short sellers have uncovered some, some big frauds and done a great service to retail investors, but you're not, there's no morality in, in buying something and in buying a stock and hoping it'll go up and there's no less morality in, in seeing it go down. But short sellers have long been vilified, as long as stock markets have existed. Going back to the 16 hundreds, uh, there have been periodic bans on short selling, short sellers have been arrested clapped in irons, flogged, um, you know, cast as sort of sort of greedy devils. And it's just not true. Short selling is, is a legitimate practice that is very useful in markets and the, um, restrictions and the lack of short selling have actually hurt the little guy. So short sellers look, there's two things that you can, you personally can do as a typical investor, right? Speaker 1 00:29:55 You're I don't recommend that, uh, that any retail investor go out and sell stock. Sure. Because it opens you up to theoretical limited losses. It's complicated, it's costly. You, you really should not do it unless you're financially sophisticated and kind of on, on wall street, uh, you should leave it to the, the professionals and I, and I'll throw derivatives in there too. Even if you think you understand them, but short sellers do a service to you because, um, you or I, um, there's two things we can do. We can see a stock and we can say, oh, I think that's a good stock. I'm gonna buy it. Or we can say, oh, I don't think it's a good stock. I think it's too expensive or it's too risky and I'm not going to buy it. So the, you can vote. Yes. Or you can abstain. Speaker 1 00:30:37 You can't vote. No. And, uh, uh, short seller is, is voting. No. So short seller brings needed balance to things, right? Because, um, especially in a bubble, especially when things are very frothy, uh, or that something is just kind of too good to be true, but too many people believe it. There, there needs to be a counterbalance. So somebody says, I'm calling BS on that. And I happen to be a person who has to do very careful research, uh, because I'm open up to up opening myself up to unlimited losses. And I'm gonna bet against this stock and short sellers, uh, more than people who are long, they are, uh, first of all, they're going against a long term trend, the stock markets over time rise. So they're kind of fighting history. Um, but they're also, their money is expensive and, and short selling is expensive. Speaker 1 00:31:25 And so they need to sort of to blow the whistle. They, they, they can't just say I'm passively betting short. A lot of them will be active short sellers. They'll sell a stock short, then they'll put their thesis out and say, I think that, uh, you should sell Enron because of whatever. But, but most things that people sell short are not Enron or, or BT Orci WorldCom. Most things that people sell short are simply stocks that they feel are, are too expensive, not necessarily frauds. And, um, most short selling happens, um, not, not by dedicated short sellers, but happens P people like Gabe, Plotkin who I write about in my, uh, my book, the guy who lost $7 billion because he was short game stop. Uh, and other stocks that were affected, uh, what they do is they have a pile of money. That's their fund. Speaker 1 00:32:16 They take, they find, let's say two stocks that are pretty similar in the same business. Let's say best buy in game stop. I don't know if you specifically did that trade best buy. You might say that's a best of breed, uh, company and electronics and games and televisions. I like that company. I like where they're going, but not only am I going to buy best buy stock, I'm going to sell short game, stop stocks. So I'm going to sell it and then get cash for selling it. Uh, and then I'm gonna take some of that cash and I'm gonna put more of it into best buy. And then if my thesis plays out, then I'm gonna make more money than just having bet on best buy. Um, and if the whole stock market goes down, it's gonna, both of them will go down, but, but GameStop will go down more and I'm going to sort of mitigate my losses. Speaker 1 00:32:59 And that's, that's the game they play. They don't take gigantic risks, but of course they never expect something to go up, you know, a thousand percent, right? That's, that's not in their sort of range of, of possible outcomes. Maybe somebody will buy game stop, and it'll double one day and they'll lose a lot of money, but no, one's gonna buy game stop for a hundred times what it was worth or 200 times what it was worth, which is, uh, which is what happened because of this concerted squeeze and attempted quarter that happened. And so that, you know, that blew up his, his, his fund, which is something that I, I guess he probably, he should have seen coming and no tears for, for him. But, um, yeah, but, but short selling has become very, very difficult because they've been targeted because they are sort of, they're seen not like if hedge funds are public enemy, number one, the short selling hedge funds are absolutely the, the top of that pyramid, the ultimate enemy. Speaker 1 00:33:53 And to these, uh, these young people, uh, short selling, they, they sold short game stop and AMC and things like that, that companies that did things that were very important to them. As, as young people, I used to go to the movies all the time at AMC, before the pandemic, I bought all my video games at game stop. They're trying to destroy the company. And, and I just to, to point this out and I, I can say this dumb blue in the face and people are gonna, you know, keep on saying it, but selling a stock short is not destroying a company. It's betting that the stock will go down. If I think that a, a stock that's trading for $10 should really be training for $5. And I make that bet, I'm not doing anything to destroy the company. I'm just betting that the stock price is too high. Uh, the stock changes hands all the time. And the stock training at $5 is not gonna destroy. The company is just saying that this company is too expensive. And at any given time, many stocks are too expensive, right? I mean, so it takes, it takes two to make a market and short sellers are just making that market more efficient, providing liquidity. They're very useful to the system. They're not heroes. Sorry, but I mean, they are, they are useful to the system and they have uncovered a lot of frauds. Speaker 0 00:35:03 Okay. Um, so Winnie, I hope we've answered your question about similarities between wall street, bets and occupy movement. Uh, Scott on YouTube has a couple of questions and they are about G E. Uh, what about how short sellers, um, sold short, more GME than there were shares available? Speaker 1 00:35:25 Yes. So that is a, um, uh, an also misunderstood point. I mean, the short sellers basically got over their, their skis because it's very, very unusual. So let me just go back and explain it. I don't wanna give too long of an answer, but 2020 was possibly the worst ever year for short sellers, all kinds of shiny dumb investments. Like, you know, companies that said that they, you know, had a hydrogen powered garbage truck that would go a thousand miles on whatever, like, you know, all these, these wacky things. When they, even though they looked ridiculous, short sellers would bet against them. And then they would keep on going up because you had all these new investors piling to the market, uh, using their gamified trading accounts. And so things went up and up and up and short sellers had an awful year. And the things that they felt bet safe, safe, betting against were the so-called meme stocks like game stop, but their bets became excessive. Speaker 1 00:36:20 So, um, there's a, a, a free float in any stock. Those are the shares available to purchase. And in game stops specifically, and this is very unusual. Their bets against game stop, uh, exceeded the shares that were available to trade. And that is possible through a process called reation where, um, you, without getting too wonky, I, I locate a borrow for stock. I'm a short seller and I sell the stock short. Now I sold the stock to you. You don't know where the stock came from. All you know, is that you bought the stock, then your broker says, oh yeah, here's some game stop stock. It's available to lend out, not knowing that it was already borrowed once and they will lend it out again. So it is possible and not illegal for more than 100% of, uh, a stock to be sold short, although it shouldn't be, uh, but it can happen because, um, because of a, a lack of, of communication between back office, uh, there's of course, a conspiracy theory that there are Phantom shares and even more shares sold short than exist on a regular basis, uh, through a process called naked short selling, which is, um, has become much more difficult since short selling regulations were, uh, were changed, uh, more than a decade ago. Speaker 1 00:37:37 Um, so, um, yeah, in this specific case, more than 100% of the, the shares available to purchase were sold short, which is like a powder ke it's like leaving like a bunch of dynamite out with like dry kindling and nitroglycerin on top of it. And whatever, you know, you were just asking for an accident to happen, and these funds felt safe doing that, and they shouldn't have, and, uh, that, that should have been assigned to these financially sophisticated buyers that they were, uh, opening themselves up to a gigantic loss and it's their, you know, so their, their fault, you know, for, for doing it, but they also were ambushed. Speaker 0 00:38:13 Okay. Um, on Instagram, zooming out a little bit, um, a lot of our audience is our young people and students, Margo, um, Instagram asks with inflation. How are young people supposed to get ahead, especially with investing, being such a beast to try and get into mm-hmm <affirmative> Speaker 1 00:38:32 Well, inflation is, um, they call it the tax for a reason. And, uh, inflation is, um, is, is not good for really anyone financially, except perhaps if you are a, a very big borrower, uh, let's say, um, you know, there are, are people my age, um, who have, uh, a lot of debt and not a lot of, uh, not a lot of assets, not a lot of, uh, of fixed income assets. Uh, let's say you took out a mortgage at 2.8% and you have this big mortgage, well inflation at 8%. It's pretty good for you. You're one of the few people, uh, who actually benefit from high inflation, but if you're in your twenties, it's unlikely that you own a home. It's unlikely that you have this big fixed rate type loan. And so inflation does make it harder to, to get ahead. Uh, but the people who are most specifically, uh, hurt by inflation are not young people, but are older people who are, uh, who have been more prudent to basically who have a, a lot of savings and don't have a lot of debts anymore. Speaker 1 00:39:34 So people who have been frugal, I'm thinking of people like, um, you know, um, my, my, my parents' generation, especially, you know, who are living on a, a fixed income who have, uh, an annuity or have very conservative investments that pay them in income. Um, you know, they're better off if they have dividend paying stocks worse off. If they have a lot of bonds where in inflation is basically corroding the value, if you are young, uh, it, it is harmful to have inflation, but you're in your prime working years. You're, uh, the most desirable part of the, the workforce people are, you know, the labor market is still very tight. So you're, you're at least able to partial. Not that it's a good thing, but you're at least able to partially counteract inflation and the type of investments that you have, uh, should be skewed very much towards the types of investments that are the most shielded during inflation, which are stocks, stocks are, are natural inflation hedge, to some extent because companies, you know, a business has has debts, uh, that are whittled away by inflation. A company has hard assets like land and buildings, uh, that, um, that will become more valuable to inflation. And a company has sales that will be artificially boosted by inflation. So equities don't tend to do great during a period of inflation, but they are an inflation hedge. So young people are, are not the most disadvantaged generation when it comes to inflation. It's older people, uh, who are the worst off, but of course it's not, it's not good for the economy or society overall, uh, for sure, Speaker 0 00:41:02 As, as we are seeing. Um, so speaking of young people, this Robin hood app, you were talking about the gamification of trading, and it seems like on the positive side, uh, it was an easy entry for, for young people, small investors who were potentially just becoming savvy about the market for the first time. But also it seemed to almost invite her, at least that was the accusation that it would invite compulsive trading, similar to compulsive gambling, uh, and from an entrepreneurial perspective, the inception of Robin hood is fascinating. So perhaps share a bit about how the app got off the ground and the role it played in the saga. Speaker 1 00:41:45 Sure. So, I mean, I, if you just go back in, in time a bit, I mean, um, buying stocks used to be very expensive. So there, uh, there was a, a minority of the, the population that had the, the wealth to be able to buy stocks and buying stocks transacting in the stock market, owning an investment fund, even reinvesting your dividends used to cost. A lot of money. Wall street took its toll every time you did anything in the market and, uh, over time, but especially since the late 1970s, uh, that cost has gradually come down, but what happened, um, and Robinhood was not the first to do this, but they were the first to do it successfully. They launched a free trading app, uh, where they said, you know what, these, these two guys, um, LA 10 and BadBad who had worked for hedge funds, by the way, they had set up a business to allow hedge funds to trade more smoothly. Speaker 1 00:42:35 They said, you know what? These hedge funds pay, basically nothing to trade. People could do this too. It's not free, but it's very close to free. And we could do this for people. And of course, nothing is free, but we can basically recoup those, those costs. And we can have a business built around this. And so first they built an app and they tested it with students at Stanford university and they built a really beautiful app that, uh, had a long waiting list that created a lot of buzz in social media, had a million people waiting to join it. When it finally went live in 2015 and between 2015 and, uh, 2021, even though this is a pretty small broker, about half of all new brokerage accounts opened in America were opened, uh, through Robin hood, uh, because it was such a beautiful app. It was phone based. Speaker 1 00:43:26 It was basically like an app with a brokerage bolted onto it. Whereas everyone else fidelity Schwab, they were, uh, a broker that paid some guys to design an app that worked pretty well. These guys made a very, very intuitive app that, and it's, I don't believe it's a coincidence that, uh, in terms of the fonts and the colors and the animations that it uses bears a striking resemblance to daily fantasy sports and betting apps on your phone, very, very similar confetti goes off intermittent rewards, uh, awards, uh, prizes for referrals. They, they mainly grew not through advertising, but through giving you basically like a lottery ticket type thing for a referral, they said, oh, open an account. You get a free share of stock. What stock? Well, it could be a $2 stock, or it could be occasionally a $50 or even a hundred dollars stock. Speaker 1 00:44:20 And so it's like a lottery ticket because you could open an app. Uh, the, you could basically put $20 into the Robin hood app, $20, which you couldn't do many years ago and then get a $50 stock. Right. So, you know, you, you just, just got something that's, that's worth two and a half times as much as the money you put in instantly, that's pretty good. And then if you refer a friend, then you get another stock and that person gets a stock. And so it grew through this referral network. And the way that it worked is they fronted you the money. They would front you up to a thousand dollars. So let's say you were at a, a tip stereotype, but like you're at a frat party. And somebody's like, dude, I've got this Robin hood app and I've been buying stock. You should do it too. Speaker 1 00:45:04 And I get a free share of stock and like, oh yeah, I was thinking about buying XYZ stock. Like here, open it up in, in a few minutes, you could have an account you put in your information. And even before you transfer money from your bank account, there is money on the account that they will provide you. That was the default setting. They would provide you money to trade right away. So that dumb idea that you had at the frat party, you could act on immediately and start training. And because it was free and it's not really free, uh, it uses a, a, a system of, of payments called payment for order flow, where market makers rebate money to the, um, to the broker in order to execute the trade because they make money. The broker makes money. That's how it's free. Um, the more you trade, the more money they make. Speaker 1 00:45:55 So the app was designed to make people very, very active to basically, and it, it, whether by design and I'm not go, I, I can't get into their heads. And, uh, the founders of the app would not speak to me. And they were very cagey and they, uh, they kind of stonewalled me about lots of things, although they did speak with me, um, you know, on just on basically to verify facts, but I, I do believe, and a lot of consumer advocates do believe that the app is designed deliberately, uh, to, um, to make people hyperactive. And, uh, I, I know for a fact that hyperactivity is inversely correlated with financial success. So it's designed in a way that correlates with failure, uh, to make money or failure to make as much money as you should. Uh, there are many, many studies that document, uh, how often you look at, at your brokerage account and how often you trade, uh, being inversely correlated with success. And they would never really tell me they would tell me, like they would give me information that was like, not even half of an answer in terms of how well their clients did, but I, I am, uh, willing to venture that their clients do quite poorly. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> on average. Um, and, uh, there's a lot of circumstantial evidence to support that, that, uh, contention, but I don't have absolute proof. Speaker 0 00:47:12 Interesting. Yeah. Sometimes I run across people and I'm like, well, what do you do for a living? And they say, I'm a day trader. And to me, that always means, no, <laugh>, you're doing something Speaker 1 00:47:25 Do not become a, a do not become a day trader. I mean, listen, there, there are, I, I, you, you think that professional gamblers an oxymoron, and there is a, a very small subset of people who actually do make money gambling through using, you know, not because they're lucky, but because they're, they're smart and they're basically not even interested in the outcome of the games. They're basically just sort of, they're, they're playing a numbers game and they they're occasional anomalies the house doesn't always win. They're, they're sort of, they're making a, a kind of scalping, a small return. And I, I guess that is possible, uh, as a, as a day trader, but the vast majority of people I've met who are day trader is it is not possible, uh, more than 90% of, of people who describe themselves as day trader lose money, uh, and, and probably high 90% fail to, uh, to track a simple index fund. Speaker 1 00:48:18 And they're much less tax efficient too. So, uh, I do not recommend, uh, day trading for anybody. Who's not a financial sophisticated, and even people who are even people who have let's say, have left finance and, and, and become one is just, you know, UN unless it's, it's your hobby and you're taking very minimal, minimal risks, and you really do understand what you're doing. I just don't really see the, the point in it, because the beauty of the stock market is, is that you go to work during the day to do whatever you do to make a salary or run your business, or do whatever. And then you have your savings, which is working for you day and night. You know, why mess with that? If you just invest passively, it's not a very satisfying answer to people because everyone wants to, to beat the market. Speaker 1 00:49:01 But, uh, I can tell you that statistically, uh, if you pay very little and do very little, so you have a kind of a passive low cost, long term, uh, tax efficient investing approach, you will beat 85% of individual investors. You'll be doing better than 85% of your neighbors, and you won't be able to, you won't get rich overnight for sure. Uh, and, uh, you won't have anything to, to brag about, you know, when the stock market, when the Dows up 600 points one day or whatever, because you're just kind of along for the ride and you're along for the ride. And when it's down a thousand points one day, but, you know, O over time, your, your compounded gains will be vastly superior to people who, who day trade. Speaker 0 00:49:43 So you talked about this young crowd, um, who villainize the, the hedge fund managers and even, uh, and greater object of their I being short sellers, but that Elon Musk and Shama papilla were, uh, entrepreneurs that they idolized. So, uh, tell us about how those two people got involved in, um, becoming game stop boosters, if you will. Speaker 1 00:50:15 Um, I, I think that so social media plays a big role, and I, I do describe that a lot of the book, and I, I have to say that I, I, I've been a student of, uh, of medias and panics and crashes and, and, um, kind of human good and poor decision making and investing for a long, long time. And, you know, there's history does, does rhyme, but I, um, I learned a lot, uh, in writing this book because there's a whole aspect of it that I had not appreciated, which is the nature of influence, the nature of social influence. And so I spoke with social psychologists and social media experts and, uh, people who are experts in kind of influencer marketing and things like that. And, um, the reasons that people get into the influence game are manifolded some people do it for financial rewards, and there are lots of people you will find on TikTok and YouTube and whatever who promise to make you money and crypto or picking stocks or, or whatever, and are, are, uh, a hundred percent self-serving, uh, when they, when they do it, or it's say 99%, there will be exceptions. Speaker 1 00:51:20 Uh, but there are people who, who do it for the, the psychic rewards. They like to be liked. They like to be followed. It gives them pleasure to be followed, to get attention. They just want attention. Attention is the currency of social media. And, uh, I think for Elon Musk, who, as we are recording this episode, I think is still the richest man on earth. Um, you know, he didn't need to, to make extra money, but he loves to egg people on, and he dropped a sort of a bomb in the middle of this episode. He kind of showed up when things were cooling off when the, the mania was, was just starting to come off the boil and he kicked it up another few degrees with one tweet, um, because he likes to be a, a hero to young people. You know, I, I have, I have three sons, three young men, and, you know, their, their age cohort thinks ELAM Musk is, is pretty cool. Speaker 1 00:52:12 And everything he says is pretty interesting, uh, even when he doesn't know what he is talking about. So, um, and Chamath, I think was possibly more self-serving he personally participated in it and then said he gave the money to, to profit. He went on, you know, on social media and said, oh, I bought, you know, options on game stop. He's like, oh, now I'm giving it to, uh, to charity. So, uh, another, uh, guy, Dave Portnoy, who was, uh, kind of definitely financially self-serving, uh, guy in social media and also is, um, you know, a shareholder in a gambling app, uh, and, you know, put himself, he was daily day trader is how he was known, had a couple of million, uh, followers on Twitter and really fan the flames. Although he did it financially, he was financially unsuccessful. He promised that he would hold, am AMCs, another game, stop, uh, meme stock that he would hold it until the end until the bitter end, no matter what happened. Speaker 1 00:53:04 And then three days later he sold it at a loss of, I think, $700,000 if I recall correctly. So, you know, it's, it's just, um, I, I, I don't totally understand the, the appeal, but it's these guys who never put on a tie where very rarely have to put on a tie they're in Silicon valley, Silicon Valley's cool. Tech is cool. Social media's cool. Tesla's cool. Uh, owning a sports team is cool. And, uh, you know, being in sports is cool. Being irreverent is cool. Using memes is cool using memes rather than, uh, you know, boring text to communicate memes are sort of, you know, symbols that people use through social media, which just hence these became known as meme stocks, because that's, that was the nature of much of the, the sort of the, the, the messages that were sent through wall street bets and other social media forums. Speaker 1 00:53:52 And, um, and so they, they were cool with the kids and, um, and wall street was most uncool with the kids. So you had one player in here who wound up losing a lot of money, uh, hedge fund manager, who went on a guy my age year younger than me, uh, Andrew left, who was a, an active short seller who was already hated by the wall street bets crowd, because he had bet against successfully bet against a couple of stocks that were very hot on wall street bets kind of indirectly costing people money, I guess, who would bet on, on them. And, um, he said, you guys are suckers at the poker table and you don't even know it. You don't know what you're talking about. And he got steamrolled and it was like a, a delicious payback, uh, for these people. It wasn't, it wasn't even that they wanted to make money. Speaker 1 00:54:37 They wanted him to lose money, which is getting back to this. You mentioned kinda envy being such a, a dumb vice, you know, I mean, it's, I, I, I get it, but I, I really don't, don't sympathize with it. I mean, it's, it's, it's such a, sort of a weird thing to do with your money is to, to weaponize it, to make someone else lose more money than you lost. I mean, but that's, you know, but that, that it was a big part of this episode. And then a lot of these people were attacked, um, outside of the financial sphere attacked by having their social media accounts hacked by having their children, you know, people finding out their children's cell phone numbers and, and sending me ING messages to them or racist and bigoted messages to them. So a lot of crazy stuff, I be, you know, before I wrote this book and my, my sons who were on this form were like, dad, you need some really harden your defenses, but I took all kinds of social media precautions, and I haven't been hacked or anything like that. All I've received lots of, of, of insults, which were fine. I'm a financial journalist I'm used to that, but, uh, but nothing, um, you know, no one hacked my bank account for social media yet fingers crossed. Um, you know, and I had a whole social media audit and also paid outta my own pocket for services to, um, to better protect myself, um, you know, from a, any kind of nefarious online activity. Speaker 0 00:55:56 Good. All right. We have, uh, four minutes and many more questions than we can possibly get to, but I wanted to, uh, we're not gonna be able to an answer. What is the Gama suites in, in, in a couple minutes, but I did wanna get to this one, um, by Jamie, on TV, on Instagram, uh, asking thoughts on insider training, is it more conspiratorial or is there truth to politicians selling stocks before big crashes? That's, you know, something, I think a lot of people are asking about, um, particularly with what happened during the lockdowns mm-hmm <affirmative> and a lot of politicians, uh, having privy, you know, uh, to, in inside information and making financial decisions, um, and offloading their stocks onto people who didn't have that same kind of information. Speaker 1 00:56:44 Okay. I'll try to answer quickly. I'm a columnist, not a reporter. I can, uh, inject my own opinion here. And that's something that I have written about. I think it's absolutely unacceptable for people who, I mean, it, it, it's absolutely, it's just like knowing your company's about to have a profit warning and vegan executive, and you'll go to jail. If you call your, tell your buddies, the golf course to sell all their stock, uh, I think the same exact, uh, ethos should apply to politicians who have knowledge about they go, you know, they go out and they say, oh yeah, everything's fine. Don't worry. The pandemic's under control. And they go and buy a bunch of stock and Gilead, which is making the one drug that might be able to treat COVID or dumping, uh, all of their, their stocks. When they're out telling people everything's gonna be fine and they have this inside knowledge or anything like that. Speaker 1 00:57:28 And it's been shown that politicians are some of the best investors out there, and it's not because they're so smart. It's because, uh, as a group they're, they're privy to information that is useful to investors. Uh, it absolutely should not be allowed. And it's not just a matter of their gain as someone else's walks because investing is a zero sum game. So they're kind of stealing money really from other investors in an indirect way, but also because it erodes trust in Washington or erode trust in, in the integrity of markets and they, the, the rules are really toothless currently. They, I, I, I believe that, uh, that anyone and, and not just, just people in Congress, but also kind of, uh, high level bureaucrats in their families, it's not a big sacrifice to have to own index funds. You know, what, if you own index funds, you'll do better than most investors, uh, who, who try to actively trade stocks. Speaker 1 00:58:18 There is no reason, uh, to, to own individual stocks. Let's say you own a bunch of individual stocks before you, you go into public office, fine, put it in a blind trust, you know, that's okay. Right. I mean, just don't know if you own it or don't own it, but don't, you, you absolutely should not be allowed to, to trade. And even to have the appearance of impropriety, you know, I'm an editor at the wall street journal. I don't own any stocks and it's not in including things that I would never write about because it just, you know, someone could always come back and say, well, how did you, how did you know how to, to do that? And it seems like you made a lot of money. Maybe, maybe you knew something. So it, it just, just don't don't even go there. You know, just there, there's no reason today to have to own individual stocks or to trade them actively. And, and there's no excuse for them not to do that. Speaker 0 00:59:04 I couldn't agree more. And, uh, thank you, uh, Spencer for this hour that you've given us. And I want to, um, if we can put his Twitter handle in all of the chats, it's at Spencer, Jacob on Twitter. Um, are you on Reddit? Speaker 1 00:59:21 <laugh> uh, <laugh>, I'm on, I have a, uh, I'm Spencer, Jacob on Reddit. I don't use a pseudonym, but yeah, I'm not, you can't follow me on Reddit. You can always great. But yeah, Spencer, Jacob, J a K a B is the spelling of my surname. Yeah. And I'm on, on, uh, and there's, uh, an author page out there somewhere, but yeah, on Twitter is the best place to follow me. Um, and, uh, I still write occasionally I mostly edit. Um, but yeah. Have updates about the book and other things I think about, so, yeah. Thank you so much for, uh, for having me. It's a great discussion and great questions. Speaker 0 00:59:51 Absolutely. And a great, great book. I highly recommend everyone, um, go out and buy it and listen to it also on audible, uh, really terrific narrative narrator that Spencer got. So, um, we thoroughly enjoyed it and we learned a lot and I wanna thank all of you who joined and asked such excellent questions. If you enjoy, uh, our interviews and the content that we publish, including a lot of memes at the ATLA society, please consider making a tax deductible donation to support our work. Um, and I'm gonna be on in 30 minutes on clubhouse with our senior scholar, professor Steven Hicks for an ask me anything. So go take a bio break, get some coffee, and I'll see you there. Thank you, Spencer. Speaker 1 01:00:39 Thank you.

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The Atlas Society Asks Christina Sandefur

Join us for The Atlas Society Asks Christina Sandefur. Christina is executive vice president at the Goldwater Institute and co-drafter of the Right to Try initiative, which is now federal law, protecting terminally ill patients' right to try safe investigational treatments not yet FDA approved. She is also co-author of Cornerstone of Liberty: Private Property Rights in 21st Century America. On September 30th, Christina will discuss her thoughts on Right to Try and on the changes in innovation and regulation as a reaction to COVID. ...

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February 17, 2021 00:53:02
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The Atlas Society Asks Greg Lukianoff

Greg Lukianoff is co-author of "The Coddling of the American Mind" and president and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), an organization dedicated to fighting for free speech on college campuses. ...

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